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Toms River Business Still Waiting On Sandy Money

Owner of Healthy and Delicious Grill in Toms River qualified for assistance but has not received it

Photo: My9NJ
Photo: My9NJ
By Meg Baker

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.

Ciafarone 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 relief grants.

"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.

Ciafarone described mass disorganization within the New Jersey Economic Development Authority who is in control of these small business grants.

A 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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Mattie March 20, 2014 at 03:23 PM
Join the club.... there are many in that same boat. Both business and residential folks.
Martin March 20, 2014 at 06:18 PM
Oops, we sent your money to Belleville instead...
bayway mike March 20, 2014 at 07:50 PM
Guessing that he didn't have a 'VOTE REPUBLICAN' sign in front of his establishment..
PJ Ortley March 21, 2014 at 09:02 AM
My understanding is that even businesses who did get the grant still don't have the money!
grace March 21, 2014 at 09:06 AM
best thing to do is get reopened ! work hard and hopefully make a profit...hang in businesses in the toms river area it has to get better!!


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