Mamaroneck business unable to get FEMA aid needed to recover from Hurricane Ida

A small business in Westchester says they’ve been unable to receive help needed from FEMA to recover from damages caused over six months ago by Hurricane Ida.

News 12 Staff

Mar 22, 2022, 9:37 PM

Updated 844 days ago

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A small business in Westchester says they’ve been unable to receive help needed from FEMA to recover from damages caused over six months ago by Hurricane Ida.
Many New Yorkers were left with destruction to repair after Hurricane Ida brought rain and floods in September 2021.
Joe Viazzo, the general manager of Center for Green Building in Mamaroneck, says his office was left with over 3 feet of water.
"In a space of six hours, this whole area was flooded. We have a flood line marked on the wall,” Viazzo says.
Center for Green Building has repaired all physical damages since then, but its stock and bottom line are still impacted.
"After replacing all the things that we could with the money that we had, there was no aid that came from insurance or from FEMA,” Viazzo says.
Since Center for Green Building is a small business, Viazzo says they were only eligible to apply for a low interest loan from FEMA.
"The FEMA application process, the first time through, took three months. It wasn't until December that they denied our request,” he says.
FEMA responded with a denial due to paperwork not matching the previous record.
Viazzo says the company tried to apply again.
"We went ahead and hired a professional to file our FEMA paperwork as well,” he says.
Viazzo says this took another three months, but the company still wasn’t able to get funds.
“We're not even in a position where we're asking FEMA for a bailout, we're just asking for the opportunity to get back on our feet,” he says.
According to the FEMA website, 40,000 New Yorkers from approved counties, including Dutchess and Westchester, have been approved for FEMA disaster assistance since September.
A FEMA spokesman tells News 12 that "the mention of 'low-interest loans' usually means there was correspondence with the SBA. If that’s the case, the survivor may need to contact the SBA as FEMA cannot assist with SBA determinations."


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