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State takes wraps off $75M Sandy recovery program for development, small businesses

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Damage from Sandy
Damage from Sandy - (AARON HOUSTON / NJBIZ)

State officials will steer $75 million in federal funds toward development, downtown revitalization and financing for small businesses in regions impacted by Hurricane Sandy, following approval today of a new program by the Economic Development Authority.

Under the program, the majority of the funds will help development and public improvement projects with grants and loans of up to $10 million per project, according to an announcement. The EDA said it will consider funding for commercial and residential projects in areas affected by Sandy, plans involving multitenant technology businesses, and projects calling for improvements to recreational, cultural and parkland areas.

Applicants must be for-profit developers; municipalities or county governments with publically owned projects or land that will be publically owned; state or municipal redevelopment agencies; or other eligible economic development nonprofits, the EDA said. Funds may be used for construction and rehabilitation, property acquisition and assembly, demolition and clearance, environmental investigation and remediation, pre-development costs, mitigation measures, and infrastructure.

The so-called Stronger NJ Neighborhood and Community Revitalization program also will use $10 million for main street revitalization efforts, funding improvements like streetscapes, lighting and façade upgrades. Another $2.5 million will help community development financial institutions through grants of up to $500,000 for small businesses in the nine most-harmed counties, the news release said.

The funding comes under $460 million being administered by the EDA after the approval of the state's plan for a federal Community Development Block Grant. The EDA also oversees the $260 million Stronger NJ Business Grant and the $100 million Stronger NJ Business Loan programs.

For more information, visit http://application.njeda.com/strongernjbusiness, or call EDA's Sandy hotline at (855) SANDY-BZ (726-3929).

Joshua Burd

Joshua Burd

Josh Burd covers real estate, economic development and sports and entertainment. Before joining NJBIZ in 2011, he spent four years as a metro reporter in Central Jersey. His email is joshb@njbiz.com and he is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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