New legislation to help businesses impacted by flooding


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Congressman Joe Morelle said this new piece of legislation will help lakeside restaurants, marinas and boat yards take preventative action that would help them save money and protect their infrastructure.

The impact of flooding over the years can sill be seen in some businesses along the lake.

Owners at the CharBroil House deal with flood waters shutting down the street to their restaurant most years. 

“Our neighbors, a lot of our customers, some of our employees they’ve seen some damage to their homes so its close to home it hits home,” said Stacey Palumbo, Owner CharBroil House.

Around half of small businesses never reopen following a disaster, and COVID-19 has made it even harder.

“Now in the wake of the virus, it’s more important than ever that we take proactive steps to prepare for future flooding and to ensure our small businesses can survive any additional economic hardships,” Morelle said from a press conference held from the shores of Lake Ontario on Wednesday.

The Providing Resources for Emergency Preparedness and Resilient Enterprises or PREPARE Act will provide up to $500,000 in pre-disasters mitigation loans to small businesses to build break walls and other preventative measures.

“We must take proactive steps to adjust to the new reality of changing weather patterns and invest in long term planning and mitigation efforts to prepare our communities,” said Morelle.

Morelle said the current loan programs are meant to help businesses after flooding strikes, but this new proposed legislation would assist businesses before a disaster hits, helping to decrease the financial and physical impact of future flooding.

“That’s great it a huge stress relief, on anybody that’s going through it to be prepared for it before it happens you know just to be a head of the game,” said Palumbo.

If passed, the loans would be available through the Small Business Administration.

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