Riverhead IDA offers help for local businesses after Sandy

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Angie Veeck, outside her business, Pieceful Quilting on McDermott Avenue, said Sandy’s damage has forced her to move the business to Calverton.

The Riverhead Industrial Development Agency has set up a program to help Riverhead business owners deal with damage caused by superstorm Sandy last month, officials said.

The IDA is offering to work with business owners to get them the correct emergency tax letter that exempts them from paying state sales tax on materials for repairs, agency officials said. The IDA will also reduce its fees and make its normal procedure faster for businesses to get help, and will offer financial assistance for reconstruction projects costing $10,000 or more.

“We want to make as many resources available as we possibly can,” said Tracy Stark-James, the Riverhead IDA’s executive director. “We want to help small businesses rebuild and stay in Riverhead.”

Downtown business owners can also speak with representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, FEMA and the state’s Small Business Development Centers at the Suffolk County Department of Labor site in Riverhead.

Those who rent, own a home or business, or own a small agricultural cooperative located in Riverhead town may be eligible for financial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration, officials said.

“Given our limited resources here at the IDA, we are working to do everything with every agency to help all those impacted by the storm even if that just means pointing you in the right direction,” Ms. Stark-James said.

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