The Christie Administration announced today that significant progress has been made this summer in the award of recovery grants and loans to small businesses in Superstorm Sandy impacted communities around the state through the Stronger NJ Business Programs, which are administered by the NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA).
Since Memorial Day weekend, more than 280 businesses have been approved for Stronger NJ Business Grants and Loans totaling over $23.7 million. To date, more than 800 businesses have been approved for grants and loans totaling $88.4 million.
“I am hearing very encouraging news from business owners about the way this summer has gone, particularly in the tourism sector,” said Governor Christie. “Small businesses have worked hard to recover and many are now reaping the rewards of those efforts.”
Recent grant approvals include businesses from impacted communities in both North and South Jersey, including Dillon’s Creek Marina in Island Heights, Writer’s Relief in Wood Ridge, Kitchen and Bath Design Gallery in Union, Barlow Flower Farm in Wall, and Coastal Plumbing and Heating in Cape May. Stronger NJ Business Loans have been approved for businesses including Coin Castle Amusements in Seaside Heights, Shelly’s Food Store in Jersey City, and Lakewood Candies in Lakewood. Stronger NJ funds are still available for businesses that started the application process prior to the December 31st deadline, and EDA is actively working with program applicants.
“We were able to rebuild in the seven months following the storm, and get open for the 2013 season. It was a bit of a struggle last year, as business wasn’t as strong and people just weren’t coming down as much,” said Karen Rosania, Owner, Mr. Tee’s Golf, Beach Haven. “This year we have seen a great improvement. Mr. Tee’s would not have made it without the Stronger NJ Business Grant program.”
Rosania first applied for the program at an EDA-hosted workshop at the NJ Maritime Museum last fall. Many workshops were held in impacted communities throughout the application period to help business owners navigate the requirements of the program.
In addition to grant and loan support, $43.6 million has been approved under the Stronger NJ Neighborhood and Community Revitalization Program, which provides funding to Sandy-impacted municipalities for long-term economic revitalization priorities in their communities.
The Stronger NJ Business programs are funded through New Jersey’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) allocation from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Similar to other Superstorm Sandy relief grant programs, there are strict federal eligibility requirements to which the EDA and applicants must comply.
For more information on the Stronger NJ Business programs, visit http://application.njeda.com/strongernjbusiness or call EDA’s Sandy hotline at 1-855-SANDY-BZ (1-855-726-3929).
Click here for a Stronger NJ Business Recap Video.