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Lower Manhattan Business Owners Trying To Make Comeback After Sandy

Lower Manhattan Small Businesses

Small businesses in Lower Manhattan are trying to make a comeback after Superstorm Sandy. (Credit: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Small business owners in Lower Manhattan have been trying to get going again after Superstorm Sandy, and the federal government has been trying to help them.

As CBS 2’s Drew Levinson reported Tuesday, shopkeepers plan to take advantage of the help from Washington as they begin the arduous task of returning to operation.

Marco Pasanella, owner of Pasanella and Son Vintners at 115 South St., was revved up and ready to go Tuesday. With his car back in his shop’s garage where it belonged, Pasanella said his wine shop was rebuilt and officially open again.

Sandy put his store seven feet under water, and put him out hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“We had about 10,000 bottles that were up three feet and wrapped in plastic and put in the back room, and we thought pretty secure, but when we came down the next day, they were sprayed all over the front of the store,” Panasella said.

Pasanella is one of hundreds of downtown small business owners trying to get back on his feet.

On Tuesday, U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills visited store owners, urging them to apply for grants.

“These are really the people who are vital to our community, and we know when small business gets hit, it’s very hard for a community to get up and running unless we get the businesses back and going,” Mills said.

All of the food and equipment inside Sara Williams’ restaurant, Fresh Salt at 146 Beekman St., was destroyed.

She said she hopes to be open by New Year’s, but with many large office and apartment buildings still closed downtown, customers will be the key.

“So even when we do open, if there’s no one down here, it’s going to be really hard to hang on,” Williams said.

And while there are many small businesses reopening or will soon, there are just as many still shuttered. There is no word on when they will come back to life.

The federal government has already approved about $20 million for small businesses hit by Sandy.

Are there any businesses in Lower Manhattan that you’re waiting to see come back? Please leave your comments below…