By Bill Parry
Long Island City business owners who lost money as a result of Hurricane Sandy are eligible for low-cost loans, according to federal and state officials.
On Monday, more than 100 people attended a public meeting held at Manducatis Rustica Restaurant (46-31 Vernon Blvd.) where Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and officials from the Small Business Administration provided the specifics of the loans.
“Business owners are eligible for loans of up to $2 million,” said Alana Chavez of the Small Business Administration. She said that the interest rate charged would be at 4%, and the repayment period can be as long as 30 years.
She said eligibility for the loans was fairly broad—since it covers economic injury.
For example, Jean M. Barrett, the executive director of the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, was told that she would be eligible for the loans—since 4,500 yellow cabs missed 14 shifts stemming from a shortage of gas.
Speakers from Federal Emergency Management Agency and the NYS Department of Financial Services were also on hand to answer questions about disaster relief.
But one or two business owners complained that the loan application process was complex and required a lot of paperwork.
Gianna Cerbone-Teoli, the owner of the owner of Manducatis, said the application was so difficult to understand that she hired someone to do it for her.
Nevertheless, Joe Conley, Chairman of Community Board 2, said the meeting was helpful and was a “big step forward in the recovery process. The [large] attendance speaks for itself.”