Third of small businesses in Sandy-struck areas had losses

A survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that a third of small businesses in FEMA-declared disaster areas in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut suffered financial losses from Hurricane Sandy.Many of them are still having problems, according to the survey of 950 companies released Monday.

Twenty-two percent of the affected businesses reported losses greater than $100,000 because of storm damage and decreased customer demand.

Nine out of ten of the small-business owners say they don’t have enough to cover operating expenses or reposition their business.

More than 3,300 small businesses in New Jersey requested more than $167 million in grants to help them recover from the effects of Sandy, but the state has awarded less than $18 million to fewer than 400 businesses, said Corinne Horowitz of the Main Street Alliance, a business advocacy group.

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“When you apply for a program in May, you don’t expect that 11 months later you’re still going to be in limbo,” she said. “They’ve kind of held on in hopes that they would get the money, and they haven’t. A lot of people don’t know if they’ll get the money ever.”

Some businesses have been forced to close and others may also shut down if they don’t get some financial aid, Horowitz said.

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