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New Jersey businesses should seek grants following storm

One of the fundamental decisions that business start-ups need to make is how to raise capital. Start-up companies have many options available to them as they grow. Some of these business formation options include taking on investors, but others allow business owners to retain full ownership over their businesses. Carefully considering how a small New Jersey business will be funded from the beginning of the process ensures that when problems arise, the business will not need to scramble for funds.

After Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey in November, many businesses — new and old — were unsure of how to raise funds for necessary repairs. Certain reports are estimating that cleanup and rebuilding costs for New Jersey could cost a collective $37 billion. An additional $19 billion will be needed in nearby New York City. In total, it is estimated that the storm will cost $62 billion across all of the states affected by the storm.

Much of the damage was shouldered by businesses that are now left to pay for the cleanup. Small businesses are often most affected since they have smaller cash reserves and often rely on a constant stream of cash to survive. During this recovery period many of these New Jersey businesses need money and are turning to loans. However, experts warn that adding debt during this difficult economic time may be a bad decision for businesses.

Instead, experts suggest that business owners look for grants to fund their repairs. Grants are often offered by governmental agencies and by nonprofits. Recently, New York City’s mayor announced $5.5 million in grants specifically for small businesses hurt by the storm. Similar programs may be available in New Jersey.

In any case, when businesses are forming, or are otherwise in need of capital, they should seek legal guidance on how to properly fund and structure their endeavors.

Source: Courier Post Online, “Small businesses seek grants, not loans, for Sandy repairs,” Joyce M. Rosenberg, Dec. 8, 2012

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