Almost a year after Hurricane Sandy, some business owners along the Ocean City Marina say they are still struggling to get back on their feet.
One business owner says he has been delayed and denied New Jersey Stronger grant approval, which has severely hurt his business.
Arthur Weiler owns Pirate's Cove Marina in Ocean City and says this past summer his business only made 10% of what it normally does during the summer tourism season. "A nightmare, it's been a nightmare," said Weiler, "When the storm came it sort of wiped out the entire snack shop, our office, we lost three boats, couple of motors, and we're still struggling to get back."
The Weiler family says it took close to seven months to come up with the $70,000 needed to fix their dock at Pirate's Cove Marina but now they say they need about $250,000 more to fix the backside of their building.
Weiler told NBC40, "What I’m angry about is that the New Jersey Strong really wants to come out and help us. They will send a team out here to look at this building and they will give us 150 to 250 thousand dollars to help us rebuild – and that will do it – but they won't even come out. They can't even come out without that letter from the city."
Up until Tuesday morning, Weiler says he has been waiting months on a letter from Ocean City's construction officials, which would allow him to move forward with the next phase of the grant approval process.
Michael Dattilo, Business Administrator for Ocean City, said, "From the city's standpoint, we had to issue letters certifying that damage exceeded certain thresholds – in a lot of cases that threshold is 50% or more."
On Tuesday morning NBC40 reached out to the Ocean City Mayor about the delayed letter, which was still not issued at that time. By the end of the day, the city handed the Weiler family the letter they need to continue in the process of applying for the grants.
Weiler told NBC40, "Luckily everything happened today. It was really strange today, everything happened today, but I'm thrilled. It’s like winning the lottery and we can keep on going."
Tomorrow, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will host a Stronger New Jersey grant workshop for businesses damaged by Hurricane Sandy at the Ocean City Library.
Appointments will be scheduled between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
To schedule your appointment with a business advisor, please contact Patience Purdy at (609) 858-6924 or PPurdy@njeda.com. Walk-ins are welcome and will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.
Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted people of other religions. More>>