State seeks to make more funds available to businesses recovering from Irene

TRENTON – The state is trying to funnel more money to help Hurricane Irene victims.

Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said today that the state Economic Development Authority will review a temporary expansion of its Main Street Business Assistance Program to support disaster recovery efforts necessitated by Hurricane Irene last weekend.

If approved, the Main Street Disaster Relief Program would temporarily double the benefits of the guarantee that EDA offers on lines of credit for affected businesses, from $250,000 to $500,000.

EDA offers such line of credit guarantees only through its preferred lenders; however, this temporary disaster relief effort will also make available line of credit guarantees to EDA participating banks as well. The line of credit guarantees will be limited to the lesser of $500,000 or 50 percent of the line of credit outstanding at the time of default.

The program is designed to ensure that damaged businesses have access to capital funds to improve their damaged property, while awaiting insurance money.

“New Jersey has coordinated a range of multi-agency resources to support our business community during this challenging time,” Christie said in a statement. “By partnering with banks and expanding access to capital in this expeditious manner, we will be able to provide a financial lifeline to businesses and help sustain New Jersey’s economic vibrancy.”

Applicants will have until Dec. 31, to apply for assistance through the Main Street Disaster Relief Program. Businesses must be in operation for at least two years to be eligible and applicants must be in good standing with their bank.

Businesses impacted by the hurricane are encouraged to call their lending institution as a first step.

State seeks to make more funds available to businesses recovering from Irene