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Mayor Bloomberg pledges $5.5 million to small businesses affected by Sandy

Mayor Bloomberg announced a program that will give grants to small businesses hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy.

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (L) views damage in the Breezy Point area of Queens in New York on October 30, 2012 after fire destroyed about 80 homes as a result of Hurricane Sandy which hit the area on October 29. (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Mayor Bloomberg announced a new grant program Saturday that will pledge $5.5 million to small businesses that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. 

The program is being funded with $5 million from the Mayor’s Fund and $500,000 from the Partnership for New York City, New York 1 reported

Bloomberg also said that that banks have pledged an additional $5 million to the city's existing $10 million emergency loan fund, the Associated Press reported

"Small businesses account for 98 percent of all businesses," Bloomberg said in his announcement. "They employ 50 percent of the people in this city. Two-thirds of them have five employees or less. So they really are the job creators of New York City."

“Getting New York City small businesses back on their feet is key to helping our economy recover from Sandy,” the Mayor continued, Patch.com reported. “The capital provided through this program will help businesses purchase supplies, make repairs, and get back up and running.”

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According to Patch.com, business owners who want to apply for a grant can visit the program's website and click on "Contact an Account Manager," or call 311 and ask for “NYC Business Solutions." 

However, several business owners told NY1 that the fund was not helpful enough, nor were the instructions to get help made clear. 

"They're not giving us enough help, and they want to charge you anywhere from 4 percent to 7 percent interest," Rich Aloi, a small business owner, told NY1. "It's all according to how much money you have."

Businesses that have been set back by the storm for three weeks or more can submit an application for a grant of up to $10,000. The money can go towards repairs, supplies, and other Sandy-related expenses, according to AP. 

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121124/mayor-bloomberg-pledges-55-million-small-busines