Businesses in dire need of disaster assistance - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Businesses in dire need of disaster assistance

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BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) -

The U.S. Small Business Administration and FEMA are helping businesses in Connecticut that were affected by Hurricane Sandy.

However, one Bridgeport company cannot wait for the money.

After Hurricane Sandy, Edco was filled with 26 to 28 inches of water and submerged wires and control panels while ruining eight large machines, which each cost about $350,000. It is unclear the full extent of the damage.

"We have people coming down to tell us what we can do," said owner Anna Marie Szalan.

The mother and son business, which makes plastic parts, has no work and was forced to lay off most of its 10 employees.

A declaration announced by Malloy on Tuesday night will allow the counties of Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London "to receive important federal assistance that will supplement the state and local recovery efforts."

The declaration will provide 75 percent federal funding for protective measures and debris removal taken by state and local agencies.

Szalan said she has applied for a low-interest loan from U.S. Small Business Administration.

"It's not just physical damage that's covered," said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said during a press conference Thursday. "If a business suffered economic losses because of the storm... some of that may be covered as well."

FEMA has already received 6,000 applications and given out about $2 million, mostly to homeowners.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has given out 900 applications. But for Szalan, the wait could be too much.

"If we could have some of the equipment back up by thanksgiving, we would be on the road upwards," she said.

The loans are available for small business owners and residents and can be turned around in seven to 10 days. The money could be in the people's hands in five days after that.

Residents and small business owners can register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA.

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