Gov. Chris Christie is urging New Jersey businesses damaged by Sandy to take advantage of the grants and loans the state is offering.
About $260 million of federal Sandy aid that New Jersey received is being used to provide grants of up to $50,000 for small businesses. The governor says only about 1 percent of that money has been awarded because business owners are reluctant to apply for it.
“I know that folks feel like we’re tough, and we’re going to make this through ourselves. It’s not what we fought to do,” he said. “Yeah, we’d love you to keep working hard yourself, and I know you will, but you need to take help from us too.”
Another program has $100 million allocated to provide loans of up to $5 million for businesses that need to make repairs. Christie says only 200 businesses have applied even though no repayment is required for two years and the interest rate is low after that.
Speaking of hard work, the governor also mentioned his own efforts during a news conference Wednesday in Sea Bright.
“Now listen, guys. I fought like crazy to get this money here. I yelled at the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and now you guys aren’t using the money,” Christie said.