Hoboken Residents and Businesses Struggle to Get Aid

| November 16, 2012 10:47 AM video

Hoboken residents still seem a little shell-shocked by the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. About 200 of them gathered in the high school auditorium on Nov. 14 in the hopes of getting answers to their most pressing questions. FEMA is working with the Small Business Administration on grant and loan programs.

“The grant program is for the immediate needs like temporary housing, sheltering right away, immediate repairs, and then the loan program comes in for the ‘other needs assistance,’” FEMA Public Information Officer Albert Pillot said. “To get to that ‘other needs assistance,’ you need to file that loan application, so once that’s filed, if you’re denied a loan, if you’re not eligible for it, you go back to FEMA for an additional grant.”

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David Cruz of NJ Today reports a meeting between Hoboken residents and  FEMA and the Small Business Administration offficials on Wednesday. Confirmation on whether residents qualify for grants and loans can be slow in coming.

Unfortunately for some, that’s where the problem begins. Insurance companies cover some things and not others, and FEMA or the Small Business Administration don’t always fill the gap, as is the case with Marc Magliozza, whose restaurant had been closed for 10 days. His insurance company covered his inventory loss and some minor flood damage, but not the revenue he’s lost by not being able to open.

“I just don’t know why I’m paying insurance for business loss and I wasn’t able to open; I don’t know what else has to happen for me not to open,” said Magliozza, owner of Dozzino Restaurant.

Magliozza can be good-natured because he’s back in business and can start to recoup, but for newlyweds Ashik and Deepika, they lost everything when their basement apartment flooded.

“We registered immediately after Sandy with FEMA but they said they will call us back and an inspector will come but we did not get any call back. It’s been about 12 days now,” Deepika Narayanan said. “I used to love Hoboken and now, when I come back to Hoboken, it’s just not the same feeling.”

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