Local businesses in Boston lost tens of millions of dollars because of the Boston Marathon bombings, but the Back Bay Association is helping them through the crisis.
While Boston continues to deal with the legal, political, and national security fallout from the events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombings, the city and the state of Massachusetts are rallying around local businesses that suffered financially during the crisis.
The Back Bay Association, a group representing local businesses, is providing insurance claims assistance to the nearly 500 companies that lost money in the 12-block section of Boylston Street shut down by the FBI in the immediate aftermath of the bombings. One estimate from local officials states that the 10 most heavily affected businesses reported an aggregate loss of $2.3 million.
“The costs associated with having a business continued, but the revenue was eliminated,” said Meg Mainzer-Cohen, president of the Back Bay Association, in an interview with Boston.com. “It is my goal to let no business close because of this situation.”
Mainzer-Cohen estimated that losses total tens of millions of dollars. According to one local report, she has worked with city and state officials to cajole insurance companies into being generous with claims. Some businesses are worried that their insurance companies won’t cover their losses if the federal government officially declares the bombing an act of terrorism.
“The last thing on my mind was the cost of business,” said Colin Peddi, owner of Marathon Sports, on WBUR radio. “Not until today have I thought about the commerce side of things. It’s been significant. The four or five days after the marathon are in the top 10 business days of the year for us.”
Financial assistance also became available from the U.S. Small Business Administration last Friday. The SBA is providing low-interest economic injury disaster loans to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations affected by the April 15 bombings. Eligible entities may qualify for loans up to $2 million, and the loans would carry an interest rate of 4 percent.
“The Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to help small businesses and nonprofits in Massachusetts with their federal disaster loans,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mill in a statement. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority.”