Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Where Has All The Money Gone? (VCs need not apply)

We all knew it to be true, and we were told by "the officials" that the effects of 9/11 were going to be long lasting. Just how long still remains to be seen, in many ways. Many people and businesses jumped on the Support Bandwagon in short time. Instantly and for months monetary support and programs came pouring in and became part of the system for those in need. And the government has extended deadlines and benefits for many programs as they determine that there are still many more people in need of assistance.

Yet, there are still thousands of individuals who didn't apply for any financial, physical, business or emotional support for a long time. Some are just now speaking up. And they are beginning to realize that the support systems are drying up. The programs that are left are either winding down or shutting down and some people are finding they just don't fit into the programs' guidelines. I would like to speak to this group, for I am finding I am among it. I'll wax personal for a moment. After running a successful enterprise for the burst, boom and bust of the technology scene in New York (and elsewhere), my business began changing significantly after the stock market crash in April 2001 and then dramatically after September 11th.

My experience was not uncommon and there are thousands of businesses in the same boat. For whatever reason (shock, disbelief, pride, pain) I did not run to the doors of those handing out assistance right away. In fact, it took me several months to get the necessary papers together and begin facing the harsh reality that my life and business were now in the middle of a very different world and that the future was very uncertain. I went down to and filed my claim for the World Trade Center Business Recovery Loan and I am now exploring other options available to me.

I would like to get a group of professionals together who are in a similar predicament and see what other options, if any, are still available. We will discuss: options for those who are self-employed, options for small businesses, unemployment, loans, grants and other venues for support. Perhaps, if we get enough support, we can petition whoever our new governor is to get this overlooked population some assistance.

Please email me if you would like to meet up with me to discuss these issues. Courtney at Pulitzer dot com