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Federal Assistance Available for Residents/Businesses Impacted by July 2023 Flood; Freedom Colors Mural To Be Unveiled In Village of Haverstraw; Briefs

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Federal Assistance Available for Residents/Businesses Impacted by July 2023 Flood

Governor Kathy Hochul is making federal assistance available to New Yorkers in Ontario, Orange, and contiguous counties impacted by last year’s early July flood event. Residents and businesses are eligible to apply for U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest loans to aid in recovery from the July 9-10, 2023, severe weather event that resulted in significant damage to homes and businesses.

Loan Applications Available Online

“After devastating floods caused extreme damage across New York last July, I’m thankful for the federal assistance that will help relieve New Yorkers and small businesses that have suffered,” Hochul said. “My administration is working directly with FEMA to ensure our local government partners receive the critical funding they need to recover and rebuild.

Staff from the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) and local government partners conducted a thorough assessment of the damages related to this storm directly after the event, which resulted in Hochul’s request to FEMA for Individual Assistance.

Earlier this year, FEMA denied the Governor’s request, which makes these loans vital to those seeking recovery.

Homeowners, residents and businesses in Ontario and Orange counties, as well as the contiguous counties of Monroe, Wayne, Seneca, Yates, Steuben, Livingston, Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester, Rockland, are now eligible for the SBA loans. SBA loans can be very helpful to eligible parties who need financial assistance to get on the road to recovery following weather-related disasters and other emergencies.

The following groups may be eligible for SBA disaster loans:

Homeowners: up to $500,000 to repair their primary residence.

Homeowners and renters: up to $100,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Business owners: up to $2,000,000 for the replacement of real property, inventories, machinery, equipment, and other physical losses.

Businesses and non-profits: Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2,000,000 to provide necessary working capital until normal operations resume after a disaster.

New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “Residents and businesses in Ontario, Orange and other nearby counties experienced damage from rainfall that exceeded eight inches in 24 hours in some areas. We are thankful that Governor Hochul and our federal partners have worked to secure access to these low-interest loans that will help homeowners, renters and businesses recover from the losses this storm created.”

Freedom Colors Mural to Be Unveiled in Village of Haverstraw

“Freedom Colors,” by Turkish Muralist Sitki Dogan, was the winning design of a months-long Call for Artists last fall spearheaded by Haverstraw Riverwide Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting cultural enrichment and community engagement through the arts.

The first of four murals planned in this historical project was issued through a grant given to Haverstraw Riverwide Arts by the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) of the State of New York.

Riverwide Arts is the the first non-profit group to receive funding from DRI.

The mural is located at Haverstraw African American Memorial Park (HAAMP), 41 Clinton St. The park is a partnership between the Haverstraw African American Connection and the Village of Haverstraw.

With a career spanning over two decades, Dogan’s murals have graced urban landscapes worldwide, capturing the essence of communities and their stories with remarkable depth and clarity.

“I am honored to have been selected for this project, said Mr. Dogan. “My goal was to tell the story of the African American connection to the development and history of Haverstraw. I hope the art speaks to that.”

The Call for Artist was undertaken by WeStaf/CaFe for Riverwide Arts, with more than 25 applicants from 10 states and Australia submitting their work and concept ideas for both wall and pavement murals. The focus was to celebrate the rich history and heritage of African Americans in the Haverstraw community.

The judging panel consisted of local area art administrators, businesspeople, professional artists and Haverstraw Riverwide Arts board members. They reviewed 248 images.

“This is truly a manifestation of what Haverstraw Riverwide Arts is all about – supporting our community, other organizations here and bringing people together to stimulate dialogue – through the Arts, said Andrea Cacuro, Vice President. “We are looking forward to our second of four mural projects. Call for Artists to be announced in the coming months.”

To coincide with Juneteenth,a special ceremony featuring locals and state officials to unveil the “Freedom Colors” mural and a statue of Harriet Tubman will be held on Saturday, June 15th at

3:00 pm at the Haverstraw African American Memorial Park, 41 Clinton Street, Haverstraw. For more information about Haverstraw Riverwide Arts, future Call for Artists and upcoming events please visit

Orange Bank & Trust Company Promotes Anthony Pili to Chief Innovation Officer

Orange Bank & Trust Company has named Senior Vice President Anthony Pili to serve as Chief Innovation Officer, a newly created position responsible to keep the bank competitive in technology.

“We’re delighted to have Anthony guide Orange Bank & Trust’s growth in the rapidly evolving banking and financial technology sector,” said Michael Gilfeather, Orange Bank & Trust Company President and CEO. “Creating this role will ensure Orange Bank & Trust is at the helm of technological changes to improve outcomes for clients. Anthony has demonstrated immense leadership in fostering a culture of innovation at the Bank, which has resulted in a product and service suite that is competitive with the nation’s largest financial institutions.”

Pili joined Orange Bank & Trust in 2018 as 1st Vice President, Director of Cash Management, and two years later assumed responsibility for the Marketing Department in advance of the Bank’s initial public offering and listing on NASDAQ. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President at Greater Hudson Bank, where he managed the Westchester County market and was Director of Strategic Planning, overseeing cash management, marketing, renewable energy lending and SBA programs.

Pili is a recipient of Rockland County’s 40 under 40 Award, the Westchester County Business Journal Milli Award, and the Credit Union National Association’s Diamond Marketing Award. He serves on the Rockland Career Development Board, and previously served on the boards of United Way of Rockland County, Habitat for Humanity Rockland, and the Westchester Bankers Association.

In his role as Director of Cash Management, Pili has helped lead Orange Bank & Trust to be a technology leader in digital banking and payments. As a result, Orange Bank & Trust has helped New York based businesses, non-profits and municipalities streamline their finances, decrease banking costs, reduce risk and gain operational efficiency by leveraging the Bank’s technology, the bank said in a press release.

In January 2024, the Bank announced another newly created position with the appointment of Redwan Ahmed as Chief Information Officer, a technology industry expert with more than 20 years of experience advising Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, TD, Accenture and Ernst & Young.

“In today’s rapidly changing landscape, embracing technology and fostering a culture of innovation is essential. By challenging the status quo to develop new banking services, we can continue to provide clients with cutting-edge industry leading solutions,” said Pili. “At the same time, we are committed to delivering the white glove service that our clients have come to expect. I am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside the markets brightest bankers while helping the area’s leading businesses, non-profits and municipalities achieve their goals.”