Businesses recover physically and financially from Sandy - NBC40.net

Businesses recover physically and financially from Sandy

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LONGPORT -

We are more than a week removed from the severe rains, damaging winds, and record flooding that accompanied Hurricane Sandy and several local businesses have just begun the long road to physical and financial recovery.

Several workers were busy Tuesday to repair what was left of Ozzie's Luncheonette after Hurricane Sandy.

Ozzie's is just one of several small businesses still feeling the damaging effects of Hurricane Sandy and the flood waters the storm brought to the restaurant.

"It is in the walls so all of the walls have to come down and all the equipment is shot. Its complete devastation but we are in the process, as you can see, of rebuilding," said Ozzie's owner Likie Nika.

While physical damage is visible at Ozzie's, many businesses that withstood the storm are still suffering from financial damage left by Sandy.

The travel ban on the barrier island caused almost a week of no income for stores and restaurants.

"This really affected us with the finances. Not just us as I said, everyone. That's where it really hurt," said Sassy Exchange owner Stacy Kastel.

Business owners at Ventnor Heights Auto and Marine received 40 inches of flood water in their building.

Despite the damage, owners say their small business is not eligible for FEMA financial assistance.

"Its kind of a slap in the face, you think they're going to help us and we'll get assistance from our government but no, not if you're a business owner," said owner Karen Santoro.

At Ozzie's, the clean-up is estimated to take as long as a month.

19 inches of floodwater made its way into Ozzie's causing what owners estimate to be 100 thousand dollars in damages.

In the aftermath of Sandy, business owners are hopeful to recover despite being under a cloud of uncertainty.

"We're spending a lot of money and without really knowing what's going to be covered, what is not, I have business interruption insurance, is that going to kick in? Its all up in the air," said Nika.

Small businesses will continue to rebuild and repair in the wake of Sandy.

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