CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION AWARDS STRONGER NJ BUSINESS GRANTS TO SMALL BUSINESSES IN MULTIPLE COUNTIES AND INDUSTRIES
Grant Funds to Support Superstorm Sandy Business Recovery in Hudson, Ocean and Monmouth Counties
TRENTON, N.J. (September 26, 2013) – Demonstrating the Christie Administration’s commitment to the recovery of small businesses in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA) today announced three Stronger NJ Business Grant awards. Architectural Hardware Inc. (AHI) in Jersey City and The Bentley Inn in Bay Head were each approved for a grant of $50,000. ShoreGrafx in Highlands is approved for nearly $27,000.
“Very few areas in New Jersey were spared the wrath of Superstorm Sandy and storm-impacted businesses from all parts of the state are encouraged to apply for assistance,” said Michele Brown, EDA CEO.. “While businesses have shown remarkable determination and self-sufficiency throughout their recovery, the Stronger NJ Business Grant Program is here to help businesses stay afloat as they strive to return to their former level of success.”
The surge from Sandy left family-owned AHI, a wholesale distributor of metal doors, frames, wood doors and finishing hardware, with five feet of water throughout its Jersey City store, resulting in a loss of inventory, equipment, and vehicles. They reopened two days after the storm, cleaning up and carrying on with their business despite being without electricity for 12 days.
”Superstorm Sandy was the most unexpected and devastating setback we have faced in the 43 years we have been in business,” according to Mary Capurso, Treasurer, AHI. “We’re getting back to where we were, but have exhausted many of our resources in the process. The assistance we have received from the Stronger NJ Business Grant program has been invaluable.”
The Bentley Inn endured major flooding, wind damage and a loss of utilities. The historic bed and breakfast located three houses from the ocean in Bay Head is using their $50,000 grant to offset the cost of various repairs, including heating and air conditioning systems, roofing, siding and window frames.
ShoreGrafx, Inc. established in 1991, a firm specializing web, graphic design and real estate, product, event, and architectural photography services, lost all of the company’s equipment when its Highlands offices were overcome by nearly seven feet of water.
“Established businesses such as ShoreGrafx are the cornerstone of our local economy, and we are happy to see them open and serving the community,” said Carla Cefalo, President, Highlands Business Partnership. “The Stronger NJ Business Grant program provides a wonderful boost to recovering businesses and we encourage all storm-impacted businesses to contact the EDA for assistance.”
Beginning May 1, storm-impacted small businesses have been able to apply for EDA administered grants of up to $50,000 through the Stronger NJ Business Grant Program. The program launched two days after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved New Jersey’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Action Plan. Governor Christie called on the EDA to administer $460 million of the state’s CDBG Disaster Recovery allocation to support the recovery of impacted businesses. The Stronger NJ Business Grant program is the first of these CDBG-funded business recovery programs and is utilizing $260 million of the allocation. The $100 million Stronger NJ Business Loan program makes low-cost loans of up to $5 million available to businesses and non-profits that were impacted by the storm, as well as businesses looking to expand within storm-impacted communities.
Eligibility for Stronger NJ Business Grants is no longer tied to whether a business has applied for a Small Business Association Loan. In some cases, businesses may be eligible for reimbursement of repair costs incurred prior to applying for a grant.
To date, over 70 businesses have been awarded Stronger NJ Business Grants totaling up to $3.7 million. Once approved for a grant, businesses have up to one year to submit receipts and invoices for eligible expenses, at which point the EDA will issue a disbursement.
For more information on the Stronger NJ Business Grant program, including the complete list of eligibility criteria and eligible uses of funds visit http://application.njeda.com/strongernjbusiness or call EDA’s Sandy hotline at 1-855-SANDY-BZ (1-855-726-3929). Applications must be received on or by October 31, 2013.
The EDA is hosting a series of workshops designed to help business owners with Stronger NJ Business Grant and Loan applications. For a calendar of upcoming workshops, visit https://www.njeda.gov/strongernjbusinessworkshops.