Local officials push for Small Business Disaster Grant Program

Buttenschon, Griffo and Picente urge federal government to provide better assistance to small businesses after a major disaster.

Posted: Dec 5, 2019 11:31 AM

Local representatives are pushing for the creation of a Small Business Disaster Grant Program to aid businesses affected by flooding and other major disasters.

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, Sen. Joe Griffo and Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente penned a letter asking senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, as well as Congressman Anthony Brindisi, requested the creation of the program to help local small business affected by the Halloween floods.

“Last month, the Mohawk Valley was struck by storms that caused devastating flooding across the region,” Buttenschon said. “The widespread damage not only impacted our residents, but also many local businesses. With the possibility of even more severe weather to come our way in the future, we need to ensure our entrepreneurs – who are enormous players in our state’s economy – have a shoulder they can lean on in case of emergency.”

While residents, nonprofit organizations and state and local governments are eligible for federal disaster grants, small businesses are excluded. The grant program would allow small businesses a chance at recovery, and more equally distribute federal disaster assistance to those who need it.

“Small businesses are vital to our economy and natural disasters, such as flooding, leave them without assistance to begin recovery. This costs communities like ours jobs and economic activity while costing family owned businesses their livelihood. The current federal disaster system does not allow for direct assistance to small business. This current void in the system could be remedied through the creation of a Small Business Disaster Grant Program,” said Picente.

See full letter below.

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