CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES APPROVAL OF FIRST MARINA FOR STRONGER NJ BUSINESS GRANT
Approval Follows New Policy Expanding Marina Eligibility Announced Last Month
TRENTON, N.J. (September 12, 2013) – Demonstrating the Christie Administration’s commitment to the recovery of small businesses in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) announced today that Fish Finder Marine in Brigantine is the first marina approved for a $50,000 Stronger NJ Business Grant. In August, the Christie Administration announced the state had finalized a policy broadening eligibility criteria to support marinas impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
“We worked hard to ensure that New Jersey’s many small and family-owned marinas would be able to take advantage of the Stronger NJ Business Grant Program as they continue to recover and rebuild,” said Michele Brown, CEO of the EDA. “As a key segment of our economy, it is important that every impacted marina in the state knows that funding is available to them. Help is just a phone call away.”
According to the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey, the state’s marina population suffered a total loss estimated to be $100 million in the storm. Fish Finder Marine endured over $150,000 worth of damage, including the loss of its service center’s electronic diagnostic equipment, a forklift and major damage to its facilities.
Kimberly Fumo, Owner, Fish Finder Marine said, “We appreciate the steps the State took to understand our industry’s challenges and clarify our eligibility. We are grateful for the grant, which will help us get back on our feet.”
To provide disaster relief money to marinas in need while remaining consistent with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding regulations, the Christie Administration and HUD developed a policy to distinguish yacht clubs and marinas supported by private membership from marinas that provide access and services needed to enjoy the waterways. These businesses provide boat slips, public boat ramps, fuel, fishing supplies, restaurants, boat maintenance and more. Notably, marinas that support commercial activities remain eligible for Stronger NJ Business Grant assistance.
The EDA will host a Stronger NJ Business Grant Workshop for marinas on September 24th at the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, 130 Great Bay Blvd., Tuckerton, NJ. To schedule your appointment with a business advisor, please contact Patience Purdy at (609) 858-6924 or PPurdy@njeda.com. Appointments are available, but not required.
The Stronger NJ Business Grant program offers grants of up to $50,000 to New Jersey businesses damaged by the storm. The program launched in May, following HUD’s approval of 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 utilizing $260 million of the allocation. The EDA also is administering the $100 million Stronger NJ Business Loan Program and the $75 million Stronger NJ Neighborhood and Community Revitalization Program.
For more information on these programs, visit http://application.njeda.com/strongernjbusiness or call EDA’s Sandy hotline at 1-855-SANDY-BZ (1-855-726-3929).
EDA business advisors are located at One-Stop Career Centers in the nine most impacted counties to help businesses with the application process. The Atlantic/Cape May County One-Stop is located at 2 South Main Street, Pleasantville, NJ. It is open Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Ocean County One-Stop is located at 1027 Hooper Ave, Building 6, Toms River, NJ. Hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are suggested, but not required.