Mayor pushes small businesses to apply for Sandy relief funds
Mayor Michael Bloomberg began his outreach efforts geared toward letting people know about the $1.8 billion in Sandy relief money at one of the Staten Island businesses that quickly bounced back from damage.
Bloomberg, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Karen Mills, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, shared a slice of pizza at Goodfella's Pizzeria Wednesday after the mayor announced his plans for distributing the federal cash.
The long-running restaurant lost $75,000 in damages during the storm, according to its owner Scot Cosentino, but continued to serve dishes to the recovering neighborhood with the help of generators and community members who came to its rescue.
"Small businesses are at the heart of communities like this," Mills said.
The city will dish out $185 million in grants and loans to pay for small business' renovations and flood mitigation work.
Donovan said rebuilding smartly would be an important focus.
"We know this isn't the first time New York will be in danger. We have to build safely," he said.
Although applications for the money won't be available until March at the earliest, Bloomberg reassured affected business owners that the city is moving quickly to assist them.
"If you need help, you have to let us know," he said.