Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled two additional funding and support for New Jersey’s struggling small businesses in the last week.
In the July 23 announcement, the governor detailed $6 million in CARES Act funding which would be allocated to the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA) Small Business Lease-Emergency Assistance Grant Program, while on July 28 Murphy announced an additional $15 million would be used to support the state’s small businesses.
“COVID-19 is first and foremost a health crisis, but also a severe economic crisis, and nowhere is that more evident than in the state’s small business community,” the governor said. “Throughout this crisis, small business owners have worked incredibly hard to adapt and protect public health while supporting their employees and families.”
CARES Act Funding
The $15 million would be in addition to the $100 million the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) was already administering through other programs to help COVID-19 impacted businesses.
Initially, the program offered grants of up to $5,000 to a narrow set of small businesses, including restaurants and in-person retail establishments. It has since been expanded to offer up to $10,000 per grant.
To-date, more than 10,600 businesses sin the state were approved for grants totaling more than $44 million. Although the program is currently oversubscribed and not accepting applications, the EDA expects to use the funding to fulfill a significant number of existing applications.
“Using additional CARES Act funding to expand our programs will provide much-needed relief for businesses who have been struggling and for employees whose jobs have been at risk,” said EDA CEO Tim Sullivan.
Main Street Commercial Corridors Relief
The $6 million announced would allow businesses in 64 eligible municipalities to apply for grants of up to $10,000 for lease costs. The program is designed to help small business owners and landlords who are suffering.
The funding will be provided to tenants leasing commercial space in mixed-use buildings, commercial buildings, and those operating a storefront business. The program will be targeted for businesses with 5,000-sq. ft. of leased space or less.
“Right now New Jersey’s small and micro businesses, particularly those in economically challenged communities, are bearing the brunt of our nation’s health and economic crisis,” explained Leslie Anderson, NJRA president and CEO. “These businesses deliver value and stability to our state, and yet, struggle to access capital.”