Flood Loans Help Small Businesses

By Haley Burton

Flood Loans Help Small Businesses

November 2, 2011 Updated Nov 2, 2011 at 2:40 PM EDT

Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) As small businesses look to recover after the floods, the Town of Union is offering funds that can help meet short term needs to save jobs.

The Town of Union Local Development Corporation (LDC) is offering a short-term zero percent interest rate Flood Assistance Loan Program.

It's to help small businesses throughout the Town of Union (including the Villages of Endicott and Johnson City) that were hurt economically by the severe flooding associated with Tropical Storm Lee.

So far, the Town's Director of Economic Development Joseph Moody, says more than $430,000 in loans have been approved for businesses in the Town.

Nanticoke Gardens in Endicott was approved for a loan. The floods brought seven and a half feet of water into its greenhouses says Co-Owner Pete Shafer.

"The Town of Union plan offered us an option to help us rebuild. Our biggest struggle has been getting our feet on the ground. For so many weeks, my brother and I, wife, close family and friends worked to get this place back together but we really needed to get our employees back to work," said Schafer.

The funds are being made available to qualified small businesses based on assessment of need and availability of funds.

"Without a doubt right now, we have funds available for small business owners. We're trying to evaluate them based on the industry sector they are, based on number of jobs that could be retained or being lost in the area. We'll evaluate that and determine whether or not we could assist and what level we can assist," said Joseph Moody, Town of Union Economic Development Director.

The money may be used to meet the business's short term operating needs in order to retain jobs. That's what Nanticoke Gardens is using some of its loan to help its business.

"It's allowing us a little freedom with some capital to put some employees back to work. Until this loan option came, every penny was scrutinized on how to spend rebuilding. This really offers us the ability to get what we really need, which is, people to get this place back together," said Shafer.

You can contact the Town of Union Economic Development office at 786-2945 for more information on the Flood Assistance Loan Program.