The World Trade Center Small Business Recovery Fund (WTCSBRF) targets small businesses in the five boroughs of New York City that were affected by the terrorist attacks in September, 2001. The event dislocated, disrupted or destroyed nearly 18,000 businesses, the majority of them small businesses. The SBDC, NYBDC, and founding sponsors of the WTCSBRF - including American Express, Deutsche Bank, and Principal Financial Group – agreed that immediate action was needed. They understood that the longer it takes businesses to recover after a disaster, the less likely they are to stay in business.
Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to disaster impacts and losses because they generally have inadequate cash reserves, less ability to get capital, and are unprepared to cope with disastrous events. The September 11 attacks inflicted casualties and material damages on a far greater scale than any other terrorist aggression in recent history. Lower Manhattan lost approximately 30 percent of its office space and a number of businesses ceased to exist. After five years, there are still businesses struggling to survive, primarily because of significant changes in the community and customer base.
The founders of the Fund recognized that in addition to assisting businesses in the impact area at the time of the event, there was a need rebuild the business community. Therefore, the Fund also supports businesses that want to start operation in or to relocate to lower Manhattan. These new businesses will replace some of the many businesses lost as a result of the disaster.
When the Fund was established in 2001, the founders anticipated that it would be needed beyond the immediate aftermath of the disaster. They wanted to ensure the long-term recovery of small businesses crippled by the event. Their assessment was correct. In addition to the costs of recovery, businesses may experience higher operating costs because of increased spending on security, higher insurance premiums, and longer wait times for activities. They will need in-depth advisement and funding to support their rebuilding efforts and to plan for the future. Therefore the Fund continues to be active, and to support the rebuilding of the business community in New York City.
To apply for a loan from the World Trade Center Small Business Recovery Fund, contact the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC) at 1-800-923-2504.
To contribute, send contributions to:
World Trade Center Small Business Recovery Fund, Inc.
c/o The New York Business Development Corporation
P.O. Box 738
Albany, New York 12201-0738
Within New York State
Tel: (800) 732-SBDC (7232)
Outside New York State: (518) 944-2840
The fund is administered and underwritten by the New York Business Development Corporation and the WTCSBRF, Inc. All contributions go directly to the small businesses for recovery efforts.