State Agencies Offer Help to Fire-Damaged Seaside Businesses
Just days after four blocks of the Seaside Boardwalk burned down from a treacherous fire, various state agencies were on hand to assist business owners looking to rebuild.
Members of the Governor's Office of Constituent Relations, Economic Development Authority, Business Action Center, Department of Banking and Insurance, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Transportation, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Department of Community Affairs, and Department of Treasury were present Monday at the borough Municipal Complex between 3 pm and 9 pm to provide information and assistance.
Filling out paperwork and dealing with government agencies is nothing new to many of the business owners, most of whom suffered damage from Sandy. Just like after the superstorm, getting financial assistance is the prime concern for merchants hit hard by the fire.
"I don't believe that there's any insurance, so any funding anything that will help," says Angie Lombardi, owner of Angie's Arcade.
Mary Verderosa is the owner of four businesses within one building of the boardwalk and has been working at the Seaside promenade since 1972. For her, there is no question about rebuilding.
"All my children have memories have memories of this, and we don't want to just end it like this," Verderosa said.
However, Verderosa laments that she lost "a lifetime of happiness."
Maureen Stankowitz, President of the Toms River-Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, points out the fire had far reaching effects, and even business not directly damaged by the flames suffered.
"One of the motels this weekend only rented thirteen rooms, and they're supposed to be full," she explained.
The mobile cabinet will meet today again.