Surviving Sandy Consumer and Business Information Newsletter
Stronger NJ Grants and forgivable loans are now available rhrough NJEDA, as well as. Recovery4NJ Wage reimbursment grants! .
For more information regarding this grant programs please visit link on side. Also on this page will be a form where you can register for future updates regarding the Stronger New Jersey Business Grant Program and other CDBG-funded programs EDA will be introducing in the near future
The NJ Business Portal is the best contact to get direct information about what is happening in the state from a business need standpoint www.nj.gov/njbusiness/ with the Governor's Office of Recovery and Rebuilding as another key contact for question in all recovery 609 777 2615
The following articles are suggested reading about disaster assistance, consumer fraud and other essentials with links that are continually updated to help everyone stay informed.
Christie Administration Releases New Round of “Recovery4Jersey” Grants
Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) Commissioner Harold J. Wirths today announced the availability of $7 million in hiring incentives under "Recovery4Jersey," a program offering wage reimbursements to New Jersey employers who take on and train unemployed workers.
Companies may build up their businesses and offset their hiring costs through Recovery4Jersey, which will directly reimburse employers for 50 percent of a new hire's wages, up to $10,000, for three to six months. The new employee obtains on-the-job training to learn new talents or improve existing skills, while the employer defrays the cost of training new people brought into the company.
"This program is part of the $26 million "Hire New Jersey" package Governor Christie announced in the weeks after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, when the Department refocused our training funds on the industries that offer the most promise to assist New Jersey's economic recovery," said Commissioner Wirths. "Recovery4Jersey offers our key industry employers grant opportunities to expand their businesses, hire new workers and create more employment opportunities for our highly skilled workforce."
Details of the Recovery4Jersey grants were unveiled earlier today by LWD Assistant Commissioner Mary Ellen Clark during a morning meeting of the New Jersey Business &Industry Association's (NJBIA) Employment and Labor Policy Committee.The NJBIA has been a strong partner of the Christie administration in creating worker training programs and successfully addressing the workforce needs of the state's major industry clusters.
"As New Jersey gears up for its first post-Sandy tourism season, Recovery4Jersey will provide much welcomed relief to employers who otherwise may not have been able to increase their workforces. Without a doubt, a lot of progress has been made over the last six months to return New Jersey back to normal, and we're confident that with tools like Recovery4Jersey even more will be seen in the days ahead," said Stefanie Riehl, the NJBIA's Assistant Vice President of Employment & Labor Policy.
"We applaud the Christie Administration for continuing to be responsive to the business community in providing innovative training programs and responding to the need for recovery-related grants and other assistance," she added.
The Hire New Jersey initiative announced by the Governor in December set aside $26 million to support three economic recovery initiatives designed by the LWD to assist businesses and workers in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and to additionally invest in New Jersey's future growth. The initiatives, dubbed Recovery4Jersey, Skills4Jersey and Opportunity4Jersey, involve the investment of training dollars by LWD into New Jersey businesses and the state's workforce with the immediate goal of connecting the unemployed to job opportunities in the Sandy recovery and the long-term goal of building the skills of existing workers for jobs in the state's most promising industry clusters.
The initiative restructured long-standing LWD training programs to insure that future training is driven by the needs of the Garden State's businesses.
"We anticipate that the Recovery4Jersey hiring incentive will especially help small businesses get back on their feet after Sandy by enabling them to hire additional staff, which is a win for New Jersey's small business owners. It also is a win for New Jersey's unemployed talent because they have an opportunity for employment, and it is a win overall for New Jersey's economy," said Assistant Commissioner Clark.
To learn more about Recovery4Jersey go to http://www.jobs4jersey.com/. Employers and workers interested in participating in the grant opportunity may send an e-mail to Recovery4Jersey@dol.state.nj.us or dial the Recovery4Jersey hotline at 1-877-682-6238.
$260 MILLION STRONGER NJ BUSINESS GRANT PROGRAM LAUNCHED MAY 1
Small Businesses Impacted by Superstorm Sandy Encouraged to Apply for Assistance at application.njeda.com/strongernjbusiness
TRENTON, N.J. (April 30, 2013) – In support of Governor Chris Christie’s commitment to get grant assistance to storm-impacted businesses as quickly as possible, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) today held a special Board meeting approving the creation of the Stronger NJ Business Grant Program. Beginning May 1, small businesses that sustained at least $5,000 in Sandy-related physical damage can apply for grants of up to $50,000.
