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Last chance to pre-register for NJEDA Phase 4 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program 

Pre-registration for Phase 4 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance grant program will close tomorrow, June 30th, at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Small businesses and nonprofits that missed previous deadlines to apply have another chance. 

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced that it reopened pre-registration for Phase 4 of its Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program back in late-May. The June 30th deadline is now quickly approaching. Read on to learn how you can pre-register and take advantage of this opportunity. 

Since the initial launch of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program back in April of 2020, the NJEDA has distributed more than $259 million in aid to some 55,000 businesses across the state.

Recently, Governor Phil Murphy announced the allocation of $200 million in additional funds to help fulfill Phase 4 grant applications. Small business owners and non-profits that have not previously applied for Phase 4 grants may pre-register as a preliminary step toward applying for grants of up to $20,000.

The $200 million in additional funds will continue to support the most adversely affected businesses in New Jersey, including: 

  • $20 million for bars and restaurants
  • $120 million for micro-businesses, $10 million for child care providers
  • $50 million for other small businesses and nonprofits with up to 50 full-time equivalent employees

“We’ve seen tens-of-thousands of small business owners in New Jersey benefit from this Grant Program offered by the NJEDA since it was initially launched in April of last year, so we’re very grateful to receive this additional funding that will help us fulfill many more requests for financial assistance,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Reopening Phase 4 will allow eligible small businesses and nonprofits in New Jersey apply for grants of up to $20,000 aimed to help them replace lost revenue during the pandemic and keep their doors open for business.”

Phase 4 funding is supporting restaurants, micro-businesses, and child care providers, as well as other small businesses. To ensure grants reach businesses in the hardest hit communities, including communities of color, the NJEDA has assigned one-third of funding to businesses with a primary business location within the 715 census tracts designated as eligible to be selected as an Opportunity Zone. 

Last chance to pre-register for Phase 4. (Image Source: @newjerseyeda)

How to pre-register and apply for Phase 4 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant

Interested business owners and non-profits will need to pre-register for Phase 4 here to access the application. Phase 4 Pre-registration reopened Wednesday, May 26th, 2021 and will remain open until Wednesday, June 30th, at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Don’t miss this opportunity. Register now! 

Applications will become available following the Phase 4 pre-registration period, as pre-registered applicants will be asked to return to https://programs.njeda.com/en-US/ to complete an application based on the following schedule:

  • Restaurants (Food Services and Drinking Places, NAICS begins with 722), Child Care Providers (NAICS code 624410) and Small Business (6 more Full Time Equivalent Employees): July 7, 2021, 9:00 a.m. EDT. 
  • Micro Business (5 or Less Full Time Equivalent Employees): July 8, 2021, 9:00 a.m. EDT.  

Applications will remain open through July 15, 2021, 5:00 pm EDT and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, based upon the date and time the Authority receives a completed application submission. Applicants must complete the full application to be considered for grant funding.

Grant awards will be calculated based on the number of full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) businesses employ: Micro-businesses with five or fewer FTEs and sole proprietorships will receive up to $10,000; businesses with six to 25 FTEs will receive up to $15,000; and businesses with 26 to 50 FTEs will receive up to $20,000. A grant size estimator is available here.

Small businesses and nonprofits will need to show they have been negatively impacted during the declared state of emergency to be eligible for this grant. This includes businesses that have been temporarily shut down, have been required to reduce hours, have had at least a 20 percent drop in revenue, have been materially impacted by employees who cannot work due to the outbreak, or have a supply chain that has materially been disrupted and therefore slowed firm-level production during the pandemic.

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Need assistance with the application process? 

The NJEDA will continue to provide the online pre-registration and application in English and Spanish, offering applicants access to interpretation services to support speakers of ten additional languages –Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, and Tagalog.

 

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In addition to the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, the NJEDA administers a variety of technical assistance and low-cost financing programs for small and mid-sized businesses impacted by COVID-19. Businesses and nonprofits can use the Eligibility Wizard to identify which emergency assistance programs they may want to consider for their business’s specific needs. More information about these programs and other State support is available at https://business.nj.gov/covid or call 844-965-1125. 

