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U.S. Small Business Administration approves NYS request for disaster declaration

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Posted at 7:47 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 22:11:35-04

NEW YORK (WKBW) — Congressman Brian Higgins announced Thursday the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved New York's request for a disaster declaration based on economic injury caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The declaration was made possible through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 which authorizes approximately $7 billion in loans to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Businesses and workers are hurting like never before," said Higgins. "This is just the very first step in what will be a long relief and recovery process.”

Higgins and others sent a letter to President Trump urging approval of the disaster designation.

Statement from Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association:

“We are happy to announce that all New York small businesses, including restaurants. are now eligible for low-interest loans through the federal Small Business Administration. Up until today, New York businesses were unable to apply for these much needed loans due to communities not being listed as “disaster areas.” Through continued conversations with Empire State Development and representatives from the federal SBA program, we’ve conveyed how serious the situation is for New York restaurants. Many have already shut their doors and will not be able to reopen. While this is a great first step, we need to find additional ways to save the restaurant industry. When this pandemic is over, going out for a nice meal will help us all feel normal again. But some restaurants simply won’t make it.”

Anyone with questions regarding the declaration can view a fact sheet here, view information on eligibility and the application process here.

You can also contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 or via email at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The local Small Business Development Center can be reached at 716-878-4030 or via email at smallbus@buffalostate.edu.