The EDA’s action comes one day after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved New Jersey’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Action Plan. 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 will utilize $260 million of the allocation.
At the Board meeting, EDA Chief Executive Officer Michele Brown noted that businesses in the 113 most impacted municipalities incurred in excess of $380 million in commercial property loss and another $63 million in business interruption loss. Brown also spoke of the acute needs of tourism-driven businesses and other companies along the Jersey Shore.
“The Governor’s immediate goal is to get grant assistance to impacted businesses to ensure they have the capital needed to resume or maintain their operations,” Brown said. “The Stronger NJ Business Grant program will allow us to get critically needed funding to our impacted businesses in the most expeditious way.”
Under the Stronger NJ Business Grant program, small businesses may apply for grants of up to $50,000 per location. All applicants under the program must have sustained at least $5,000 in Superstorm Sandy-related physical damage, including damage to real property and non-perishable/non-consumable inventory. Eligible uses of grant funds include reimbursement of working capital, inventory, equipment, renovation and new construction at the place of business. HUD may require funds for physical damage, including equipment, furnishings, fixtures, machinery, and construction to be subject to additional reviews, environmental clearances, and National Flood Insurance Protection coverage that could delay the provision of grant assistance. Grants to businesses located in Special Flood Hazard Areas may be structured as forgivable loans in order to assist the applicant in complying with federal requirements for property insurance.
As required by HUD for CDBG Disaster Recovery funds, grants under the program must be used to satisfy “unmet needs,” which are defined as financial needs not satisfied by other public or private funding sources, including FEMA Individual Assistance funds, Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans or private insurance. Priority will be given to applicants with locations in the nine most impacted counties, as defined by HUD, including Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Union. HUD requires 80 percent of CDBG Disaster Recovery funds to be allocated to these areas.
To be eligible, businesses must have at least one location in New Jersey and entities must have been in existence at the time of the storm. Applicants must also be a small business, as defined by the SBA, and have annual revenues of at least $25,000 and no more than $5 million. Businesses must have less than $1 million of liquid assets at the time of application. Additionally, businesses must have applied for a disaster-related loan through SBA.
The following entities are not eligible for funding through the Stronger NJ Business Grant program: businesses located in Coastal Barrier Resource Areas; home-based businesses that do not have a separate business entrance, excluding Bed and Breakfast establishments; casinos; and, privately-owned recreational facilities that serve a predominantly higher-income clientele. Nonprofits, including those engaged in industrial and commercial activities, may only utilize funds for renovation or new construction of a physical structure. Churches may utilize the funding only for renovation or new construction of portions of the church’s physical structure with non-sectarian uses.
Applications must be received on or by October 31, 2013. For more information on the Stronger NJ Business Grant program, including the complete list of eligibility and eligible uses of funds visit application.njeda.com/strongernjbusiness or call EDA’s Sandy hotline at 1-855-SANDY-BZ (1-855-726-3929).
Taking Action to distriubute resources for storm recovery
NJ Released a document that shows where federal relief funding will be allocated. Please see link on side bar to download to better understand how this money can help you. Please see link for additional Six Month resource update.
For Recovery Website go to : http://www.state.nj.us/gorr/
New Jersey Housing and Mortage Financing Agency Block Grant Programs
CDBG Sandy Disaster Recovery Program
The proposed Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Action Plan includes the creation of two funds that will be administered by the Agency.
- The Fund for Restoration of Multifamily Housing (FRM) will provide over $104 million in CDBG-DR funding to replenish the stock of quality affordable rental housing units lost as a result of Superstorm Sandy.
- The Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund (SSNHF) will provide $25 Million for the creation of quality, permanent supportive housing which will expand housing options for the special needs populations severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
Governor Office of Recovery and Retvitalization
There are many opportunties to be considered with over a billion dolllaras of federal aid coming into NJ. Action plans have been filed and soon funds will be released. Direct contact with this office may help answer questions regarding the application process and timelines. 609 777 2615, is the direct number to speak to Trenton regarding issues and questions.