To learn more about NJEDA resources for businesses call NJEDA Customer Care at 609-858-6767 or visit https://www.njeda.com and follow @NewJerseyEDA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Gov. Phil Murphy announces $100 million CARES Act funding for NJ small businesses affected by COVID-19

COVID-19 had hit small businesses the hardest, with many having to shut down for extended periods of time and severely limit their services leading to loss of revenue and financial hardship. Luckily relief is on the way for New Jersey small businesses as Gov. Murphy announces $100 million in additional CARES Act funding to support NJ residents and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.   

CARES Act funding to support NJ businesses

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has had a severe impact on the global economy. For months, businesses came to a screeching halt and for states like New Jersey, where small businesses are integral to the economy, local communities felt the economic blow hard. 

“Small businesses and the people they employ are the backbone of New Jersey’s economy, yet they have borne a disproportionate share of the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Murphy. “If we are to emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient than we were before, it is incumbent on us to support them in any way possible. This additional funding helps us accomplish that goal.”

The additional aid comes as a relief to many NJ restaurant and small business owners who have struggled the most during this time. The bulk of the money, $70 million, will be distributed to restaurants, microbusinesses, and other small businesses through Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. An additional $10 million will be used to help small businesses purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through the NJEDA Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program. 

Phase 3 of the Grant Program expands eligibility to any business with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) and increases the amount of funding businesses can receive. To ensure funds flow to businesses that need them most, Phase 3 includes set-asides for grants to restaurants and micro-businesses. $35 million will be dedicated to support businesses classified as “Food Services and Drinking Places” under NAICS code 722 and $15 million will be directed to support “micro-businesses” that have five or fewer employees. The remaining $20 million will be available to support any eligible business.

“I want to commend our state leaders for working together to get the federal coronavirus relief dollars we passed last spring into the hands of those who need it most,” said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez.  “This $100 million fund announced today by the Governor and our legislative leaders comes from the money we in Congress included in the CARES Act to help combat the economic fallout of this pandemic.  The federal money will help struggling New Jersey small businesses stay open, help them get the personal protective gear they need to keep employees and customers safe, and provide additional rental and food assistance to residents who need it most.”

In line with Governor Murphy’s commitment to a stronger, fairer recovery, one third of each of these pools will be directed to support entities that are located in census tracts that were eligible to be selected as a New Jersey Opportunity Zone.

 The Administration is also providing $10 million of additional CARES Act funding to support the Authority’s Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program. Launching in late October, this program will utilize an innovative public-private partnership model to enable businesses with 100 employees or fewer to receive grants in the form of automatic discounts on PPE purchased through NJEDA-approved “Designated Vendors”.

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 “Supporting small businesses is vital to ensuring New Jersey’s economy withstands the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and is well-positioned for a strong recovery. The Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program and the PPE Access Program are powerful tools that will help thousands of business owners and employees face the challenges the pandemic has created,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Governor Murphy’s strong leadership throughout this outbreak and commitment to supporting these critical programs will provide immediate relief to the business owners and workers who need it most while continuing our progress toward a stronger, fairer recovery.”

Launched in early April, the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program provides grants to small businesses impacted by the pandemic. To date, over 19,000 small businesses have benefited from the program.

Additional relief for renters and food banks 

The pandemic has also had a devastating impact on many vulnerable NJ families. To help protect them the Administration will also provide $15 million more in rent relief for New Jersey tenants through the DCA’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This program reduces the burden renters face by paying landlords directly for up to six months. The funding announced today will cover rent incurred from August 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020. Payments per household will depend on a variety of factors such as location, rental market, family size, and average per household income.  

“The additional support we are providing will extend relief to tenants so they can focus their limited resources on staying safe and secure,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner.

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

Lastly, $5 million will go toward supporting food banks and other hunger relief efforts. 

“The coronavirus outbreak has exacerbated existing hunger issues and has created new struggles for families who have lost jobs and wages,” said NJ Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher. 

The CARES Act funding will go toward helping New Jersey’s food banks, pantries, and soup kitchens expand their capacity for these continually increased demands so that they can help feed more NJ families in need.

