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Flatiron Hot! News | January 17, 2018

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Help for Storm Afflicted Flatiron Area Businesses – From the Flatiron 23rd Street Parnership Offices …

Damage in the Flatiron
Eric Shapiro

Editor’s Note:  Our Friends at the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership BID sent an e-mail around with this useful info for area businesses coping with the aftermath of the storm, which has impacted all of us in the neighborhood – we are passing it on forth with …

Pic:  Lights Out in the Flatiron District in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Much of the Flatiron district, including the Flatiron BID office, is without power. The BID’s sanitation and security teams are suspended until the transit system resumes operation.  We will continue to send updates as needed.

Please review the steps you can take to recover from any damage you and/or your business may have incurred due to the storm:

Recovering from Hurricane Sandy:

  • If you have insurance that will cover your damages, contact your agent immediately
  • Survey any damage; enter a severely damaged building ONLY after local authorities have deemed it safe to do so
  • Photograph any damage to your business and save receipts for replacement items or repair work
  • Look for safety hazards such as live wires, leaking gas or flammable liquids, poisonous gases, and damage to foundations or underground piping and notify the appropriate utility companies or emergency responders of any such safety hazards
  • Dry all areas and items quickly and thoroughly to prevent mold growth; food establishments especially should examine all surfaces, including sheet rock, for evidence of mold and take appropriate action immediately
  • Begin salvage as soon as possible to prevent further damage; cover broken windows and torn roof coverings immediately to protect merchandise / business from further damage
  • Separate damaged goods from undamaged goods, but beware of accumulating too muchcombustible debris inside of a building
  • Call in key business personnel and notify contractors to start repairs – after ensuring that safety systems are fully implemented before any work is allowed to begin

Please review the following safety tips offered by Con Edison:

  • If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Treat all downed wires as if they are live. Never attempt to move or touch them with any object. Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from view by tree limbs, leaves or water.
  • If you still have electrical power, be sure to fully charge your cell phone, lap top and other mobile devices, as well as any extra batteries, so that you will still be able to communicate in the event that you do lose power.
  • Report all downed wires to Con Edison and your local police department immediately. If a power line falls on your car while you’re in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel.
  • If your power goes out, turn off all lights and appliances to prevent overloaded circuits when power is restored.
  • Check to make sure your flashlights and any battery-operated radios are working.  Also, make sure you have a supply of extra batteries. Weather updates and news on power outages can be heard on most local radio and television stations.
  • Avoid opening your freezer to see if food is still frozen. Every time you open the door, room-temperature air enters and speeds the thawing process. Most fully loaded freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 36 to 48 hours; half-full freezers will keep food frozen for approximately 24 hours.

To find up-to-date information on recovery efforts, please visit the City of New York’s Office of Emergency Management website:

New York City, including the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), is coordinating a set of services to assist small businesses in recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Below is an outline of available programs and relevant contact information.

New York City Business Assistance Programs

For small- to mid-sized businesses that have experienced business interruption

Emergency loans will be available, patterned after similar programs deployed in past emergencies. Loans will be capped at $10,000. Please click this link to contact an NYC Business Solutions Account Manager or call 311 and ask for NYC Business Emergency Loan.

For mid- to large-sized businesses that need to undertake rebuilding

An emergency sales tax letter from New York City Industrial Development Authority (IDA) will be available allowing businesses to avoid payment of New York City and New York State sales taxes on materials purchased for rebuilding. IDA will also waive all fees and, while following State law, look to streamline its normal procedure. This program is expected to offer economic benefits to reconstruction projects costing $500,000 or more. Please contact Shin Mitsugi at for further information on this program.

For any business that is temporarily displaced from its space

Short-term “swing” office space at Brooklyn Army Terminal available free of charge for the next 30 days. NYCEDC has approximately 40,000 square feet of warehouse space at the Terminal that can be used for this purpose. Please click this link to contact an NYC Business Solutions Account Manager or call 311 and ask for NYC Business Solutions.

For any business in need of other emergency assistance

The SBS Business Outreach Team and Emergency Response Unit’s Large Scale Response Team will be deployed after the storm to help all impacted small businesses. This team is currently on-call for any storm-related business inquiries and is closely coordinating with the NYC Office of Emergency Management. Please click this link to contact an NYC Business Solutions Account Manager or call 311 and ask for NYC Business Solutions.

Federal Aid Programs for Disaster Recovery

Click here for information from the Federal Small Business Administration on disaster recovery assistance.