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Ida’s Aftermath: Business Owners In Hard-Hit Mamaroneck Keeping Their Spirits Up As Recovery Continues

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MAMARONECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Two weeks ago Wednesday the rain fell, the water rose, and downtown Mamaroneck was flooded.

Businesses in the Westchester County village are working to recover, but the process requires patience, hard work, and a good measure of optimism, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.

At School of Rock, the screaming guitars have been replaced by a different soundtrack, as workers remove drywall and clean up the mess the remnants of Hurricane Ida left behind.

“We lost all of our equipment, amps, speakers, guitars. It’s a lot of money,” School Of Rock’s Vanessa Ridder said of her business’ six-figure loss.

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Throughout Mamaroneck, epic piles of garbage remain, two weeks after the massive flooding receded.

The losses are eye-popping. Just in terms of coolers and refrigerators, Juarez Restaurant took about a $30,000 hit. The owners were finally able to meet with contractors Wednesday to formulate a rebuilding plan.

“We’re hearing from contractors, you know, there’s a back-up in equipment. It might not be for two, three months that all that gets shipped and delivered. It’s gonna be a while, but we’re gonna come back from it,” Mario Juarez said.

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That optimism shines on banners in the business district. Just above the flood water line, a locksmith posted a promise to return bigger and better. At the hard hit UFC Gym, the owner is punching back at misfortune.

“If I let my spirits go down, it trickles down to my staff,  to the members, and then I’m really out of business. So I gotta stay upbeat no matter what,” Dean Ballantoni said.

He’s holding classes outdoors and grateful for clients who are sticking with him.

A few blocks away, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is set up at Village Hall, along with the Small Business Administration.

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“We have excellent coverage for them in the form of small disaster loans for businesses, that could be up to $2 million, with a small interest rate and repayment capability in 30 years,” the SBA’s Liliana Tschanett said.

Rocked by Ida, downtown Mamaroneck is cleaning up and moving on.

The SBA also has assistance for businesses that didn’t suffer physical damage, but have suffered economically due to impact on foot traffic in the flood zone.

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