Christie Announces Aid To Fire-Impacted Businesses On Seaside - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Christie Announces Aid To Fire-Impacted Businesses On Seaside Boardwalk

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SEASIDE PARK, N.J. -

During a meeting with several dozen small business owners, local officials and residents, Governor Chris Christie announced an initial $15 million in aid to local businesses to help them rebuild following the devastation caused to boardwalk businesses in this week's wind-swept fire in Seaside Park and Seaside Heights.

"Getting financial assistance to fire-damaged businesses is a critical step to Seaside's economic recovery, and we're acting quickly to make that happen," said Governor Christie. "The entire Seaside community has endured so much over the last year. We're going to be with them every step of the way to help them get back on their feet and let the world know that the Seaside Boardwalk is open for business."

The Board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA,) is expected to take action at a special Board meeting on Wednesday, September 18, 2013, to extend an initial $15 million of the existing Stronger NJ Business programs offered to support recovery from Superstorm Sandy to businesses impacted by the fire.  This offer will be extended regardless of whether a business was affected by Superstorm Sandy, and depending on need, additional funds may become available.

"It was critical that we move quickly to aid the Seaside business community, which was still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy," said Michele Brown, CEO, NJEDA.  "Extending aid from existing CDBG funding is the most efficient, practical way to get help to the community, which has been dealt a second, terrible blow."

Small businesses previously impacted by the storm and located within the fire damaged areas will be offered either loans and/or grants to rebuild and re-open, depending on their total need. 

The EDA will initially allocate $15 million of existing CDBG-DR resources and programs to revitalize and rebuild the neighborhoods most directly affected by this fire. They include the Central business districts in both Seaside Heights and Seaside Park.

 
Ten million dollars from the Stronger NJ Business Loan program, which offers loans of up to $5 million with no interest or principal payments for two years, will be allocated for fire-impacted businesses
 
Five million dollars in funds from the Stronger NJ Neighborhood and Community Revitalization (NCR) program will be available to help the fire-affected towns with demolition and debris removal of the damaged public and privately owned structures; rebuilding of the boardwalk and related public facilities to enhance resiliency; and creation of a redevelopment plan for the revitalization of the target areas.
 
 
To speak with a business advisor about the Stronger NJ Business Programs, affected businesses should call 1-855-SANDY-BZ (1-855-726-3929) between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit www.njeda.com.

The Christie Administration initial aid plan for Seaside Park and Seaside Heights, comes just 11 months following  Superstorm Sandy, from which these hard-hit, Shore communities were still recovering.  The fire destroyed dozens of businesses, the boardwalk and other public infrastructure.

 

 

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