Schoharie, NY – National Grid continues its commitment to assist communities in several eastern New York counties in recovering from the devastating effects of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee and a tornado that devastated the area last Autumn. Today the company announced five local grant recipients as part of its $6 million Emergency Economic Development Program.
In late September the company proposed $6 million in Emergency Economic Development programs to help rebuild communities it serves in the New York State counties that have been declared eligible for federal disaster aid. The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) quickly approved the programs and today, National Grid has announced $125,000 in total awards to five local businesses in Schoharie County, one of the hardest hit counties in the State.
The grants are among the first made through National Grid’s Emergency Economic Development program. The five initial recipients of the funding are:
All of the businesses completed grant applications and were awarded funds to help restart their businesses, or compensate them for out-of-pocket expenses to rebuild their facilities, and maintain their presence and jobs in the Schoharie County area.
“These funds will make a big difference for our small business and should enable us to get all of our lines back up and operating more quickly,” said Susan McGiver, CEO of HARVA Plastics in Schoharie. “We employ nearly 30 people in this community and every one of us owes a debt of gratitude to National Grid for their assistance in getting us back to full speed.”
The program is part of the restoration efforts that National Grid has implemented since the storms hit the region. The Autumn weather toppled trees onto cars, homes and businesses; caused historic flooding; and even took down parts of a high-voltage transmission line, flooded an electric substation and damaged a major gas line along the Mohawk River when the swollen river washed away its banks. The combined effects of the storms and their aftermath have left many communities struggling to recover.
“We responded quickly to restore electricity and gas to the 156,000 impacted customers,” said Bill Flaherty, National Grid’s director of customer and community management. “Then we made a substantial contribution to help our customers through the Red Cross. Clearly more needed to be done, so we proposed these emergency funding programs and the PSC quickly approved the initiative. These programs will help get these communities back on their feet by providing assistance to small businesses that are the backbone of the community as a whole.”
National Grid’s proposal, which aims to fill financial gaps remaining after federal and/or state programs, insurance and other emergency sources of dollars have been utilized, includes four proposed programs:
The awards announced today are part of the Main Street Revitalization portion of the program. Those interested in applying can find more information at http://www.shovelready.com/EmergencyFunding.asp .
National Grid plans to make funds available in 2011 and 2012 to ensure that customer needs can either be met immediately or addressed as the specific need becomes more apparent. National Grid had previously announced a $1 million donation to disaster relief efforts throughout its U.S. service area and has been proactively helping its impacted customers and communities address their energy needs.
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.
In the northeast U.S., we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.
National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. It manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and owns more than 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation, providing power to more than one million LIPA customers. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
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Quotes from Regional Representatives
U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko said, "I commend National Grid for being a strong partner as we work to rebuild from the storms that devastated the region in August and September. These grants will have a positive impact on our communities by helping small businesses get back to work and providing a much needed economic boost as well."
Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) said, “Our small businesses are fighting to rebuild following the devastation of Irene and Lee. Losing them would erode our local economy as well as destroy what makes our communities unique. National Grid’s support may be the difference between businesses reopening or closing their doors for good. This first round of awards is a great start, and I encourage additional business owners and farmers to apply for assistance through this valuable program.”
New York State Assemblyman Pete Lopez said, "All of us living through the devastation, understand the importance of stabilizing our businesses, homes and farms. National Grid has proven an invaluable partner in our collective efforts to restore the Schoharie Valley and other parts of the 127th Assembly District. Programs like this give us all a little more hope. Working together, we will bring our communities back."