Bruce Brodoff Communications
Bruce Brodoff Communications
Mayor Giuliani Announces First Small Business Grant Awarded to Company Affected by World Trade Center Disaster
November 14, 2001

$10,000 Grant is First to be Awarded by City's $5 Million Lower Manhattan Grant Program

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani today announced that Abhiyan USA, Inc., a small importing and software company formerly headquartered in 1 World Trade Center, is the first company to receive a $10,000 grant issued by the City's $5 million Lower Manhattan Grant Program. This program is assisting eligible small businesses suffering from the effects of the World Trade Center attack and is administered on behalf of the City by the New York Economic Development Corporation (EDC).

"The Lower Manhattan Grant Program offers substantial benefits to the companies most affected by the attack of September 11th," said Mayor Giuliani. "It is imperative that affected companies and non-profits get the kind of support they need to get back to the business of doing business in this City. This grant program will provide the assistance needed for them to achieve that goal. IÍm especially pleased with the speed in which the first grant is being issued, and expect that other small companies take advantage of this great program."

Grants of up to $10,000 will be provided to companies with 50 workers or less that apply for disaster assistance loans. Grant funds may be used to reopen businesses or defray the costs relocating from the World Trade Center area to elsewhere in New York City. The Lower Manhattan Grant Program complements the $250 million WTC Disaster Recovery Loan program established previously by the City, State, and local banks. It will also supplement the $20 million grant program for affected retailers announced yesterday by Empire State Development Corporation.

"This generous and much-needed grant will help us temporarily relocate to a new office in the Empire State Building and purchase new equipment," said Dr. Manoj Chahbra, President of Abhiyan USA. "This company was created with private investment in February 2001 and everything that was lost was a personal loss. This grant will allow us to quickly begin the recovery process, get back to servicing our customers throughout the country, and eventually find a new home in Lower Manhattan."

The grant was awarded to Abhiyan USA at the EDC-sponsored Business Assistance Marketplace held earlier this week at the Regent Wall Street Hotel. This Marketplace gave approximately 500 business owners affected by the World Trade Center disaster the opportunity to meet with organizations that can help them recover.

Seventy organizations were on hand to offer advice and assistance, including real estate and office suite companies, banks and non-profit lending institutions, utility companies, real estate and office supply matching services. Lawyers, accountants and financial counselors provided pro bono services, and City, State, and Federal agencies, including the Small Business Administration, distributed applications for assistance.

Business owners can apply for a grant by calling EDCÍs Business Assistance Hotline at 866-227-0458.

"Businesses that attended the Marketplace were able to find valuable assistance and a comprehensive range of information and services," said Robert M. Harding, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Finance. "Our new grant program will also play an important role in helping these small businesses to recover and get back to work."

"I am pleased that the EDC is a part of these two important initiatives," said EDC President Michael G. Carey. "By working together with so many diverse entities, we will accomplish our goal of making Lower Manhattan even better than it was before September 11th."

EDC is the City's primary vehicle for economic development services. Using its real estate and financial resources, EDC helps business to expand and create jobs throughout the five boroughs.

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