OCEAN BEACH - Sandy-damaged businesses across Long Island are waging a major battle to get back up and running for the summer season.
Across Long Island’s shore communities, businesses are rebuilding and rebounding following Superstorm Sandy. Otto’s in Freeport, Peter's Clam Bar in Island Park and Maguire's on Fire Island have also reopened their doors.
As battered businesses prepare for Memorial Day weekend and the beginning of summer, few are finding available federal or state assistance. Business owners don't qualify for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and must instead apply for federal small business loans.
The U.S. Small Business Association has handed out more than 12,000 applications in Nassau, but only 491 have been approved. In Suffolk, nearly 5,000 applications were requested, but only 190 have been approved.
SBA spokesman Walter Oden admits the loan and grant approval process has been slow.
"There are still a number of applications that are sort of still in a queue, and you will see approvals continue to be processed, so not all is lost," Oden says.
Nearly every business owner who talked to News 12 Long Island says rebuilding will make for a great summer, despite all the financial disappointments.