The proposed “New Jersey Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Action Plan” (“Action Plan”) released last week offers some disaster assistance hope for New Jersey downtowns and individual businesses. There are four elements of particular interest to New Jersey downtowns and individual businesses. Many of these programs will be on a first-come-first-served basis, so start planning now to respond quickly once application information is released.

To help New Jersey businesses, the Christie Administration is setting aside $500 million in funding for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to administer the following activities:

Small Business Grants of up to $50,000 to eligible businesses that sustained physical damage. A $300 million allocation will fund grants that can be used for purposes including rehabilitation, new construction, equipment, inventory, mitigation, refinancing and working capital among other uses.

No-Interest Loans for Storm-Impacted Small Businesses ranging from $100,000 to $5 million for documented physical damage not covered by other sources. These loans are intended to assist eligible businesses that suffered physical damage, as well as spur economic revitalization by providing funding for expansion and new businesses in storm-impacted areas.

Neighborhood And Community Revitalization Programs to provide funding of up to $10 million to help communities rebuild commercial areas with public facility improvements such as streetscapes, lighting, and sidewalks and undertake other activities critical to restoring and strengthening local economies, including micro-loans for storm-related damage and loan guarantees as well as façade and code-related improvements.

A Tourism Marketing Campaign to promote storm-impacted businesses and shore communities by letting the nation know that New Jersey is recovering and that communities are open for business. The campaign funded at $25 million would also encourage New Jerseyans and tourists to shop local, thereby supporting companies that are operational.

The intent of this article is to give a brief overview of the proposed plan. To read more on the overall plan, click here.

To download a copy of the plan, click here.

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