The deadline for businesses to submit applications for the Stronger NJ Business Grant Program, which provides grants of up to $50,000 to properties damaged by Superstorm Sandy, is Dec. 31.

Ortley Beach business (Mark Wilson, Getty Images)

To be eligible, businesses must have experienced a minimum of $5,000 worth of physical damage from the storm.

Any business owner who has already started the application process is encouraged to click the "submit" button on the online grant application as soon as possible, to ensure it will be considered for funding after the 31st. Applicants can continue to upload supporting documentation after the submission deadline.

To date, 184 grants totaling nearly $8.7 million have been approved for Stronger NJ Business Grants.

The loan program offers amounts of up to $5 million to businesses impacted by the storm or looking to expand within storm-ravaged communities, with no interest or principal payments for up to 24 months.

For more information on this and other programs, including the complete list of eligibility criteria and eligible uses of funds, click here or call the Economic Development Authority's Sandy hotline at 1-855-SANDY-BZ (1-855-726-3929).

Here are a few business owners describing their experiences.