The Issue: Small Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Sandy
On Tuesday, October 30, the East Coast awoke to the effects of Hurricane Sandy. Winds of up to 80 miles per hour, a storm surge of nearly 14 feet, and enough rain to close the New York Stock Exchange—the first time weather has closed it since 1888—left millions of workers stuck at home and hundreds of stores closed and flooded, the New York Daily News reported. Wind damage and loss of power have impacted homeowners, and this, coupled with a severely damaged transit system, has affected businesses as well. Small and privately owned businesses are especially vulnerable, and the initial results of such a weather system, combined with the lingering impact of a recovering population, could prove an insurmountable challenge for many. According to an article from the New York Times, economic losses from the storm could range from $10 billion to $20 billion.
The Campaign: Funding Microloans for Affected Businesses
Every $5, $10, or $25 donation to this Grassroots campaign will help Accion East and Online fund microloans to assist small businesses as they recover from Hurricane Sandy. Accion will serve as an economic first responder, using its deep relationships within the communities to help pinpoint where financial aid could have the most impact. Each microloan will aim to meet the immediate needs of local business owners, funding reconstruction and equipment purchases, as well as inventory replacement and additional working capital.
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Accion East and Online
Since opening its first US office in Brooklyn more than two decades ago, Accion East and Online has been committed to supporting communities and strengthening small businesses. By assisting entrepreneurs in acquiring capital despite limited collateral and credit history, the organization has helped to bolster the economy during its ups and downs, and helped to produce jobs. Each microloan, which ranges between $500 and $50,000, lets small businesses purchase the necessities to start, expand, and thrive. Today, Accion has provided more than $119 million through 19,000 microloans, and helps businesses not only along the East Coast, but nationwide through in-person and online loan applications.