NJEDA, COVID-19

NJEDA announces new support to businesses impacted by COVID-19  

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board today approved a suite of new programs designed to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

NJEDA

The package of initiatives includes a grant program for small businesses, a zero-interest loan program for mid-size companies, support for private-sector lenders and Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs), funding for entrepreneurs, and a variety of resources providing technical support and marketplace information. Taken together, they will provide more than $75 million of State and private financial support, with the opportunity to grow to more than $100 million if additional philanthropic, State, and federal resources become available. The initiatives will support between 3,000 and 5,000 small and midsize enterprises and are meant to complement recently announced federal economic recovery initiatives.

The suite of new initiatives includes:

  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $5 million program that will provide grants up to $5,000 to small businesses in retail, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food service, and other services – such as repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services – to stabilize their operations and reduce the need for layoffs or furloughs.
  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program – A $10 million program that will provide working capital loans of up to $100,000 to businesses with less than $5 million in revenues. Loans made through the program will have ten-year terms with zero percent for the first five years, then resetting to the EDA’s prevailing floor rate (capped at 3.00%) for the remaining five years.
  • Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Emergency Loan Loss Reserve Fund – A $10 million capital reserve fund to take a first loss position on CDFI loans that provide low interest working capital to micro businesses. This will allow CDFIs to withstand loan defaults due to the outbreak, which will allow them to provide more loans at lower interest rates to microbusinesses affected by the outbreak.
  • CDFI Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $1.25 million program that will provide grants of up to $250,000 to CDFIs to scale operations or reduce interest rates for the duration of the outbreak.
  • NJ Entrepreneur Support Program – A $5 million program that will encourage continued capital flows to new companies, often in the innovation economy, and temporarily support a shaky market by providing 80 percent loan guarantees for working capital loans to entrepreneurs.
  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Guarantee Program – A $10 million program that will provide 50 percent guarantees on working capital loans and waive fees on loans made through institutions participating in the NJEDA’s existing Premier Lender or Premier CDFI programs.
  • Emergency Technical Assistance Program – A $150,000 program that will support technical assistance to New Jersey-based companies applying for assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The organizations contracted will be paid based on SBA application submissions supported by the technical assistance they provide.

More information about the NJEDA programs will be available here: https://cv.business.nj.gov.  (expected after March 30, 2020)

“The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in New Jersey has sent us into uncharted territory, and the economic impacts will be significant and far-reaching, especially on Main Street. The scope and scale of this new challenge requires immediate action to support New Jersey workers and businesses,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The new NJEDA programs announced today are a critical step that will mitigate the economic impacts of this unprecedented challenge and help workers and businesses to weather the storm and come out stronger when things return to normal.”

NJEDA, COVID-19

Development of the grant program, support for CDFIs, and flexibility for current NJEDA borrowers was enabled by the legislature through A3845. Primary sponsors of the legislation include Assemblymembers Roy Freiman, Louis D. Greenwald, Ronald S. Dancer, and Senators Nilsa Cruz-Perez, and Brian Stack.

The new NJEDA initiatives focus on businesses that have been hit hardest by the novel coronavirus outbreak: local small businesses, mid-size businesses that have had to close or drastically reconfigure operations, and new businesses who were just getting on their feet before the crisis hit. The programs provide a suite of compatible offerings that address these businesses’ varied needs and include mechanisms to provide funding and assistance as quickly as possible.

Many of the resources are designed to be scalable with the addition of federal and philanthropic resources if they become available. Philanthropic partners interested in donating to support the NJEDA’s small business grant program should reach out to donations@njeda.com.

“Small- and medium-sized enterprises are the heartbeat of New Jersey’s economy and it is crucial that we do what we can to provide the resources and assistance they need to withstand the outbreak of novel coronavirus,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “In coordination with our partners throughout State government, we are undertaking an unprecedented effort to support these businesses and the New Jersey residents who rely on them for their livelihoods. These are challenging times, but New Jerseyans are resilient, and together we will get through this and rebuild our economy.”

Additional details on the NJEDA’s new programs, including eligibility requirements will be available here: https://cv.business.nj.gov. Comprehensive information about New Jersey’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak is available here: https://covid19.nj.gov/.