Misquamicut businesses get aid checks from local chamber to help rebuild after Hurricane Sandy

Nearly 3-months to the day after Hurricane Sandy tore into Rhode Island, businesses in Misquamicut are getting a helping hand, thanks to the local chamber of commerce.

The Sea Shell Motel was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Their entire 1st floor was wiped out by the storm and the $4,000-dollar check from the Westerly-Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce is helping them rebuild.

“We had 4-feet of water inside the building and it was like a washing machine. All of the furniture was just strewn everywhere. It was overwhelming to see it.” said Sea Shell MOtel co-owner, Debbie Stebenne.

Stebenne and her husband Tom Riley have been working day and night since the hurricane came ashore.

ALthough it might not seem like much, the $4,000-dollars from the chamber, is a big help.

“I was able to pay my contractors this week. You know I was able to keep work going. Otherwise, we're going to have to shut-down and stop. So I'm really grateful.” said Stebbene.

The Sea Shell Motel isn't alone in getting aid. It's just one of 25-Misquamicut based businesses, that got a cut of the $157,000-dollars that the Westerly-Pawcatuck Chamber has raised so far to help.

“This is really the only program that's putting direct money into the hands of small businesses.” said the chamber's executive director Lisa Konicki.

If Misquamicut businesses are going to be ready in time for beach season next year, they're going to continue to need support, as they rebuild.

“It's ongoing. This is not something that's over for us. We're still at the very beginning of this and it's a long road ahead.”said Konicki.