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Micro-business Owners in New York Disappointed With Grant Process

Since Hurricane Sandy, small business owners on the East Coast are depending on grants and loans to help them get back on their feet. But many of the smaller businesses are feeling left out. Although the federally-funded loans and grants are meant to help, the guidelines are leaving the smaller mom-and-pop operations out in the cold.

What's happening

Many small business owners in the Brooklyn, New York area are frustrated with the lengthy and complicated paperwork involved in applying for a grant or loan. The extensive paperwork makes it difficult for these entrepreneurs to try and run their business and complete and deliver all the required documentation at the same time. Some have even had to hire an accountant to manage the process for them.

Why money is being denied

The most critical issue these very small business owners have is being denied the money. The reason? Too many open lines of credit. As these entrepreneurs explain, this is how small business owners stay alive. Lines of credit are necessary to create capital that enables them to stay open. In addition, at the time of Hurricane Sandy, many were paying off loans incurred to open their shops. Even though business had been good for them, the lines of credit were a problem with the agencies responsible for issuing new grants and loans.

How will the problem be solved?

Local advocates for businesses and politicians are asking loan administrators to take a good look at the guidelines to see if something can be done for the smaller business owners. They feel there needs to be more flexibility. In addition, as one councilman stated, “Business owners need grants — not loans.” Easing the restrictions is very important to the future of these small businesses who make a huge impact on the local economy. They must be helped to survive.

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