(TRENTON) – Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee Chair Albert Coutinho (D-Essex) issued the following statement after listening to testimony from local officials and business owners about the financial impact of Superstorm Sandy:
“It’s clear from the testimony we heard today that we’re just beginning to feel the financial repercussions of this storm. Sandy devastated towns and businesses and the recovery process will be a long one. Today was not about finding answers, but getting information that will allow us to ask the right questions that will help get these towns and businesses the assistance they need to recover.
“Some of the speakers today described painstakingly slow experiences in getting financial assistance. Moving forward, we should consider streamlining government functions to expedite delivery of resources, and find ways to build on the momentum that that economy is currently undergoing by providing initiatives like ‘sales tax holidays’ to help businesses get back on track.
“Lastly, I’d like to relay a message that seems to have gotten lost in all the chaos. The Jersey Shore was hit hard, but it’s not ruined. Tourist destinations like Atlantic City and Cape May were for the most part unscathed. It is important that we take every opportunity to spread this message. Parts of the Jersey Shore will have to be rebuilt, but others are well and ready for business.”