NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — With many small businesses seeking federal loans to recover from the damage wrought by Superstorm Sandy, New York City Council Member Domenic Recchia Jr. (D-47th) wants the federal government to give those businesses more time and lower interest rates.

Recchia said Sunday that he is calling for an extension to a Dec. 31 deadline for filing disaster loan applications with the federal Small Business Administration. He has also pressed members of Congress to lower the business loan interest rates, now 4 percent and higher.

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Recchia represents Coney Island and some other storm-swamped parts of Brooklyn. He said small business owners in his district are juggling multiple insurance and disaster assistance claims.

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The agency had no immediate response.

On Small Business Saturday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a new $5.5 million grant program to help small businesses that suffered damage to Sandy. He said banks have also pledged another $5 million to an existing $10 million emergency fund, the Associated Press reported.

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