The Economic Development Authority announced Thursday the approval of more than $8 million for 162 businesses damaged by Superstorm Sandy through the Stronger NJ business grants.
The application window for the program, which offers grants of up to $50,000 to businesses that were damaged during the storm, is set to expire on Dec. 31.
In a release Thursday, Authority CEO Michele Brown announced the awarding of seven more grants to storm-ravaged businesses on Long Beach Island and encouraged others meeting the program's requirements to apply before the end of the year.
"We're very pleased to see so many businesses on LBI participating in the grant program," Brown said. "There's still time for any business with at least $5,000 in physical damage from the storm to submit an application before the December 31 deadline."
The businesses receiving grants Thursday included Woodie's, Woodie's Too, Bageleddi's, Alison's Wonderland, Deerskin Leather, Jenna Jane's and Sandy Banks. They are scattered across the island in the towns of Beach Haven, Beach Haven Gardens and Ship Bottom.
Peter Poulas, owner of Woodie's in Ship Bottom, said his restaurant saw nearly three feet of flooding and all of its kitchen equipment and furniture damaged by the storm.
"Last year was tough but we were able to get up and running in time to take advantage of the tourist season," Poulas said in the release. "Our hard work, along with the support of our loyal customers and the grant the state has provided has helped us get back on track."
Aside from the grant program, the state also has other initiatives in place to address storm-related damage, including the Stronger NJ Business Loan Program and the Neighborhood and Community Revitalization Program.