CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION APPROVES AID TO FIRE-IMPACTED BUSINESSES ON SEASIDE BOARDWALK
Existing Recovery Programs Available to Seaside Communities
Trenton, NJ – In support of the Christie Administration’s efforts to drive the recovery of Seaside Heights and Seaside Park following last week’s fire, the Board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) today officially approved the allocation of funding to support the rebuilding of these communities that was announced last weekend.
The Board approved the allocation of $5 million from the Stronger NJ Neighborhood and Community Revitalization (NCR) Program to support post-fire demolition and debris removal of the damaged public and privately owned structures. Also approved at the meeting was a resolution to allow for mitigation efforts and rebuilding of public infrastructure to the extent allowable by HUD.
Supported through New Jersey’s Community Development Block Grant- Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) allocation, the NCR Program was launched last month to provide financial assistance to support 1) development and public improvement projects; 2) main street revitalization; and, 3) Community Development Financial Institutions providing loans to small businesses.
“The area of Seaside Heights and Seaside Park that was impacted by the fire represents a critical hub of business and employment,” said Michele Brown, CEO, EDA. “The unsafe conditions and additional business losses caused by the fire have not only greatly exacerbated the impact from Superstorm Sandy, but have also created a dangerous health and safety hazard which must be addressed immediately.”
In addition, small businesses previously impacted by the storm and located within the fire-affected areas are encouraged to apply for the EDA’s other CDBG-funded business recovery programs to rebuild and re-open. Under the Stronger NJ Business Grant Program, grants and forgivable loans of up to $50,000 per impacted location are available. The Stronger NJ Business Loan Program offers loans of up to $5 million, with no interest or principal payments for two years.
In some cases, this CDBG-DR assistance may be new for the business and in some cases it may be an increase in the level of existing assistance. With approximately 50 businesses impacted, the EDA expects to advance approximately $10 million of grant and loan funding to these businesses.. All requirements of the Stronger NJ Business programs will remain in effect and consistent with HUD regulations. Any business that does not meet HUD requirements for funding will be reviewed for other assistance with other EDA, non-CDBG resources.
“The steps we have taken to help the victims of the Seaside fire will not adversely affect any Sandy-impacted business that has applied for grant or loan funding. We encourage all business with damage from the storm to apply, as sufficient funds are available to assist any eligible business that needs a Stronger NJ Business grant or loan,” said Brown.
Following the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approval of New Jersey’s CDBG- DR Action Plan, Governor Christie called on the EDA to administer $460 million of the state’s allocation to support the recovery of impacted businesses and communities. To speak with a business advisor about the Stronger NJ Business programs, businesses should call EDA’s Sandy Hotline at 1-855-SANDY-BZ (1-855-726-3929) between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit www.njeda.gov.