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Sandy and the Chocolate Factory

Jorge Farber, owner of Madelaine Chocolates, poses for portraits at his factory.

Superstorm Sandy and the Chocolate Factory

A $250,000 grant from natural gas utility National Grid helped Madelaine Chocolate start its recovery after more than four feet of water flooded the factory and left mud, rust and mold covering walls, floors and more than 100 pieces of equipment.

Small business owners who applied for grants after the Oct. 29, 2012, storm are more likely to have gotten money by now from private sources like corporations, charities and chambers of commerce rather than the government. The problem: States must, by law, follow certain steps to give grants. But a lack of planning and negative attitudes about businesses also stand in the way of getting money quickly to companies that need it.