Quinn Seeks Storm Aid for Small Businesses

Cheektowaga, NY – There may be help for small businesses in Erie County that suffered damage from December's snow storm. Congressman Jack Quinn says he's seeking Small Business Administration assistance.

"My whole life is in this garage. I can't even fathom how much it would cost to put it back together again," John Drysdale, owner of the Airport Truck and Rental Center on Aero Drive in Cheektowaga, said.

He had tears in his eyes as he described the damage the heavy snows caused to his business. The roof of the repair garage collapsed, and now Drysdale's small business is shut down. He doesn't have insurance and he had to layoff his two employees.

But Congressman Quinn says there is help for Drysdale and other small businesses that suffered physical damage from last month's snows. He says in order to receive the Small Business Administration funds, Erie County must develop a list of at least 25 small businesses without insurance coverage, which were damaged by the storm.

"It's really a double whammy. They're out of business. This gentleman just explained his whole life's work has gone down the drain here and he can't go to work. He can't have employees go to work so they can get back on their feet. So without question in our mind, there really has to be a shift of emphasis here," Quinn said. "We know that FEMA is doing a great job on the municipalities. We praise them every step of the way. But we need to get the documentation now."

Two of Drysdale's employees were inside the auto repair shop when it collapsed. Fortunately no one was hurt, but Drysdale says he has lost a great deal of equipment.

"Equipment, tools, they had to come come in with an excavator to take the roof off. They hauled it away in dumpsters," he said. "I lost everything."

Small businesses that need to report damage should call 681-8481.