Cahootz joined FoodStart on Nov 29, 2014

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Justine Gotzkov

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I have been in the food industry since I was a teenager and worked for many different chains and in 2012 I managed to acquire my own restaurant in February 2012 - a dream come true. However, on October 29, 2012 this restaurant, which was part of a neighborhood bar in a marina (Keyport, NJ), was wiped off the map by Hurricane Sandy. Because the loss was commercial and NOT personal (i.e., a home, etc.) I RECEIVED NO ASSISTANCE whatsoever from FEMA or the billions of dollars raised by charity. Upon apply with FEMA, they sent me to SBA for a loan which was not an option for me as I no longer had assets to secure it and my credit was bad. After a year long depression of fighting with FEMA and unemployment A friend brought us out to Colorado to start up an eatery as he claimed there were "no quality places to eat in town" (Fairplay, CO). About one month after picking up and moving to Colorado, my friend was dealing with EPA violations on a new property he acquired and was ordered to remediate. The investment monies he had put aside for me to start a new venture was now being used for the EPA violations. It has been a year now and I have made baby steps in starting my own restaurant again, however, I have yet to find any reliable investors. We signed the lease on a new place in town in premium location and acquired a biz license. On that same day, my backer and friend backed out for reasons unknown. I am now holding a lease to a premium location and at a stopping point. PLEASE HELP!!!