Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie Urges Storm-Damaged Businesses to Apply for State Aid

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Christie Urges Storm-Damaged Businesses to Apply for State Aid

Article excerpt

Thousands of homeowners are wait-listed for federally funded rebuilding grants, but the state still has more than $350 million available for businesses, Governor Christie said Wednesday.

Christie toured businesses in Cape May and Sea Bright to promote those that have recovered since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the state 10 months ago. Standing outside Woody's Ocean Grille in Sea Bright, he urged business owners who have not applied for the $50,000 grants or $5 million low-interest loans to take advantage of the programs.

"There's no shame in coming forward and getting this help," he said.

Christie also criticized the federal government, saying he's unhappy with the amount the Federal Emergency Management Agency's flood insurance program is paying out in claims and accusing the Small Business Administration of having such a cumbersome application process that businesses didn't want to seek help.

"Basically, the Small Business Administration is a disaster," he said. "We should send FEMA to the Small Business Administration to clean up after the disaster that is the Small Business Administration and what they did to small-business people in this state."

Emily Cain, spokeswoman for the SBA, said Sandy was the third- largest disaster in history for the agency, which has approved 12,450 loans for New Jersey residents and business owners for a total of more than $820 million.

"SBA is responsible for providing affordable, timely and accessible financial assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses following a disaster," she said. "As part of a coordinated federal response, SBA was on the ground immediately following Hurricane Sandy to help those affected by the storm recover, rebuild and get back on their feet. We remain committed to helping those individuals and communities affected by Hurricane Sandy rebuild stronger and to providing support for long-term recovery. …

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