Superstorm Sandy delivered a one-two punch on small businesses, creating millions of dollars in damage and in turn, delivering a debilitating blow to their revenue.
But on Small Business Saturday, when shoppers are encouraged to support local businesses, those mom-and-pop stores are hoping for a rebound.
Donna Scofield and her family have sold toys at their Manhattan shop, called Stationery & Toy World, for the past 25 years. Although the store is located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where the storm did little damage, $500,000 of Scofield’s inventory, which she kept in her home and three Staten Island warehouses, was destroyed.
“Some days are easier than others,” she told ABC New York station WABC-TV last week. “We’re taking each day at a time.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that more than $45 million in loans, grants and financial assistance would be made available to businesses like Scofield’s that were hurt by the storm.
“Getting New York City small businesses back on their feet is key to helping our economy recover from Sandy,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “The capital provided through this program will help businesses purchase supplies, make repairs, and get back up and running.”
Small Business Saturday, which is going on its third year, is being celebrated nationwide.
Andrea Evans, the owner of Pink Boutique in Phoenix, said stores like hers don’t stand a chance with shoppers on Black Friday.
“Everyone’s up so early, and they’re going more for, you know, appliances and TVs and stuff like that, and I think by the time noon hits, they’re done,” she told ABC News Radio.
Over the past two decades, small and new businesses have created two out of every three net new jobs in the United States, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
It is estimated that half of all working Americans either own a small business or are employed by one.