New Jersey recently committed $60 million in CARES Act funding to fulfill small business grants as the state recorded new coronavirus case highs the last two days.
“COVID-19 is above all else a severe health crisis, but its economic impact has been incredibly difficult for New Jersey’s small business community,” said Gov. Phil Murphy in a press statement announcing the plan. “Small business owners have been diligent in their efforts to protect the health of their employees and customers, and they deserve our support.”
“This new round of funding will help ensure that many more businesses emerge from the pandemic stronger than before.”
The funds will be distributed through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA’s) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. This monies will enable the NJEDA to fulfill grants for the entire pipeline of eligible businesses that applied for Phase 3 funding prior to the application deadline.
Without this supplemental funding, approximately 13,000 of the nearly 22,000 businesses that applied would have been declined based on the program being oversubscribed. To date, more than 22,000 small businesses have been approved for grants worth a total of more than $64.9 million through Phases 1 and 2.
The average grant award has been roughly $3,000, which indicates the average approved business has three full-time equivalent employees.
“The NJEDA shares Gov. Murphy’s commitment to supporting small businesses and we are delighted to be able to assist many more deserving businesses than anticipated,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “We continue to focus all available resources on processing grants and getting funding into the hands of hardworking small business owners as quickly as possible.”
The NJEDA’s suite of COVID-19 relief programs provides a variety of resources for businesses of all sizes, including grants for small businesses, zero-interest loans, support for private-sector lenders and CDFIs, and funding for entrepreneurs. Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, which provides grants to small businesses impacted by the pandemic, is the largest COVID-19 relief program in New Jersey.
Phase 3 significantly expanded eligibility for the Grant Program and increased the amount of funding businesses can receive. Any business or non-profit located in New Jersey, including home-based businesses, with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees is eligible to receive grant funding during Phase 3, including businesses that received funding in previous phases of the program.
To ensure equitable distribution of funds, the NJEDA set aside one-third of the funding for this program to support qualified businesses located in one of the 715 Census tracts that were eligible to be selected as a New Jersey Opportunity Zone. This targeting has helped to ensure minority- and women-owned businesses that were hardest hit by the pandemic’s economic impact were able to get the support they need.
Funding in this program is targeted to the industries hardest hit, specifically restaurants, micro-businesses, and businesses based in the state’s Opportunity Zones. The application period for Phase 3 grants is now closed.
New Jersey has allocated more than $250 million of funding to support small businesses through the COVID-19 crisis.
The cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 279,274 with 8,935 total new cases reported and 44 new deaths over Nov. 14-15 weekend, bringing that total to 14,765. The state listed probable deaths at 1,801, bringing the overall total to 16,566.
For North Jersey counties, Essex had a total of 994 new cases, Bergen 799 new cases, Passaic 781 new cases, Hudson 718 new cases, Morris 408 new cases, Sussex 83 new cases and Warren 81 new cases .
State officials noted 52 deaths occurred in the last 48 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,942, followed by Bergen at 1,837, Hudson with 1,386, Passaic at 1,138, Morris at 704, Sussex at 162 and Warren with 158.
In regards to probable deaths, Bergen has 246, Essex has 230, Hudson has 158, Morris at 146, Passaic at 141, Sussex has 36 and Warren has 13.
The daily rate of infections from those tested as of Nov. 8 was 12.2%. By region, the North has a rate of 13.0%, Central at 12.0 and the South at 10.8%. The state is no longer using serology tests as health officials explained those results show a past presence of the disease as well as a current one.
As for the rate of transmission, it increased to 1.38 from 1.35 the day before. Officials have continually cited transmission rate and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.
Officials reported 2,004 patients are hospitalized; by region, there were 1,043 in the North, 527 in the Central and 434 in the South.
Of those hospitalized, 392 are in intensive care units and 135 on ventilators, while 431 patients were discharged over two days.
Essex Tops County Count
Essex has the most cumulative cases in the state with 30,216, followed by Bergen at 29,223, Hudson at 26,894, Middlesex at 25,744, Passaic at 24,876, Union at 24,156, Ocean at 18,635, Monmouth at 16,689, Camden at 14,863, Morris at 11,195, Mercer at 11,060, Burlington at 10,527, Somerset at 7,648, Gloucester at 7,068, Atlantic at 6,555, Cumberland at 4,455, Sussex at 2,080, Warren at 2,024, Hunterdon at 1,981, Salem at 1,352 and Cape May at 1,349.
Another 684 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.
In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions, a total of 51 outbreaks involving 192 cases have been reported in 18 of the 21 counties in the Garden State, with 15 new outbreaks involving 46 cases recorded. For North Jersey, Bergen County has six confirmed outbreaks with 17 cases, Sussex County has three confirmed outbreaks with seven cases, Warren County has three confirmed outbreaks with seven cases, Hudson County has two confirmed outbreaks with eight cases and Passaic County has one confirmed outbreak with nine cases.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 220 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 4,556 of the cases, broken down between 2,362 residents and 2,194 staff.
Cumulatively, 887 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 25,957 residents and 14,626 staff, for a total of 40,583 cases.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 7,249 on Nov. 15. The facilities are reporting to the state 6,875 residents deaths and 122 staff deaths.