Press Release
May 16, 2014
2 minute read


Additional Stronger NJ Business Loans Totaling $4 Million Approved for Five Businesses

Trenton, NJ (May 16, 2014) – Building upon Governor Christie’s commitment to the recovery of businesses and communities in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the Board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) today approved loans totaling over $2 million for Jakeabob’s, a well-known Union Beach restaurant destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

Following the storm, Jakeabob’s relocated to a building further inland, known as “Jakeabob’s Off the Bay,” which closed in April 2014.  Out of this location, which was furnished with tables made from doors of Union Beach homes destroyed by Sandy, owner Gigi Liaguno-Dorr operated a “pay-what-you-can-afford” community kitchen to help local families also struggling from the storm.

“This project is an example of the complex financial situations Sandy left in her wake and the sacrifices that so many business owners have had to make; however, it also helps to illustrate the compassion, selflessness and community spirit that businesses have demonstrated over the last year and a half,” said Michele A. Brown, EDA Chief Executive Officer. “Our team has worked hand-in-hand with this business to help them rebuild at their former location, and we are thrilled to support the return of this fixture in the Union Beach community.”

The loans to Jakeabob’s consist of $297,131 in working capital and a $1.5 million construction loan from the Stronger NJ Business Loan Program, as well as an EDA direct loan of up to $400,000 to refinance an existing mortgage. 

Since the storm, Liaguno-Dorr and her fiancé Wally Van Orden have struggled to find a way to rebuild.  “It was heartbreaking to see the business that was my life for 14 years washed away,” said Liaguno-Dorr. “I am elated that the EDA took the time to work with me to create a solution that will enable us to be part of this beautiful community once again.  An incredible weight has been lifted and I plan to start rebuilding as soon as possible.”

Other Stronger NJ Business Loans announced at the Board meeting will benefit Casa Comida in Long Branch, Charlroy Motel in Seaside Park, Malusa and Sons (Nino’s Family Restaurants) in Wildwood, Seaside Lumber in Seaside Heights, and Providence Pediatric Medical Day Care in Berlin Township. 

Providence Pediatric operates three medical day care centers in New Jersey, two in Camden and one in Atlantic City.   The company experienced wind and water damage during Superstorm Sandy and was approved for a Stronger NJ Business working capital loan for over $1.7 million.

“This loan will help us continue to help many more fragile children, and provide peace of mind to their parents, knowing their children are well cared for while they are at work,” said Leeanna Roman Lozada, President, Providence Pediatric. “As a Hispanic female, I am doubly grateful for the state’s support and belief in woman-owned businesses.”  

At the Board meeting, Brown noted that the loans to Jakeabob’s and Providence Pediatric represent part of the more than $10 million in grant and loan assistance that has been approved for 145 woman-owned businesses under the Stronger NJ Business Grant and Loan programs.

For more information on the Stronger NJ Business programs, including the complete list of eligibility and eligible uses of funds, visit or call EDA’s Sandy hotline at 1-855-SANDY-BZ (1-855-726-3929).