|Mayor Zimmer answering questions at the U.S.Senate Committee hearing today.|
Mayor Zimmer just spoke at the hearing; GA doesn't do shorthand, so when City Hall releases the Mayor's full statement to U.S. Senate Committee for Small Business and Entrepreneurship you'll get it in full.
She gave an excellent, impassioned plea on behalf of small, ground-level businesses in Hoboken that are forced to buy flood insurance then are unfairly categorized as 'basements" thus unable to receive the coverage they are forced to buy. Zimmer described how many of these Hoboken business can't afford additional debt, like SBA loans, and have nowhere to turn.
Zimmer called this conundrum "The Insurance Trap" and stated forcefully that such businesses a few steps down from the sidewalk are not basements. She said that the categoraization of these amsll businesses by insurance companies as basements is a "trap that victimizes people in their greatest time of need."
|Zimmer read her statement to the U.S. Senate Committee.|
She said that insurance does not address Hoboken's urban-garden style businesses and asked the Committee to "take action" and have Congress change the definition of "basement" and '"address the unfair basement issue".
When questioned by Chairwoman Landrieu about how the federal government can assist Hoboken's recovery, Zimmer asked for lower interest rates and more federal grants, stressing the need for grants.
Zimmer was asked how low the interest-rates for small business (current 4-6%) should go- the mayor answered the rates should be comparable to those available for individuals (1.3%) more data-sharing with FEMA and the SBA.
|Answering question from Chairwoman Landrieu.|
Zimmer was questioned about the basement coverage issue, Zimmer stated she was told by FEMA that it would be required by Congress to change the basement issue.
Zimmer spoke about how FEMA only covers water tank boiler cover electrical panels, no stored inventory covered.
Zimmer was told by Senator Riche he was going to examine the basement issue.Chairman Landrieu told Zimmer that her statement was "excellent."
Great job, Mayor.
Let's hope the Senators take quick action to help our small business community with grants, lower interest rates and an act of Congress to cover garden-style business.