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New York's Small Businesses Continue to Suffer After 9/11 - 2002-06-04

Thousands of small businesses in New York City are facing closure because of lasting effects from the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Many small businesses in New York City continue to suffer as a result of the terrorist attacks.

In the vicinity of Ground Zero, the site of the former World Trade Center, many businesses have yet to re-open. They have fallen behind on rent and now face eviction proceedings.

In an effort to help ailing small businesses, the "9-1-1 Small Business Court Assistance Project" has been created by the New York City Civil Court, the New York City Bar Association and several private law firms. Program officials say it is designed to speed the handling of disputes between small businesses and their landlords.

City Council Speaker Gifford Miller has said that without help for the businesses, the situation is grim. "You know, for a lot of small businesses it is true that justice delayed is justice denied. If they can not get their cases resolved quickly, they are just going to go out of business. They may win the case later, but it will not matter, because their business will not exist," Mr. Miller said.

Program officials have said the Court Assistance Project will also provide mediation and legal services to injured businesses free of charge.