By Rieva Lesonsky
For the small businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy, the cleanup, the loss of sales and the efforts to restore their businesses range from overwhelming for some to insurmountable for others—and the drain on business capital has been crippling. According to economic forecasting experts at IHS Global Insight, although Sandy has caused widespread physical damage, the bigger macroeconomic impact is likely to come from the virtual shutdown of business activity along key parts of the East Coast. Total economic losses are estimated at between $30 billion and $50 billion.
Small businesses in affected areas of New York and New Jersey are dealing with the same issues as homeowners, including loss of power and lack of resources for restoration, but also damaged inventory, delivery shutdowns and a loss in sales due to business closure. All of this has a double whammy effect since business owners are losing their source of income that could help them recover. It’s not surprising to learn 25 percent of small businesses never reopen after a man-made or natural disaster. Luckily, small business lenders like Accion are stepping up to help businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy by offering specific small business loans to get small businesses back on their feet and open for business.
Accion East and Online has announced the Sandy Recovery Business Loan Program, which offers loans of up to $25,000 to businesses affected by the storm, with no payment and zero percent interest for three months. After the initial three months, the loan locks at a 4.99 percent rate. There is no prepayment penalty, and the loan term can be up to 48 months. The program, available for a limited time only, also offers the additional benefits of free financial education and a fast loan approval turnaround. To qualify, businesses must have been in business for at least six months and have a credit score of 525 or higher. For more information, see the Accion Sandy Recovery website.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website,SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.