Office of Recovery and Revitalization website www.state.nj.us/gorr/
LEARN MORE ABOUT NJDEP BLUE ACRES AQUISITION PROGRAM
The Green Acres, Farmland, Blue Acres, and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2007 authorized $12 million for acquisition of lands in the floodways of the Delaware River, Passaic River or Raritan River, and their respective tributaries, for recreation and conservation purposes. An additional $24 million was approved by the voters in the Green Acres, Water Supply and Floodplain Protection, and Farmland and Historic Preservation Bond Act of 2009.
Properties (including structures) that have been damaged by, or may be prone to incurring damage caused by, storms or storm-related flooding, or that may buffer or protect other lands from such damage, are eligible for acquisition.
All Blue Acres acquisitions must be from willing sellers
Christie Administration Issues Mold Guidance for New Jersey Residents Recovering From Superstorm San
Trenton, NJ - The New Jersey Department of Health today released a Mold Guidelines for New Jersey Residents pamphlet created to provide direction to residents on addressing mold in homes in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. In addition, the Department is announcing a series of training classes in cooperation with the UMDNJ School of Public Health to assist homeowners, volunteers and public health and building code officials in mold removal and assessment.
"As New Jersey recovers and rebuilds from Superstorm Sandy, mold and its remediation may become a significant issue for many New Jersey residents," said Mary E. O'Dowd, New Jersey Health Commissioner. "Although molds are common in our environment, mold may become a problem when it grows inside homes. These guidelines were developed to better inform homeowners on how to ensure their homes are cleaned and remediated properly to avoid mold problems now and in the future."
Molds can cause staining of walls and ceilings and can affect building components causing property damage. Exposure to mold can cause nasal and throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation.
The pamphlet addresses a number of topics including mold-related health concerns, how to inspect for mold and tools and techniques for clean-up. For example:
· If mold is visually apparent, resources should be used to correct any moisture problems and clean up mold contamination rather than testing.
· For smaller areas less than 10 square feet that have been affected by mold growth, a homeowner or business owner may be capable of performing the work, but for larger areas greater than 100 square feet, a qualified contractor who has experience in mold or environmental contamination may be required.
· Those performing remediation work need to be protected with gloves, a respirator, protective clothing and goggles.
The pamphlet also includes checklists on inspection services and mold remediation to help guide residents in steps they should take when addressing mold problems in their home.
The guidance also contains tips and questions to ask when hiring a consultant or remediation contractor that will help residents evaluate these professionals. Tips include:
· Make sure the contractor visits the job site rather than giving an estimate over the phone.
· Talk to the contractor and learn exactly what they will be doing on the job.
Residents can receive copies of the pamphlet by visiting http://nj.gov/health/er/hurricane_recovery_resources.shtml or calling 609-826-4950. This guidance was developed with feedback from state and federal partners as well as environmental health advocacy organizations. The brochure will also be distributed to local and county health departments and other stakeholders. A copy of the brochure can also be found attached to the release.
Property Tax Assessment-Material Damage Form
For Material Damage form to for businesses and property owners to file
Find and apply for assistance for disaster relief
With Presidential declaration of major disaster, Federal relief is available for qualifed property owners. Finding out what is available, how to file and the status of your application is all online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov/, on your mobile phone at m.fema.gov or apply by phone at 800 6213362.
Information needed to apply: Your Social Security Number, Current and pre disaster address, telephone number where you can be reached, Insurance Information, Total Household Income, description of loss.
FOR BUSINESSES: These programs have just made available
If you are having difficulty navigating the FEMA process, please contact your federal representatives, who can be reached at the following numbers: NOTE Congressmen Runyan and LoBiondos numbers
New Jersey Business Portal ready to serve business affected by Sandy
Trenton, NJ – To support the recovery of New Jersey’s businesses and protect the overall economic interests of our state in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Governor Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno have announced a series of business assistance services for those affected by the storm. Among these vital services are those related to financial support, information on temporary space, and technical assistance for impacted businesses. Information for all services may be easily accessed through New Jersey’s Business Action Center (BAC) by calling 1-866-534-7789 or through the state’s business portal at www.newjerseybusiness.gov, the “one-stop” shop for business resources. Agents are also available to assist callers that speak Spanish.
“In response to this natural disaster, New Jersey has coordinated a range of multi-agency resources to assist impacted businesses and ensure they are operational quickly,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “Providing a thorough and inter-departmental business recovery assistance program is another demonstration of our support for our business community and their workers. The Business Action Center can help businesses tap into a variety of resources that will help them begin to recover from this catastrophic storm.”
