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Recovery Center Opens to Help Local Businesses

Businesses and non-profits may be able to borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damage or destroyed real estate.

Yesterday, a member of the National Guard helped pick through what was left of the DeFiglio Supermarket on Long Beach Island.

Last week, officials with the Surflight Theatre in Beach Haven asked for patience from prepaid ticket owners as they sorted our their upcoming show schedule. They had to cancel remaining shows of Barefoot in the Park, which was scheduled to run through today, and said that there were as of "yet no services available to allow us to take phone calls or access our ticketing information."

Barnegat Township Committee member and local business owner Jeff Melchiondo said that several days without power in downtown Barnegat may have had a "devastating" economic impact on businesses there. As of yesterday, the east side of Route 9 so businesses like Serpico's, Sweet Jenny's and Tobacco Road were still waiting to open.

"If you can put up something just telling people we are not out of business, just waiting for power that would be a big help," Serpico's Ristorante owner Jon Serpico, asked a Patch reporter.  

and pick up the pieces post-Sandy, a center is opening that aims to provide assistance for all of these owners.

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, the U.S. Small Business Administration will open a  Business Recovery Center in Manahawkin. According to a statement from the SBA, this center will provide one-on-one help to business owners seeking disaster assistance for losses caused by Sandy. The Center is working with the Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce, now located at the Stafford Heritage Park Train Station and Rail Car, across from Manahawkin Lake, on West Bay Avenue. Hours will be from Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.. until further notice.

“Businesses with physical damages or loss of revenue should seriously consider visiting the Center and applying for an SBA disaster business loan,” Alfred Titone, SBA’s New Jersey district director said in a press release.  SBA’s customer service representatives will be located at the Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and assist business owners in completing their applications. 

Businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may be able to borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.

The SBA may increase a loan up to 20 percent of the total amount of disaster damage to real estate and/or leasehold improvements, as verified by SBA, to make improvements that lessen the risk of property damage by future disasters of the same kind.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private non-profit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties in New Jersey can also apply for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). 

Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.  The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.  Those in affected areas with access to the internet may register by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov, or online at www.disasterassistance.gov.  

Loan applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov.  Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 31, 2012. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 31, 2013.

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