Toms River (My9NJ) -
The owner of Tom’s River’s Healthy and Delicious
Grill, Gregg Ciafarone, says he is struggling to pay off his credit card
bills that he racked up while getting his small business back up and
running after Superstorm Sandy.
“I had to use all my credit cards
to try and get back on my feet, now I’m back on my feet but I still
have my credit card debt that I’d like to take care of,” he explained.
lost about $8,000 in equipment, $4,000 worth of food and well over
$10,000 in business when his shop had to be shut down when they had no
electricity in the area. All of these losses qualify him for Sandy
"I applied about 8 months ago. I qualified from
everything I understood and I still haven’t gotten it. I've dealt with
probably three different reps so far and no luck," he said.
described mass disorganization within the New Jersey Economic
Development Authority who is in control of these small business grants.
representative for the NJEDA, Virginia Pellerin, said that they are
committed to approving and assisting as many eligible businesses as
possible, but also recognize that they must manage the taxpayer money
that funds the program responsibly.
The New Jersey Main Street
Alliance is a group representing small businesses in the state and they
are calling for an investigation into the use or misuse of these funds
by the Christie administration.
$85.9 million allotted to the program has not been distributed. That means only $14.1 million has.
So far only 292 businesses in New Jersey have been given grants, leaving about 3,000 who have applied and are still waiting.
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