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Flooding Relief Money Stuck In State Senate As Manayunk Businesses Struggle To Clean Up

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Businesses on Main Street in Manayunk are still reeling from last week's historic flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Some of them have no idea when business will return to normal.

Manayunk is struggling to bring back some normalcy after Main Street reopened to traffic. Some establishments hoped to be fully open Tuesday, but now there's no telling when the various businesses will be back up and running.

The Manayunk Brewing Company's coking equipment is all stored outside, and the building is covered in debris. It could be months before customers step foot back inside.

Other small businesses like Clairvoyant Monica are also damaged. Owner Monica Mitchel told CBS3 she is looking at a major financial hit.

"Our regular business insurance doesn't cover it, flood insurance was over a $1,000 a month," she said, adding, "Especially with the pandemic, I couldn't afford it. No way in the world I could afford it and a $3,000 deductible."

The Warming Store is also at a loss; much of their merchandise was damaged in flood waters. It's a major blow to a business that has called Manayunk home for six years.

"Help, help we need to get back in running. If not there won't be small businesses here. There'll be a lot 'For Lease' signs," owner Jim Rolek said.

That help may take a bit longer to kick in. State Sen. Sharif Street told Eyewitness News he's hoping federal dollars from COVID relief will help the stores and shops from going under.

"We have $5 billion in unallocated funds, We have $2 million in a rainy day fund, we have another $2 billion relief surplus," he told CBS3 last week. "We need to make sure we get the businesses the relief they need."

The senator said voters reduced Gov. Tom Wolf's ability to unilaterally declare a state of emergency, forcing storm relief money to be debated during the state Senate session in two weeks.

Sen. Street said any business owner who needs currently available funds should call his office at 215-227-6161.

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