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Our New Jackson Heights Office Helped us Weather Sandy

Hurricane Sandy reminded New Yorkers of the importance of having a disaster preparedness plan. Little did we know, when we opened our new BCNA office in Jackson Heights this year, that it would would be our own backup resource.

As many of our clients, particularly those in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, suffered devastating losses, our own downtown Broadway office was affected as well. Not only did subway outages make it impossible for most of our staff to get there, the building was without heat for a week. And even though power and heat have been restored, we are still are struggling to work around problematic phone and internet access.

Fortunately our new office in Jackson Heights, Queens never lost power, phones, heat or internet access. Not only that, but Senior Loan Officer and Office Manager Vish Dasma lives within walking distance so he didn’t miss a day. Our Queens office was our main communications hub as we disbursed over 30 emergency cash flow loans to affected clients.

We are viewing our Queens office with an increased sense of pride and respect and already making plans to expand our presence there. In FY 2012, our Microloan clients in QueensQueens office generated 28 loans for a total of $339,500, a 100% increase from the previous year. We are also very pleased with our collaboration with the Queens Public Library where loan officers Vish Dasma, Dong Tran, and Maria Paulino conducted 12 workshops entitled How to Start and Run a Successful
Business  to over 240 aspiring entrepreneurs.

Having two offices helps ensure that, no matter what the crisis, we will find ways to help our clients weather setbacks so that their businesses grow and prosper. Here’s hoping that we’ll learn valuable lessons from Hurricane Sandy and that 2013 will be a year of growth and prosperity for all.