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Sandy cleanup could boost NJ's economy, study finds

Published On: Jan 14 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 16 2013 05:31:42 AM CST

Was Sandy a good thing for NJ?

Despite all the damage Superstorm Sandy left behind, is there actually a "silver lining" to the storm's aftermath? Some economists think so.

Several Rutgers University professors said if billions of dollars of federal aid is given to New Jersey, the state's economy will see a boom.

Over the next several years, rebuilding the Garden State could bring 10,000 new jobs, increase personal income and add billions of dollars in revenue if $25 billion of additional federal aid is passed by Congress, the study shows.

The boom will happen through the construction field as manpower, supplies and excess work will spread throughout the state, according to the study.

But judging from experience, Joel Badway, the owner of a hardware store on Main Street in Phillipsburg, Warren Co., said he doesn't think Rutgers' theory carries a lot of weight.

"Cause a lot of projects in the area being done for the state, and I didn't see a penny of that," Badway stated.

Badway said he's lucky if he sees two customers per day, so framing pictures keeps his shop afloat. He thinks any money made from the Superstorm Sandy rebuild will stay at the big box chains and not trickle down to local "mom and pop" shops like his.

"My customers are the ones who live right here and walk here," he said.

The Rutgers professors do want to stress the hurricane was deadly, dangerous and damaging. Their study only deals with economic numbers and does not account for human suffering.