Currently, Eater's map of restaurants still closed after hurricane Sandy (updated weekly) features 72 businesses. Some hope to reopen by the weekend (Randazzo's), some hope to open in January (Totonno's), and other's have little hope of return. But whatever stage in the recovery process business owners find themselves in, the Mayor's Office would like to help.
The office reached out to Eater to remind readers and restaurant owners that there are new programs in place that could help accelerate the reopening process. First, for those still looking for financing, the city is offering $25,000 loans with zero interest for the first six months and one percent for the next 24 months. They're also offering a $10,000 matching grant for businesses who secure a $10,000 loan from a bank. There is now a tax exemption on certain rebuilding equipment, Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available for many, and they're offering free co-working space and supplies. The Mayor's Office also can assist anyone through the process of applying for federal loans and grants. See the NYC Business Solutions site for more info.
Those who already have the capital to reopen may want to get in touch with the city's Restoration Business Acceleration Team. Their job is to partner with businesses and help them communicate with upwards of 10 city agencies and cut through city red tape. They figure out what inspections and permits restaurants need, help the schedule and coordinate the inspections, and fast track the reopening process. These services are offered to any and all businesses affected by Sandy, and reps at the Mayor's Office promise there are people at the ready right now—no bureaucratic backlog—to get the process started. Just call 311 and ask for RBAT or complete and email this form to email@example.com.