2013-07-12 / Top Stories

Sandy Impacted Businesses Get Valuable Info

By Miriam Rosenberg

Kevin Alexander, the excutive director of RDRC, and Arverne by the Sea’s sales manager Laura Sporny. Photo by Miriam Rosenberg Kevin Alexander, the excutive director of RDRC, and Arverne by the Sea’s sales manager Laura Sporny. Photo by Miriam Rosenberg “We have to begin moving forward.” That is what the executive director of the Rockaway Development and Revitalitzation Corporation told business leaders at the organization’s annual Business Card Exchange gathering – the first since superstorm Sandy.

RDRC’s Kevin Alexander said, “The best way to do that is to do the things we normally do.” For RDRC one of those things was last month’s card exchange held in conjunction with the Beechwood Organization and the Benjamin Companies at the sales offices of Arverne by the Sea.

To help in the healing process, RDRC presented representatives from several organizations who brought with them information about how businesses can get back on their feet and how business can flourish in this post-Sandy era.

A Small Business Development Center is now located at RDRC’s offices on Mott Avenue. Louis Scamardella, the center’s assistant director, explained how SBDC can help Rockaway’s businesses.

“We have in-depth knowledge and training from the SBA (Small Business Administration) regarding SBA loans, starting a business, expanding a business, minority certification, and economic disaster loans,” said Scamardella. SBDC also offers one on one counseling with business owners.

The SBDC is a state agency funded by the federal SBA. For more information Scamardella can be contacted at 718-327-5300 or louissbdc@gmail.com.

Attending the card exchange were representatives from Delta and the Port Authority. Delta is in the midst of expanding their terminal at JFK and is looking for construction contractors. Connie De Laigle was there to talk about doing business with the PA.

Nick Masem, of Arverne by the Sea, told business owners to be on the lookout for programs – FEMA, city and state – that they can take part in.

“Track the FEMA website, register on the city website – nyc.gov,” said Masem. “Pay attention to what’s going down, what’s coming up – the potential programs you can participate in.”

Masem said construction and related industries will see a lot of work under the community development block grants.

As an example Masem said that ABTS is itself “taking part in some of these programs that will have them participating in the rebuilding of some of the areas hit by Sandy.”

“There’s a lot of opportunity especially for the people of the Rockaways,” he added.

To businesses up and down the peninsula Alexander said, “Take advantage of everything that’s available to you. Otherwise, you’re not taking every opportunity.”

In additional to Arverne by the Sea, others sponsoring the event were National Grid, the Queens Economic Development Corporation, Crystal Windows and Door Systems, NYCB Banks, the Rockaway East Merchants Association and the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce.

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