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Recovery Plans Advance Following Seaside Boardwalk Fire [AUDIO]

Rebuilding plans are moving forward after last week’s devastating fire that gutted more than 50 businesses on the Seaside Park, Seaside Heights boardwalk.

Spencer Platt, Getty Images

“Boardwalk owners may still be in a state of shock, but if you want to be ready for next year, you really have to start going now in the fall weather to at least get your outside construction pretty much done,” says the President of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, Phil Kirschner.

He says the NJBIA is in the process “of contacting the businesses in that area, A, to see what they need right away, and B, what they need long term. Like Sandy it’s going to be grants and loans to get them back on their feet.”

He points out any businesses impacted by Sandy are absolutely tapped out in terms of money to rebuild, but there may be some other avenues for aid.

“There are a number of programs in the state that they may benefit from – we’ll make sure that they know about them, and help them through the bureaucratic maze, so to speak, so they can access these program as quickly as possible.”

Maureen Stankowitz, the President Toms River Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, says State Chambers of Commerce “are trying to put something together, to try to help out as a group, because we know obviously there’s going to be a lot of money needed to rebuild what’s been damaged.”

“You know we’re New Jersey, we’re stronger than – I don’t want to say the storm, but I believe that everybody is going to pitch in and help each other. It’s still your state, it’s still your small business people, and we have to realize if the small businessman doesn’t thrive, then the economy won’t thrive at all.”

Full Coverage: Seaside Boardwalk Fire

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