Yesterday, the NYS Economic Development agency reached out to me to help encourage businesses affected by Irene and Lee to work first with their insurance companies and then apply for FEMA assistance. Businesses can also call the regular FEMA number at (800) 621-3362 as well as the SBA Disaster Customer Assistance Center at (800) 659-2955. The State agency also encourages businesses to go to its website at www.esd.ny.gov to fill out a questionnaire. This way, if other assistance becomes available, the agency knows how much damage has been done to entrepreneurs in this State. For businesses who have problems and concerns, call NYS Economic Development at (800) STATE-NY (1-800-782-8369).
I would like to add that Montgomery County Business Development Center has sent me a note announcing it has two revolving loan funds that are available to disaster-affected businesses. That agency also encourages businesses to work with FEMA and the SBA, but they can also call the county Business Development Center at 853-8334 for information on these loans.
The State is also offering an appliance grant program for residents who sustained property damage and it will be administered through NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority). This program is for State residents who were affected specifically by Irene or Lee and will be for products that were not covered by insurance or FEMA. According to NYSERDA, grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and the program will begin Monday, September 19th. For applications and information, visit www.NYSApplianceRebates.com, or call 1-877-NY-SMART (877-697-6278).
The State Tax and Finance Department has announced it will postpone certain tax filing and payment deadlines for taxpayers in the counties affected by the storms. Deadlines have been postponed for the period beginning on Aug. 26th and ending before Oct. 31st. For more information on these new deadlines, call: 457-5181 (Personal income tax), 485-2889 (sales tax), 485-6027 (corporation tax), 485-6654 (withholding tax), and 457-5735 (miscellaneous business tax).