Created on January 29, 2013
On Thursday, January 3rd, 2013, the 113th Congress was sworn in and began the new legislative session. One of its first acts came on Friday, January 4th, when the House and Senate passed a bill providing $9.7 billion in aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy. Signed by President Obama on January 6, the aid comes in the form of increased borrowing authority for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) so that it remains able to meet its obligations and compensate survivors of the natural disaster.
Created in 1968, NFIP remains the primary option for flood insurance coverage for home and business owners. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) requirements to reduce the risk of flooding. According to the program, almost 40% of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster because just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. From 2007 to 2011, the average commercial flood claim was over $75,000.
Everyone should know their flood risk, even if they're not in a flood zone. For more information on NFIP please visit http://www.floodsmart.gov .
New York Approves Legislation to Strengthen Minority and Women-owned Business Program
On Monday, January 7, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law Intro 911, which helps strengthen the Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) program by building on the achievements of Local Law 129, passed in 2005.
Signed in 2005, Local Law 129 created a new Minority and Women-owned Businesses Enterprise Program in New York City. This increased the number of firms certified to participate in the program from 700 to more than 3,500, with certified firms winning more than $3 billion in City contracts over the life of the program. Intro 911 seeks to further increase the participation by minority and women-owned firms in city contracts by removing the program’s $1 million cap on contracts as well as increasing the value of program-eligible contracts from $400 million to $2.2 billion.
For more information on this program and other capacity-building programs in New York City please visit www.nyc.gov/nycbusiness .