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article imageNJ Gov. Christie calls Small Business Administration a 'disaster'

By Leigh Goessl     Aug 30, 2013 in Business
New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie is not happy with the response of the Small Business Administration in the Sandy aftermath and is making no secret about his feelings. In a speech this week, the N.J. governor called the agency a "disaster."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is not happy with the Small Business Administration's response in the recovery period after Hurricane Sandy swept through the East Coast in October 2012, destroying much in its path.
The New Jersey Shore was hit particularly hard by the storm. According to Business Week, the state suffered an estimated $37 billion in damages.
In a speech given in Sea Bright, N.J. this week, the governor described the process for small businesses as being too cumbersome. He referred to the Small Business Administration as a "disaster."
"We should send FEMA to the Small Business Administration to clean up after the disaster that is the Small Business Administration and what they did to small business people in this state," Gov. Christie said, reported News 12.
The governor noted that the agency's process for small businesses to receive funding aid was complicated, to the point where many business owners did not want to bother.
“The good news is the Small Business Administration has left New Jersey, and we are stationing troopers on every border to make sure they do not come back,” Christie added.
Christie has reportedly been on a trip visiting many beach towns devastated by the storm. He announced the "Stronger than the storm" commercials will end on Sept. 1.
While many towns have rebounded, there is still much work to be done in some of the harder-hit regions, which the governor acknowledged.
Christie noted there are other options for business owners and is urging people to apply to alternate programs. He said two under-utilized programs are the Stronger New Jersey Business Grant program and the Stronger New Jersey Business Loan program, both of which provide financial help to small businesses. Reportedly, there is $260 million in aid and only $2.6 million in grants have been given out to date.
"There's no shame in coming forward and getting this help," the governor said, noting the bureaucracy involved has far less requirements in the application process.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger reported Emily Cain, a spokeswoman for the Small Business Administration, said the agency has approved over $820 million in loans.
"SBA is responsible for providing affordable, timely and accessible financial assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses following a disaster," Cain said. "As part of a coordinated federal response, SBA was on the ground immediately following Hurricane Sandy to help those affected by the storm recover, rebuild and get back on their feet. We remain committed to helping those individuals and communities affected by Hurricane Sandy rebuild stronger and to providing support for long-term recovery."
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