Gov. Chris Christie says the first installment of the federal Sandy aid package should be flowing into New Jersey by the end of February.

If the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development approves the state's plan, Christie says $1.8 billion will be distributed as community development block grants to businesses and homeowners for reconstruction, repairs, and mitigation efforts to prevent flooding.

"In New Jersey, I think the biggest issue -- here at the Shore in particular -- is getting homeowners back in their homes, getting businesses reopened so things can start moving and beating again here for the summer season," Christie said Wednesday during a visit to Sea Girt.

The procedure for residents and business owners to apply for those grants has not been determined yet.

Christie also is hoping that HUD will allow the state to use some of the money for an aggressive marketing program to let people know the Shore will be open for business this summer.