N.J. considers tax break for small Shore businesses overlooked in Sandy recovery

Small businesses at the Jersey Shore could get a tax break to help them recover from the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.

State Sen. Jim Whelan said his bill would help businesses with 20 or fewer full-time employees still having a tough time 20 months after Sandy.

“The mom-and-pop businesses that many or us are familiar with, they have a bait and tackle shop, they may have one employee or two employees, they sell a few hot dogs or whatever,” said Whelan, D-Atlantic. “Probably underinsured — if they have insurance at all –and just are not able to rebuild.”

Some small businesses have not reopened because their owners can’t afford to make the repairs, he said. Others are saddled with significant out-of-pocket expenses because of the renovations.

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The measure is very important for the Shore’s recovery, said state Sen. Ray Lesniak.

“The charm of the Jersey Shore are the small businesses where you can buy vegetables and fresh fruits and walk around and talk to your neighbors, said Lesniak, D-Union. “Those are gone and, without something like this, they won’t be coming back.”

The measure that’s been advanced by a Senate committee would provide a corporation business tax credit or a gross income tax credit of up to $100,000 to help offset the rebuilding costs.

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