First and foremost, we hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. We would like to express our sincere concern and empathy to those impacted by this devastating storm, as well as our appreciation to the first responders and all those who have worked tirelessly to aid in the relief and recovery
In the aftermath of the storm, the Greater Atlantic City Chamber is assuming a leadership role in representing the private sector and bringing the business community to the table in an organized way to move forward with those much-needed relief and recovery efforts.
We want to assure our members that you have the full support of the Chamber, including our commitment to keep you abreast of information and resources available to businesses in the recovery process. To the end, we have compiled a comprehensive summary of important information and resources:
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To support the recovery of New Jersey’s businesses and protect the overall economic interests of our state in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Governor Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno have announced a series of business assistance services for those affected by the storm. Among these vital services are those related to financial
support, information on temporary space, and technical assistance for impacted businesses.
Information for all services may be easily accessed through New Jersey’s Business Action Center (BAC) by calling 1-866-534-7789 or through the state’s business portal at www.newjerseybusiness.gov, the “one-stop” shop for business resources. Agents are also available to assist callers that speak Spanish.
The business recovery assistance services are designed to support businesses and workers who may be temporarily unable to perform their jobs due to the storm. These services include:
[list type=”ul” style=”5″]Guarantees of up to $500,000 for commercial lines of credit to businesses that need access to cash to improve their damaged property while awaiting insurance proceeds, with all related New Jersey Economic Development Authority fees waived.^Grant awards for businesses to assist with on-the-job training costs for new workers hired specifically to assist in disaster-related activities, such as landscaping and tree removal, construction, insurance claims, building supplies sales, materials transport, utility work, call and claims centers staffing, and infrastructure clearing and repair.^Availability of the Business Resource Centers at any of the currently operational local One-Stop Career Centers across the state as temporary hubs for businesses to access telephone and internet services as well as for job seekers and displaced workers seeking workforce development and unemployment assistance.^Temporary Hubs for Affected Business to Access Telephones and Internet Services The availability of Disaster Unemployment Benefits to provide income security for those displaced workers suffering temporary storm-related job loss.^Dispatch of Rapid Response team members to identified Disaster Recovery Centers to assist displaced workers.^Availability of services through New Jersey Youth Corps to assist non-profit, public and governmental entities in a variety of ways for disaster relief and clean-up.[/list]
In addition, the BAC’s Business Call Center is also the one-stop resource for more information on how to get businesses back up and running. The Call Center staff can assist with the following services:
[list type=”ul” style=”5″]Arranging business facility inspections for buildings suffering major flood damage, as such conditions require structural integrity inspections before utility service can be restored. These inspections are handled in local code enforcement offices and by local code enforcement officials. Anticipating an enormous increase in such work, the Department of Community Affairs has mobilized all qualified personnel to assist local governments in this effort.^Advocating for businesses seeking information from local utilities to restore electric, phone, gas and water services.^Advocating with insurance carriers to file and expedite claims.^Providing information on how to qualify for federal recovery assistance, and^Connecting businesses to the other county and local business services and to the services offered by the Small Business Administration and Small Business Development Centers that include assistance with insurance claims, as well as loans and business plan revisions.[/list]
Other resources and contact information:
[list type=”ul” style=”5″]To file for federal disaster assistance, contact FEMA at 1-800-621-3362, or visit www.disasterassistance.gov^To report life threatening infrastructure problems, please immediately call (609) 963-6810^For additional relief and recovery information, visit www.aclink.org, or www.state.nj.us.^If Chamber can be of assistance in any other way, please contact us directly at (609) 345-4524, or email us at email@example.com.[/list]
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Many local organizations and charities are collecting items for those displaced and impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The United Way is coordinating recovery effort donations through its Volunteer Center. The number is (609) 404-9945.
Governor Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie have established the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund to raise funds and resources to help New Jersey families impacted by the devastation of the storm. Visit www.SandyNJReliefFund.org to make donations online. Or, you may also visit www.redcross.org to make a monetary donation.
New Jersey’s ongoing critical blood shortage is an even more severe situation as many blood drives were canceled due to the storm. Visit www.redcrossblood.org or www.givebloodnj.org for more information and to make an appointment to donate.
The state-wide number to call if you are able to volunteer your time or resources to the recovery effort is 1-800-JERSEY-7. Also, visit www.nj211.org for additional information. [/toggle]
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Think Local. Think Chamber Members.
As we work together to rebuild our storm-ravaged homes and businesses, we encourage everyone to turn to our businesses community for the purchase of necessary products and services. There is no better way to begin to heal our community and restore our economy than to support local businesses and your fellow Chamber members. To view our full membership list, visit the directories on this site.
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Together, We Can.
In closing, we note something Governor Christie said in the aftermath of the storm. “We’ve got a big task ahead of us that we have to do together. This is the kind of thing New Jerseyans are built for…we’re pretty tough.”
Our community has taken a hard hit. We are mindful of the damage inflicted by the storm to many in our region. But, relatively speaking, we were spared the worst of Sandy’s wrath. In boxing terms, Sandy knocked us down…it did not knock us out. Atlantic City is open for business and ready to welcome visitors back with open arms.
If there truly is a silver lining in every cloud, then perhaps the storm signals a rallying point, an opportunity to intensify our revitalization efforts…and to continue to work together to build upon the considerable progress we’ve already made in that regard.
FEMA Opens Disaster Recovery Center in Atlantic City The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced the opening of a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in room 201 of the Atlantic City Convention Center, 1
Convention Boulevard, Atlantic City. The DRC provides a full range of assistance services to residents and businesses who suffered property losses from Hurricane Sandy. Normal hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily.
Individuals and businesses are encouraged to register with FEMA prior to visiting the DRC to help expedite the process. They may do so by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362), registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by smartphone at m.fema.gov.
Any form of registration will require that a person provide private information such as social security number, proof of residency at the location they are claiming, proof of insurance coverage and bank information (for electronic funds transfer to an account).
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State Senate President Steve Sweeney has partnered with the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council to implement a hotline that homeowners and business owners impacted by Hurricane Sandy can call to request clean-up assistance from qualified tradesmen and women. That telephone number is (732) 499-0100.