TRENTON, NJ. — The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has opened the second stage of its Small Business Emergency Assistance Program. The $45M grant is intended to extend benefits to non-profits supporting veterans, membership-driven business and industry groups.  During Phase I of the emergency relief, only 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(7) organizations were eligible.

The application process began yesterday and instructions and the application are available on the NJEDA's website.  Eligible business owners may access the application in a variety of languages

“The expansion of eligibility for the Small Business Emergency Grant Program will ensure the continuity of crucial resources and services that sustain our communities,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan.

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According to the information provided by the NJEDA, the goal of the program is to provide grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses and non-profits impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. $10 million of the Phase 2 funding will be set aside to support qualified businesses located in one of the 715 census tracts that were eligible to be selected as a New Jersey Opportunity Zone.

The addition of 501(c) (19) means that veterans' organizations can apply for the grant assistance. In order to qualify for the program, applicants must have 25 or fewer full-time employees. Those with home-based businesses must show proof that they operate from a New Jersey address.

The NJEDA received $50 million from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund established under the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to support small businesses. The NJEDA will provide an additional $5 million to fund businesses that were waitlisted during Phase 1.  The NJEDA will use $45 million to fund Phase 2, which will provide grants up to $10,000 to a significantly broader range of businesses than were previously eligible.

“Veterans in New Jersey are struggling through this crisis, and we need strong veteran service organizations to be part of the recovery. I’m proud to have worked with Tim Sullivan and his team at NJEDA and veteran leaders in our community to help provide support to our veteran service organizations, so they can continue delivering for those who served our nation,” said Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03).

The grant funding is intended to help businesses who suffered financial losses related to the pandemic. Businesses will be eligible for $1,000 per full-time employee to a maximum of $10,000. Sole proprietors  or companies without employees would receive the $1,000 minimum grant amount.

Money received from the grants cannot be allocated for capital expenses, such as construction costs. It is intended to be used to reimburse revenue due to business interruption during the coronavirus crisis.

Under the Phase 1 of the grant program, which launched on April 3 with $5 million in NJEDA funds, only 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), and 501(c)(7) organizations were eligible to apply for grants of up to $5,000. The program was quickly oversubscribed.  

Yesterday, the NJEDA also expanded its Micro Business Loan Program, which will provide financing of up to $50,000 for micro businesses and nonprofits with ten or fewer employees and no greater than $1.5 million in annual revenues. More information about the enhanced program is available at www.njeda.com/microbusinessloan

“Micro businesses are a vital component of New Jersey’s economy, providing unique services and employment opportunities, but because of their size, many of these businesses have had a particularly difficult time responding to the challenges COVID-19 poses,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The expanded program will ensure more businesses have access to the resources they need to survive the current crisis and return to full strength soon.”