CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION AWARDS STRONGER NJ BUSINESS GRANTS TO ASBURY PARK AND BELMAR SMALL BUSINESSES
Grant Funds to Support Superstorm Sandy Business Recovery
TRENTON, N.J. (July 17, 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) today visited AAMCO of Asbury Park and Beckman’s on the Beach in Belmar to deliver checks from the Stronger NJ Business Grant Program.
“AAMCO of Asbury Park and Beckman’s of Belmar are wonderful examples of the passion and resiliency we’ve seen among New Jersey business owners since Superstorm Sandy,” said Timothy Lizura, President and Chief Operating Officer of the EDA, who visited both Monmouth County businesses today. “The Stronger NJ Business Grant Program supports businesses in reaching their goals of rebuilding and staying in New Jersey for the long haul. Small businesses like AAMCO and Beckman’s are the backbone of the Jersey Shore economy.”
AAMCO of Asbury Park has been providing transmission service and repairs and complete car care to the surrounding area since 2007. After experiencing major roof damage, AAMCO reopened three weeks after the storm, but the impact to the business went beyond physical damage. Being closed for a significant period of time, combined with the destruction sustained by the Asbury Park community, diminished AAMCO’s base of viable local customers. AAMCO of Asbury Park will use their $50,000 grant to supplement their operating cash flow as they get back on track.
“We at AAMCO of Asbury Park appreciate the continued patronage of our customers during our recovery from Superstorm Sandy,” said Patrick Infante, Sr., Owner, AAMCO of Asbury Park. “This has been a challenging time for all of us at the Jersey Shore, and we are very grateful for the support of our community as well as the State.”
Lizura also delivered the second disbursement of their $50,000 grant to Belmar seasonal convenience store and deli Beckman’s on the Beach. Storm flooding led to severe damage, including a loss of all inventory. Their grant will be used for inventory, rent, payroll and utilities.
“Thankfully, Beckman’s was open for business in time to take advantage of the busy summer season,” said owner Jerome Beckman. “We’re facing challenges this year that are very different from a typical summer, but fortunately, things are slowly but surely returning to normal. The Stronger NJ Business Grant is helping us to bridge the gap.”
Serving the Belmar community for the past seven years, Beckman owns a second store, Beckman’s Asbury Park, and comes from a family that has been part of the area’s business community for many years.
Other Monmouth County businesses that have been approved for Stronger NJ Business Grants include Eastern Lines Surf Shop in Belmar, and Casa Comida in Long Branch.
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. 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 236 completed applications under the Stronger NJ Business Grant Program, and 27 businesses have been awarded grants totaling up to $1.46 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.
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 Monmouth County one-stop is located at 60 Taylor Avenue in Neptune. Business advisors will be available every Tuesday and Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Appointments are accepted, but not required.