The business recovery assistance services are designed to support businesses and workers who may be temporarily unable to perform their jobs due to the storm. These services include:
- Guarantees of up to $500,000 for commercial lines of credit to businesses that need access to cash to improve their damaged property while awaiting insurance proceeds, with all related New Jersey Economic Development Authority fees waived.
- Grant awards for businesses to assist with on-the-job training costs for new workers hired specifically to assist in disaster-related activities, such as landscaping and tree removal, construction, insurance claims, building supplies sales, materials transport, utility work, call and claims centers staffing, and infrastructure clearing and repair.
- Availability of the Business Resource Centers at any of the currently operational local One-Stop Career Centers across the state as temporary hubs for businesses to access telephone and internet services as well as for job seekers and displaced workers seeking workforce development and unemployment assistance - Temporary Hubs for Affected Business to Access Telephones and Internet Services
- The availability of Disaster Unemployment Benefits to provide income security for those displaced workers suffering temporary storm-related job loss.
- Dispatch of Rapid Response team members to identified Disaster Recovery Centers to assist displaced workers.
- Availability of services through New Jersey Youth Corps to assist non-profit, public and governmental entities in a variety of ways for disaster relief and clean-up.
In addition, BAC’s Business Call Center is also the one-stop resource for more information on how to get businesses back up and running. The Call Center staff can assist with the following services:
- Arranging business facility inspections for buildings suffering major flood damage, as such conditions require structural integrity inspections before utility service can be restored. These inspections are handled in local code enforcement offices and by local code enforcement officials. Anticipating an enormous increase in such work, the Department of Community Affairs has mobilized all qualified personnel to assist local governments in this effort.
- Advocating for businesses seeking information from local utilities to restore electric, phone, gas and water services.
- Advocating with insurance carriers to file and expedite claims.
- Providing information on how to qualify for federal recovery assistance, and
- Connecting businesses to the other county and local business services and to the services offered by the Small Business Administration and Small Business Development Centers that include assistance with insurance claims, as well as loans and business plan revisions.
Consumer fraud-kNOW WHO YOU ARE DEALING WITH
Disasters attract fraud, the Southern Ocean County Chamber asks you to know who you are deaing with and encourage you to reach out to local business when rebuilding. Please go to our KNOW YOUR CONTRACTORS page on our website as a guide. Also be on the look out for public adjusters and the back end fees they may charge to help you settle with insurance.
NJ Consumer Affairs offers tips to avoid disaster related scams pertaining to Price Gouging, Home Repair and Charity Scams that happen during a crisis. Be cautious and investigate by calling the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs at 800 242 5846 or www.njconsumeraffairs.gov
LBI Region shows 1.2 Billion in Economic Impact Study
Two weeks ago, we released an ecomomic impact of tourism in our region, in the hopes it could be used by area businesses and organizations for grants, loans and marketing support. We could not have dreamed that it would be a tool for disaster relief. Please use this information to help rebuild LBI.
Southern Ocean County Updates
Please follow us on Facebook or Twitter as LBI Region or www.visitLBIregion.com
for updates and important information on our region.
Recovery Updates from the source- LBI Emergency Operations Center
Regarding all rebuilding, permits and Homeowner notifications, please visit www.lbieoc.org
Postings and updates on debris removal that is reliable and trusted. Please reference this site for information first.
Small Business Administration Disaster Team Partners with Chamber
Small business and private non profits may borrow to repair or replace disaster damaged real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and toher business assets. These low interest lows can be used as a gap between FEMA or insurance flood policies if needed. For more information about USSBA Loans go to www.sba.gov to see application go to https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
The deadline for disaster survivors to apply for FEMA and SBA Disaster Assistance has been extended to May 1, 2013. While the deadline has been extended, we encourage all disaster survivors to apply now. Below I’ve attached a copy of the press release announcing the deadline extension.
FEMA/SBA Press Release on deadline extension for New Jersey
Please note that the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce/LBI Region DMO has partnered witth the US SBA and had them on site seven days a week from 10 am to 6pm for appointments. The Chamber Business Recovery. Center at Stafford Heritiage Park Train Station in Manahawkin on Bay Ave will be close on May 1.