CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION AWARDS STRONGER NJ BUSINESS GRANTS TO HUDSON COUNTY BUSINESSES
154 Businesses Now Approved For Nearly $7.7 Million In Total Funding
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 the recent award of Stronger NJ Business Grants to several businesses in Hudson County in support of their recovery.
Simple Sam’s Food and Wine in Jersey City, Mid-City Garage in Bayonne, Custom Steel Contractors, Inc. in South Kearny, and Spanish Pavilion Restaurant in Harrison have all been awarded grants of up to $50,000.
“It’s important to remember that many businesses in northern NJ had just as much damage as those in the shore communities,” said Michele Brown, CEO of the EDA. “Any business that suffered at least $5000 in damages from Superstorm Sandy should contact the EDA to apply for a grant before the deadline of December 31. The Stronger NJ Loan program is also available, offering very attractive terms for businesses damaged by the storm or any business looking to expand in impacted communities.”
Spanish Pavilion in Harrison, established in 1976, experienced eight feet of flooding, and major damage to its entire first floor. Owners Balbina, Jerry and Michael Fernandez were able to reopen the restaurant’s upstairs dining room approximately two weeks following the storm, while repairs were conducted on the rest of the building.
“A year later, we are still recovering. The timing of the storm was terrible, as it affected our typically very busy holiday season,” said Jerry Fernandez. “The Stronger NJ Business Grant program has been a big help to us as we continue to make repairs. Thankfully, our business is gradually returning to normal.”
To date, 154 businesses have been approved for grants totaling nearly $7.7 million through the Stronger NJ Business Grant program, which offers grants of up to $50,000 to New Jersey businesses damaged by the storm.
Custom Steel Contractors, Inc., in business since 1986, is located in South Kearny. A storm surge from the Hackensack River swept in at high tide, causing five feet of flooding in the office and shop. Most of the equipment the company needed to function was destroyed, including very expensive, computer controlled equipment and six trucks.
“All of our equipment was destroyed. Fortunately, I was able to make some repairs on my own, but the financial gap created by the storm was pretty overwhelming,” said Daniel Moran, Owner, Custom Steel Contractors. “We are grateful for the support the State has provided to help with our recovery and encourage other businesses to apply.”
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 offers loans of up to $5 million with no interest or principal payments for up to 24 months to businesses impacted by the storm, as well as businesses looking to expand within storm-impacted communities.
The third Stronger NJ Business program, the $75 million Neighborhood and Community Revitalization Program, offers financial assistance to support 1) development and public improvement projects; 2) main street revitalization; and, 3) Community Development Financial Institutions providing loans to small businesses.
The EDA is hosting a series of grant workshops in storm-impacted areas during which business owners can meet with a business advisor to either complete an existing grant or loan application, or begin a new one. On December 3rd, a workshop will be held in Hoboken at City Hall, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To schedule your appointment with a business advisor, please contact Patience Purdy at (609) 858-6924 or PPurdy@njeda.com.
Grant applications must be received on or by December 31, 2013. For more information on the Stronger NJ Business programs, 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).