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Governor Dannel Malloy says storm aid to Conn. businesses to top Irene

HARTFORD — Governor Dannel P. Malloy said Friday that he expects the number of applications from Connecticut businesses and homeowners for federal disaster assistance following Hurricane Sandy to surpass those filed after the remnants of Hurricane Irene hit last year.

During a conference call with chambers of commerce, he said 948 businesses and 3,832 homeowners have already ­applied for financial help from the federal government. That is compared with 1,321 businesses and 5,654 homeowners filing applications over a long period of time following Irene.

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‘‘This is certainly going to surpass our prior storm, Irene, where we did a lot of this work. And I think it’s going to surpass quite a bit, ultimately,’’ he said, adding that the administration wants to make sure no one loses the opportunity to seek benefits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration.

Friday’s call focused on aid available to business. The Small Business Administration has set up centers, along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in Bridgeport, New Haven, Greenwich, Old Saybrook, Guilford, Groton, Milford, and Pawcatuck, where businesses can learn more about loans for damage or a cash flow interruption and ­receive one-on-one assistance.

They can also apply for loans online at www.sba.gov/sandy or call 800-659-2955, seven days a week.

‘‘We are in a position to speedily turn these things around,’’ said US Small Business Administrator Karen Mills, who has toured Connecticut’s hard-hit shoreline and visited with business owners.

Peter Gioia, vice president and economist at the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said he expects that some businesses affected by the storm will not survive. He said the ability of a business to survive serious storm damage can depend on how long they can last without cash flow during rebuilding and whether they are able to get insurance coverage to rebuild and at what cost.

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