Emergency relief summary in the
days after of hurricane sandy

Please read the information below from our colleagues at the New York City Arts Coalition, Fourth Arts Block, and the New York City Department of Small Business Services.




This memo is an effort to provide some structure to the options and choices people face at this time. It is by no means complete, and I’m sure that some will find options I have not seen over the past two days. Please circulate to anyone, including small galleries, self-employed artists (or anyone self employed) for whom you feel the information is valuable.


First: Self-employed people are eligible for unemployment insurance in areas where are federal declaration of a disaster has been declared. If in any doubt, apply.


Second: Federal disaster resources will be dependent on your (or your arts group/business) being registered at FEMA. Go to This includes money, so do not neglect.


NOTE: for performing arts groups, if you register and are later told you are not eligible, let me know ASAP. The federal legislation that controls eligibility had some limitations after 9/11, which the Chair of NYSCA, Richard Schwartz, was able to work with the Pataki administration to have lifted. I’m sure it can be done for this disaster if needed. NOTE: for individuals, you may want to also go to register at 6487


This is the site of NYC Communities for Change and they are assisting with tracking and follow up on FEMA, which might be helpful in speeding up the process. Consider this a back up, just in case. They have also offered to help with the process if you need it.


Third: Take pictures and keep records of what you spend on anything.


Fourth: while a complete assessment of the losses in the community will be necessary, it will be most useful if done comprehensively citywide and I am hopeful that DCA will be able to undertake this for everyone once they are completely functioning in their temporary space.


The rest of this memo is divided into a section for arts groups and a section for individuals, although there are some overlaps. I will also continue to try to sort out the range of resources and provide a follow up email with additional information.


Organizations: (There is no information as yet on emergency grants. Will continue to check.) -- list of resources, visual arts focused, but worth a quick look


For Small Businesses there are links on the SBS website that instruct LDCs and businesses on how they can apply for disaster response funding. See this link:

Also there some information on the FEMA website related to disaster assistance . On this page, click the link that reads 'New York Hurricane Sandy,' which will take you to another page with more information


Loans: Federal: Small Business Administration; ( Loans up to $2 million/ 3% interest rates for non-profits; 4% for commercial businesses. (My memory from 9/11 is that you must have registered with FEMA.) City: The city's Department of Small Business Services, which just set up a Sandy recovery website, has $5 million available to loan to small businesses. Amounts per business are capped at $10,000. For more information, call 311 and ask for NYC Business Solutions, or send in a contact request online. To get a loan, you can also locate one of the NYC Business Solutions Centers listed here:


  • 400 E. Fordham Rd., 7th floor, Bronx, N.Y., 10458. Phone: 718-960-7910
  • 9 Bond St., 5th floor, Brooklyn, N.Y., 11201. Phone: 347-296-8021
  • 79 John St., New York, N.Y., 10038. Phone: 212-618-8914
  • 168-25 Jamaica Ave., 2nd floor, Jamaica, N.Y., 11432. Phone: 718-577-2148
  • 120 Stuyvesant Place, 3rd floor, Staten Island, N.Y., 10301. Phone: 718-285-8400
  • 215 W. 125th St., 6th floor, New York, N.Y., 10027. Phone: 917-493-7243
  • 560 W. 181st St., 2nd floor, New York, N.Y., 10033. Phone: 212-928-3400

NOTE: This does not mention non-profits. I could not get a person on the phone, but will be following up to ascertain that it does. If not, please assume that it will shortly.


Dance: Dance/NYC Help them tell your story and help you by writing Lacey Althouse at Join the conversation on Twitter @DanceNYC #sandydance.


Theatre: ART/NY They are collecting information re immediate losses, Expect to provide further assistance so stay in touch with them.


Salvage Guides and/or information for visual arts, but anyone with damaged props, costumes might find help:

Galleries/Visual Artists: Sara Friedlander, Associate Vice President, Head of First Open at Christie’s in New York, is arranging space at Christie’s for artists to use their laptops and charge their phones, and may be able to assist galleries with storage space for their art. Those interested, please call (212) 468-7177.


Individuals: Space needs for shows: check


Emergency Financial Assistance: The Actors Fund (NOT limited to actors) Call: 917-281-5936 or Twitter @TheActorsFund or private message via Facebook ( Communications are confidential. Also, free Health Clinic; call 212-489-1039 to check on hours and eligibility for clinic.


CERF+ has created the CERF+ Artists’ Relief Exchange. If you know an artist who needs help and/or if you can offer help (supplies, equipment, a place to stay or work, help in clean up, etc.), please join in this Exchange. CERF+ a range of resources; (NOT limited to crafts.) 802-229- 2306 list of resources for funding for emergency relief


New York Foundation for the Arts (currently not open and not entirely clear what they will be able to do as yet)


Dancers: Dance/NYC Help them tell your story and help you by writing Lacey Althouse at Join the conversation on Twitter @DanceNYC #sandydance.




