CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ADVANCES SUPPORT FOR SANDY-IMPACTED BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITIES
Trenton, NJ (April 8, 2014) – Building upon Governor Christie’s commitment to the recovery of businesses and communities in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) today approved loans totaling over $5.6 million for storm-impacted small businesses. In addition, seven municipalities were selected to advance under the Streetscape component of the Neighborhood and Community Revitalization (NCR) Program.
“As we approach the second summer since Superstorm Sandy, we remain fully committed to the recovery of small businesses and communities across the State,” said Michele A. Brown, EDA Chief Executive Officer. “From the Seaside Boardwalk to the City of Hoboken, today’s projects illustrate the range of assistance we are providing to aid ongoing recovery efforts.”
A combination of loans totaling $2 million was approved to support Shake Shoppe Arcade, an arcade and concession shop located on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights that experienced significant damage. Assistance includes a working capital loan up to $142,750 and a construction loan up to $988,743 under the Stronger NJ Business Loan Program, as well as a direct EDA loan of $894,974 to refinance an existing mortgage and provide additional working capital. Per U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requirements, the construction loan is contingent on a successful environmental and historical review by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
A Stronger NJ working capital loan up to $117,937 was approved to support Barnegat Light Liquor Store, a liquor and convenience store that experienced power outages and damaging surges during the storm. Family-owned By the Sea Too was approved for a Stronger NJ working capital loan up to $198,300. In addition to other damage, the Ortley Beach-based restaurant lost its outdoor enclosed porch in the storm, resulting in the loss of 50-percent of its seating capacity last season.
Stronger NJ Business loans totaling over $2.8 million were also approved for three related businesses in Seaside Heights. This includes a $457,210 working capital loan for Saddy Family Trust, which owns three properties on Boulevard in the Borough, including those that house Bamboo Bar and Karma Night Club; a working capital loan of just over $1 million for Karma Night Club; and, a working capital loan of over $1.3 million for Bamboo Bar.
The EDA also presented seven municipalities that were selected based on objective scoring criteria to advance to the next phase of the approval process under the Streetscape component of the NCR Program. The EDA advanced four municipalities under the first round in February. The Streetscape component of the NCR Program was allocated $10 million to provide grants of $125,000 to $1.5 million per project to support “Main Street” revitalization improvements in impacted communities. Projects from Round One that reached the minimum scoring threshold were rolled into Round Two for consideration.
The municipalities selected from Round One include Highlands, Asbury Park, Keansburg and Sea Isle City. The projects under Round Two that would utilize the remainder of the $10 Million allocation include South Toms River, Hoboken, Long Branch, Atlantic City, Neptune, Margate and Belmar. All projects move on to federally required environmental and historic preservation reviews by the DEP to ensure compliance with applicable federal laws and regulations.
Storm-impacted New Jersey municipalities with established traditional business districts were eligible to apply. Project evaluation criteria included: location in a HUD-designated impacted county, anticipated completion date, benefit to a low-to-moderate income community, applicant’s experience with projects of similar size and scope, and the extent to which the project will enhance the neighborhood and community at large.
For more information on the Stronger NJ Business programs, including the complete list of eligibility and eligible uses of funds, visit www.njeda.com/strongernjbusiness or call EDA’s Sandy hotline at 1-855-SANDY-BZ (1-855-726-3929).