New York marina honored for Sandy recovery

A New York marina will be one of three companies recognized by the Small Business Administration for disaster recovery.

Conrad Kreuter, president of Moriches Inlet Marine, Inc., will receive the 2015 Phoenix Award for Outstanding Small Business Disaster Recovery at a White House ceremony May 8.

Since 1998, the SBA has presented Phoenix Awards to business owners, public officials and volunteers who displayed selflessness, ingenuity and tenacity in the aftermath of a disaster, while contributing to the rebuilding of their communities. The event is part of a U.S. Small Business Administration National Small Business Week.

Conrad Kreuter’s retail shop and marina in East Moriches, N.Y., typically stores about 500 boats each year.  With a background in electrical engineering, his mind envisioned—with dread—the extent of the damages to the marina after Hurricane Sandy devastated the area on October 29, 2012.

What he found was shocking. Windows were broken and the destroyed walls exposed insulation and wiring. Sand and seaweed were attached to everything. Wet papers, twisted supply racks and light fixtures littered the floor, and the smell of dead fish was overwhelming.

Moving quickly, Kreuter created a chart to plot out the first tasks needed to mount a successful recovery.  The damage was estimated at $825,000.

Kreuter kept his suppliers informed about his recovery efforts, and they in turn became a valuable resource.  One vendor sent their salespeople to help Kreuter and his team remove debris and restock shelves. An SBA disaster loan allowed Kreuter to keep his staff employed, rebuild the business within six months of the storm, and contribute to the restoration of the local economy, which depends on the vibrant marina industry.

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