Hurricane Sandy left Rockaway Beach Boulevard, the commercial drag of Rockaway, Queens powerless and the streets full of debris. But only two weeks after the storm, the first signs of a retail recovery can be seen in some area shop windows, Crain’s reported.
Thanks to a generator, Eden Delicatessen, at 11507 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, has “Open” written in pink across the store’s window.
“There are no lights here. People need beer!” said Bozena Brzostek, the shops owner. Brzostek estimated her losses at $200,000 in spoiled food alone and has applied for a $75,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency’s small-business loan.
A handful of other generator–powered food and hardware shops have also reopened nearby. And like Brzostek’s establishment, they are all struggling to navigate FEMA’s complex loan process. But some have simply given up after discovering that they may not be able to receive a loan until May.
“Our businesses are generally family-run mom-and-pops, and if a lot of those stores can’t get back up and running in the next week or so, a number of them will just never reopen,” Jonathan Gaska, district manager of the local Queens community board, CB 14, said. [Crain’s] —Christopher Cameron