Grainger Donates $50,000 to Help Small Businesses in Bound Brook, NJ Rebuild After April Nor’easter

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Bound Brook, NJ (June 12, 2007) – Small business owners in Bound Brook, N.J., are struggling to recover from the April nor'easter that caused millions of dollars in damages across the region. Many are still paying off loans taken out after Hurricane Floyd caused massive destruction in the area in 1999. Recognizing the need to help local small businesses get back on their feet, one local company is lending a helpful hand.

Grainger, (NYSE: GWW), North America's leading business-to-business distributor of facilities maintenance supplies, today donated $50,000 to the Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) to help small businesses in Bound Brook, N.J. and the surrounding areas rebuild. Michael Hade, Regional Branch Services Vice President at Grainger, presented the contribution to Donna LoStocco, Chairperson of the Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP), at a press conference held on Main Street in Bound Brook, N.J. Frank Ryan, Mayor of Bound Brook, N.J., County Freeholder Director Bob Zaborowski, County Freeholder Rick Fontana, and State Assemblymen Christopher Bateman, Pete Biondi and Upendra Chivukula also attended the event.

“Grainger has been a proud member of the Northern New Jersey business community for more than 74 years and we're committed to helping our neighbors in their time of need,” said Hade. “Our employees take great pride in providing local businesses with the supplies they need to maintain, operate and repair their facilities every day. When disasters strike, our help is even more important. We hope our contribution helps small businesses in Bound Brook get back up and running again soon.”

The donation was made as part of the Grainger Rebuilding AmericaSM program, which awards grants to small business communities across the nation that fall victim to natural disasters. Grainger has awarded four such grants since 2003, providing assistance to a variety of small businesses such as local music stores, florists, photography studios and attorneys' offices in Jackson, Tenn., Utica, Ill., Springfield, Ill., and Iowa City, Ia.

The April nor'easter caused approximately 40 communities in the Northern New Jersey area to be placed under a state of emergency. More than 1,000 residents were forced to live in emergency shelters for an extended period of time, and several lost their lives as a result of the storm. In total, the April storm nearly matched the devastation caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

“We are grateful to Grainger for this gift and the company's commitment to the Somerset County business community,” said LoStocco. “This donation will help local small businesses rebuild and will enhance our efforts to restore the beauty and prosperity of the downtown business districts in Bound Brook and the surrounding areas.”

The SCBP will distribute the $50,000 through a grant process open to locally operated and independent small businesses. Awards will be made based on criteria such as loss of income, loss of physical property and lack of adequate insurance among others. Additional standards used by the Small Business Administration to determine loan eligibility may also be considered. For more information about the grant process, business owners should contact the Somerset County Business Partnership at (908) 218-4300.

For additional details about today's event or to schedule an interview, please contact either Michael McGrew, Grainger, at (847) 224-9269 or Rich Reitman, SCBP, at (908) 526-1390.

About Grainger

W.W. Grainger, Inc. (NYSE: GWW), with 2006 sales of $5.9 billion, is a leading broad line supplier of facilities maintenance products serving businesses and institutions in Canada, China, Mexico and the United States. Through a highly integrated network including nearly 600 branches, 18 distribution centers and multiple Web sites, Grainger's employees help customers get the job done, saving them time and money by having the right products to keep their facilities running. Grainger is the national founding sponsor of the American Red Cross Ready When the Time Comes corporate volunteer training program.

About the Somerset County Business Partnership

The Somerset County Business Partnership, with the support of the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders, serves as Somerset County's economic development agency. Economic development program priorities of the Business Partnership include business attraction, business expansion, business retention, and infrastructure investment. The Business Partnership is committed to maintaining a healthy environment and economy in Somerset County. For more information and/or specific assistance please contact John Maddocks at (908) 218-4300, extension 25.

Michael McGrew
(847) 224-9269

Rich Reitman
Somerset County Business Partnership
(908) 526-1390

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