Months after Hurricane Sandy, some Bronx businesses that did not sustain much or any physical damage at all are still struggling. Now, the borough's Chamber of Commerce is offering to give their owners a helping hand. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
Captain Mike's Diving appears just fine. Water from Hurricane Sandy didn't ravage the structure, but it has washed away some business.
"This is a recreational sport, so that gets put to the side," said Mike Carew, owner of Captain Mike's Diving. "Classes were decent prior to the storm. After that, it kind of shuts down. Everybody now has other priorities."
Recouping those losses has been no easy task, especially when there's little to no physical damage to show to his insurance company or the government.
"For example, I didn't get any real physical damage, but loss of business," Carew said. "How do you claim that?"
The Chambers of Commerce from each of the five boroughs have partnered in a plan to organize merchants in retail strips with the help of a $200,000 grant from TD Bank.
The Bronx Chamber of Commerce is using that money to show its business owners how to best help themselves.
"It's allowed us the point to go out and educate them and let them know what they're entitled to," said Lenny Caro, president of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. "Whether it's funding from SBA, SBS, if they're able to have some insurance issues, that we would be able to direct them in that type of a direction,"
Even though the grant money is not enough to really help all Bronx businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy if dispersed among them, business owners on City Island said it's the education that will be important for the long haul.
"That's going to be something that's going to be continuing," Carew said. "You get the money one shot and it's gone. Or maybe, if you don't learn how to do it, now you get educated on how to do it, maybe you don't need the guidance on the second step. You know how to take care of it."
The chamber hasn't received the grant money yet, but has identified City Island and East Tremont Avenue in Tremont as business districts that can use the help.