The Christie Administration Is Committed To Rebuilding The Shore In Time For The Summer Tourist Season
Governor Christie is committed to rebuilding New Jersey and the Jersey Shore in aftermath of Super Storm Sandy so that it will be enjoyed this summer and for generations to come. As a major tourism destination for people across the state and the country, the Shore is essential to the economic vitality of the Garden State.
A Record Breaking Year For New Jersey Tourism:
New Jersey’s travel and tourism industry is directly responsible for more than 500,000 jobs – or 10 percent of the state’s total number of jobs, according to the Economic Impact of Tourism Report. Last year, New Jersey set a new record with visitor spending, capital investment and general government support of tourism surpassing the previous record of $39.5 billion that was reached in 2007. That number represented a 2.6 percent increase over 2011. Domestic visits to New Jersey also continued to rise, with a 4.8 percent increase to 82.5 million visits in 2012.
Helping Small Businesses Get Back On Their Feet:
In the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy, the Christie Administration has worked expeditiously to get programs and direct assistance to small businesses. More than $756 million in U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans have been approved, representing more than 11,480 low interest loans going to homeowners, renters and businesses to aid in their recovery.
Distributing The Resources New Jersey Needs For The Rebuilding Process
The Christie Administration has received approval from the Obama Administration to move forward with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Action Plan. This plan outlines how we will utilize the first phase of the emergency supplemental passed by Congress in January. The first $1,829,520,000 in CDBG funds provided to New Jersey by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will focus primarily on helping homeowners, renters, businesses and communities impacted by Super Storm Sandy.
The Action Plan incorporates input from HUD, as well as Sandy-impacted communities and stakeholder groups whose engagement will continue throughout the State’s recovery, rebuilding and restoration process.
- CDBG Disaster Recovery funds are intended to address unmet needs not satisfied by private insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration, or other sources.
- The Christie Administration projects to dedicate over 55 percent of funding from this first tranche of CDBG Disaster Recovery funds for low-to-moderate-income households.
- Next Steps For New Jersey Homeowners, Renters And Small Business Owners:
- Visit www.sandyhelp.nj.gov to choose either housing or business assistance and fill out notification forms to receive real time updates on programs and next steps. This web site will feature fact sheets with basic information about the programs and steps to prepare for submitting an application for assistance.
- There are also two hotline numbers available: for housing assistance, call 1-855-SANDYHM (1-855-726-3946); for business assistance, call 1-855-SANDYBZ (1-855-726-3929).
Supporting Economic Recovery and Revitalization:
Economic recovery and revitalization is also a top priority of the Action Plan to restore communities and promote job growth. Businesses in the 113 municipalities most impacted by Super Storm Sandy incurred commercial property losses in excess of $380 million and business interruption losses in excess of $63 million. To help New Jersey businesses, the Christie Administration is setting aside $460 million in funding for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to administer the following activities:
- Small Business Grants: Eligible small businesses that sustained physical damage are able to apply for grants of up to $50,000. These grants can be used for rehabilitation, new construction, equipment, inventory, mitigation, refinancing and working capital among other uses.
- Direct Loans For Storm-Impacted Small Businesses: These loans, up to $5 million, are intended to assist small 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: Provides funding to help communities with public facility improvements such as streetscapes, lighting, and sidewalks; businesses assistance initiatives such as micro-loans for storm-related damage and loan guarantees for loan loss reserves; and façade and code-related improvements.
- Tourism Marketing Campaign: This marketing campaign will 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.
It is estimated the Action Plan’s rental development and rehabilitation programs will create 3,000 jobs and $500 million in economic activity.
Putting New Jerseyans Back To Work:
Administration efforts to put New Jerseyans back to work to rebuild the Shore are helping Sandy-impacted businesses and workers, as well as investing in future economic growth:
- The Christie Administration has secured a $15.6 million National Emergency Grant (NEG) to hire workers to repair town beachfront areas:
- Bradley Beach is one of dozens of communities in 11 New Jersey counties that have put 428 unemployed people to work on storm clean-up using the funds;
- Another 650 people are slated to be brought in up to five other counties.
- The Administration has created two new Talent Networks: a Sandy Recovery Talent Network and a Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Talent Network:
- The Sandy Recovery Network will allow employers to report the hurdles, needs and demands they face in trying to rebuild and hire new workers;
- The Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Talent Network will represent a key industry cluster in New Jersey that, before the storm, accounted for about 24 percent of all private sector workers and paid more than $20 billion in annual wages.