Relief & Assistance information relevant to individuals, small businesses, and organizations:


Unemployment Insurance for Freelancers:

  • If you are self-employed you could be eligible for unemployment insurance in areas where a federal declaration of a disaster has been declared. We encourage you to apply.


Federal Disaster Resources (for individuals, small businesses, and organizations):

  • Federal disaster resources will be available to you only if you register at FEMA. Go to and register as soon as you have the capacity! [FYI: New York City Arts Coalition is a good resource for arts organizations that have difficulty or questions about registering.]
  • It is also advisable to take pictures, document any damage, and keep a good record of what you spend post-Sandy.

Emergency Loans & New York City Business Assistance Programs (for businesses and organizations):

For info on Federal Loan options, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration.

  • For info on the City's Department of Small Business Services visit the new Hurricane Sandy Business Recovery site, which contains info relevant to:
    • Small- to mid-sized businesses that have experienced business interruption
    • Mid- to large-sized businesses that need to undertake rebuilding
    • Any business that is temporarily displaced from its space
    • And any business in need of other emergency assistance


Additional resources for artists and cultural organizations:


More on funding and emergency relief:


Recuperation and sustainability:

  • If you are looking for looking for alternative space to teach, to rehearse, and or produce cancelled shows, check out NYC Performing Arts Spaces.
  • For arts organizations looking to build post crisis sustainability, visit ArtsReady, a web-based emergency preparedness platform.


Conservation, wet recovery, and salvaging:

  • Get current information to identify and locate professional conservation services by checking out AIC's Find a Conservator.
  • Learn more about wet recovery with resources via the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.
  • AIC-CERT responds to the needs of cultural institutions during emergencies and disasters through coordinated efforts with first responders, state agencies, vendors and the public. For 24-hour assistance from trained volunteers, call (202) 661-8068.


For Volunteers:

  • We encourage you to visit our homepage for a list of opportunities to help out in the wake of Sandy.


Email if you have any volunteer opportunities, needs, or tips you would like to have listed with us or shared through social media.




The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced a set of services available to help small businesses recover from Hurricane Sandy. SBS will serve as the primary point of contact for an emergency loan program, and will deploy the SBS Business Outreach Team and Emergency Response Unit’s Large Scale Response Team to help reach all impacted small businesses in need of assistance.

The full set of services include:

For small- to mid-sized businesses that have experienced business interruption, $5 million is available through an emergency loan program. Loans will be capped at $10,000. Businesses should contact NYC Business Solutions staff to find out more about the application and intake process. NYC Business Solutions Centers will also coordinate with community-based-organizations in severely affected areas to help businesses with the application process.

For mid- to large-sized businesses that need to begin recovery, an emergency sales tax letter from New York City Industrial Development Authority (IDA) will be available allowing forgiveness of New York City and New York State sales taxes to businesses on materials purchased for recovery efforts. 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. Businesses can contact Shin Mitsugi at for further information on this program.

For any business temporarily displaced from its space, short-term "swing" office or storage space at Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT) is available free of charge for the next 30 days. NYCEDC has approximately 40,000 square feet of warehouse space at BAT that can be used for this purpose. Businesses in need of this space can seek additional information at Temporary space is also available at the Sunshine Bronx business incubator, one of the incubators within the City’s network, on a walk-in basis. The incubator is located at 890 Garrison Avenue in Hunts Point. In addition, NYCEDC is presently working with external partners, including the Partnership for New York City, to match displaced businesses with vacant properties in commercial space in order to get them up and running again. A website to help these businesses facilitate the program will be established in the coming days.

Federal Aid Programs for State of New York Disaster Recovery Loans are available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance, and for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster. More information can be found at, or 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Information from the Federal Small Business Administration on disaster recovery assistance is also available at

All businesses in need of assistance due to Hurricane Sandy should contact NYC Business Solutions by filling out a Contact an Account Manager form at or calling 311 and asking for “NYC Business Solutions.” More information can be found at

About the Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) makes it easier for businesses in New
York City to start, operate and expand by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, and linking employers to a skilled and qualified workforce. For more information on all of SBS’ services, go to

About the New York City Economic Development Corporation
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

Also here below I have listed some useful information from Speak Quinn's Twitter Feeds:

(1) Please share this info about how to safely use a generator:

(2) Legal Aid Society generously offering services for families & individuals affected by Sandy. or 212-577-3300 for info

(3) Loans available up to $2mil for small biz & most non-profit orgs in need of funds to recover from Sandy . Visit\

(4) Small biz & homeowner HOTLINE started TODAY --> Speak to an expert 1-855-NYS-SANDY (7263)



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