CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION AWARDS STRONGER NJ BUSINESS GRANT TO CRYSTAL’S BEACH SALON IN ORTLEY BEACH
Ocean County Salon Approved For $48,999 in Grant Funds to Support Business Recovery
TRENTON, N.J. (July 9, 2013) – Demonstrating the Christie Administration’s commitment to the recovery of small businesses in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Michele A. Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) announced that Crystal’s Beach Salon in Ortley Beach has been approved for $48,999 through the Stronger NJ Business Grant Program. The grant will support the family-owned and operated business in its rebuilding process as a result of damage from Sandy.
“Local businesses like Crystal’s Beach Salon are one of the most important elements of the economy of our shore towns, especially now during our Sandy recovery efforts,” said Brown. “The Stronger NJ Business Grant Program will help businesses stay in the area to rebuild and grow well into the future. Small businesses help to create jobs and attract people to live and work in Ocean County and nurture a thriving tourist industry.”
Located in Ortley Beach since 2011, Crystal’s Beach Salon is a full-service salon offering beauty and spa treatment services. The business was overcome by seven feet of water during Superstorm Sandy, resulting in the loss of its entire inventory and furnishings. After remodeling to return the salon to its original state, it reopened Memorial Day weekend.
“We have enjoyed being a part of the Ortley Beach community since we opened Crystal’s Beach Salon in 2011, and the Stronger NJ Business Grant will help make it easier for us to stay open for many years to come,” said owner Crystal Tenore. “We are excited to have reopened in time for the busy summer season and we thank the State for its support.”
Brown’s visit to Crystal’s follows Governor Christie’s tour of impacted businesses last Wednesday, when he visited another Ortley Beach Stronger NJ Business Grant recipient, Rossi’s Rent-A-Rama. Rossi’s is a bike and beach chair rental shop that sustained significant damage during the storm. A grant of up to $50,000 will help the company replace inventory, make payroll and cover various other needs, including marketing, rent and utilities.
Administered by the EDA, storm-impacted small businesses were able apply for grants of up to $50,000 through the Stronger NJ Business Grant Program beginning May 1. 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. On July 1, the EDA unveiled the $100 million Stronger NJ Business Loan program, which is making 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.
To date, the EDA has received 200 completed applications under the Stronger NJ Business Grant Program, and 26 businesses have been awarded grants totaling up to $1.4 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.
Under the grant program, small businesses may apply for grants of up to $50,000 per impacted location and a maximum of $250,000 per entity. All applicants under the program must have sustained at least $5,000 in Superstorm Sandy-related physical damage, including damage to real property and non-perishable/non-consumable inventory. Eligible uses of grant funds include reimbursement of working capital, inventory, equipment, renovation and new construction at the place of business. HUD may require funds for physical damage, including equipment, furnishings, fixtures, machinery, and construction to be subject to additional reviews, environmental clearances, and National Flood Insurance Protection coverage that could delay the provision of grant assistance.
As required by HUD for CDBG Disaster Recovery funds, grants under the program must be used to satisfy “unmet needs,” which are defined as financial needs not satisfied by other public or private funding sources, including FEMA Individual Assistance funds, Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans or private insurance. To be eligible, businesses must have at least one location in New Jersey and entities must have been in existence at the time of the storm. Applicants must also be a small business, as defined by the SBA, and have annual revenues of at least $25,000 and no more than $5 million. Businesses must have less than $1 million of liquid assets at the time of application.
Applications must be received on or by October 31, 2013. 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).
EDA business advisors are located at One-Stop Career Centers in the nine most impacted counties to help businesses with the application process. The Ocean County one-stop is located at 1027 Hooper Ave, Building 6, in Toms River. Business advisors will be available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.