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Press Release
March 16, 2009
3 minute read

SPECIALTY FOOD MARKET IS FIRST BUSINESS TO FINALIZE FUNDING UNDER STATE’S NEW MAIN STREET BUSINESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM




Trenton, N.J. (March 16, 2009) – A specialty food market and catering service in Mount Laurel is the first business to finalize funding under a new program established by Governor Jon S. Corzine and the state Legislature to help New Jersey businesses cope with the effects of the national economic downturn.

 

Abbruzzi and Giunta’s Italian Market & Catering closed a $1,546,000 loan with Cornerstone Bank recently that includes a $211,000 participation from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) made through the Main Street Business Assistance Program.  The Main Street initiative enables qualified small and mid-size businesses and nonprofit organizations in New Jersey to access capital by providing state support for bank lending through loan participations and credit enhancements.

 

“This is a great example of exactly the kind of business project that Governor Corzine and the Legislature intended to benefit from the Main Street program,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Caren S. Franzini.  “Abbruzzi and Giunta’s is a small, successful business that is looking to grow and move forward in this difficult economic climate.  We are pleased that we can play a role in its future growth by working with Cornerstone Bank to provide the necessary funding through Main Street.”

 

Abbruzzi and Giunta’s is owned by lifelong friends Joe Abbruzzi and Mark Giunta, who purchased the business in 1991 after Diane Abbruzzi, Joe’s wife, noticed a “for lease” sign on a vacant store at 3211 Route 38 and decided that it offered a great opportunity for the couple to open the Italian food specialty store they had always wanted.  Joe Abbruzzi reached out to Giunta, who had been running another business in Philadelphia at the time, and the two unveiled their new market in November 1991.   They added catering capabilities in 1996.

 

“We’re excited to be the first business to take advantage of the Main Street program,” Abbruzzi said.  “We think that we’re a perfect fit.  We’re a solid business with local employees that is going to use the funding to consolidate existing financing, expand our catering operations and grow in the community where we established ourselves 18 years ago.”

 

He said he expects the Main Street funding to improve the business’s cash flow by 25 percent.

Abbruzzi and Giunta’s features Italian specialties and homemade recipes engendered by the owners’ South Philly roots.  Diane Abbruzzi and Giunta handle the day-to-day operations of the business, which is open seven days a week and pledges to deliver food “as good as what momma used to make.”  


Abbruzzi, a financial advisor by trade who works behind the scenes at the market, said he was familiar with the EDA and its financing capabilities for small and mid-size businesses, but he didn’t “connect the dots” with Main Street until the program was brought to his attention by Cornerstone Bank.


“In these tough economic times, it’s great – even for a successful business like ours – to have a state program like Main Street to help out,” Abbruzzi said.


“We are delighted to be a partner with the EDA and Abruzzi’s Italian Market.  It is a fine example of the good businesses that benefit from these programs,” said David Swoyer, chief lending officer for Cornerstone Bank.


The Main Street Business Assistance Program has two components – a loan participation and/or guarantee product offered in conjunction with bank lending and a line of credit guarantee offered through the EDA’s 14 Preferred Lender partners.  To qualify, borrowers must be in business for at least two years, maintain jobs in New Jersey and meet other EDA eligibility requirements. 


For term loans secured by fixed assets like buildings and equipment, the EDA will provide a maximum participation of 25 percent, or $1 million, in a bank loan and a maximum bank loan guarantee of 50 percent, up to $2 million.  For working capital loans to cover operating expenses, the EDA will provide up to 25 percent of a bank loan, not to exceed $750,000, and a maximum guarantee of 50 percent, up to $1.5 million.  The aggregate EDA exposure cannot exceed 50 percent of the total bank loan amount to a total maximum of $2 million.  The interest rate on EDA loan participations are fixed at 5 percent for a maximum of five years.  Borrowers also can use the Main Street program to refinance higher-interest debt.


The line of credit guarantee, which is available for fixed assets or working capital, is set at a maximum of 50 percent of the bank amount, up to a maximum of $250,000.


Applications and more details on the Main Street Business Assistance Program is available at www.njeda.com.   Additionally, you can get more information on the Main Street program by calling 1-(800) 537-7397 or sending an e-mail to MainSt@njeda.com.

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