BAYONNE, NJ - First Ward Councilman Neil Carroll III said he is visiting every business he can in his ward to make certain they are aware of the Hudson County Small Business Grant Program.

“There is a checklist and I’m trying to make sure that all the business owners in my ward have it,” he said. “If I miss a business because they are closed or out at the time I visit, I want them to know they can get the information from city hall.”

On Tuesday Mayor Jimmy Davis announced that the City of Bayonne is joining the county’s program designed to provide grants to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to team up with the county, he said, will help to better support small businesses requiring assistance through the program. Priority, he said, will be given to businesses that have not received funding from any of the previous federal, state, or other programs that have been established in the past months.

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“I understand the difficulties facing our small business community, and I have been fighting to get much-needed aid,” Davis said. “With constantly changing guidelines from the federal government we have faced unpredictable delays.”

According to Hudson County Freeholder Bill O’Dea the program will provide up to $20,000 per small business with 25 employees or fewer, including $2,000 per full time employee and $1,000 per part-time employee.

The grant, O’Dea added, will help subsidize small businesses who need help to start up again or which have kept open during the pandemic, paying employees at a loss.

“We purposely created an application period rather than have it be first come first served – although we are encouraging small businesses to apply at soon as possible. We also wanted to make sure there is a paper application as well as on-line for those businesses that do not have an IT department.”

Davis' announcement also coincided with one by Governor Phil Murphy that Bayonne has been selected as one of 64 eligible whose businesses, through the Small Business Lease – Emergency Assistance Grant Program (SBL-EAGP) to apply for grants of up to $10,000 for lease costs. The program will assist small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which also assists landlords, many of whom are also small businesses.

“The Small Business Lease Emergency Grant Assistance Program is directly geared toward keeping the mom-and-pop shops on main streets and business centers afloat in this time of need, specifically in our most vulnerable communities in New Jersey,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and Board Chair of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority. The program, a statement added, will be targeted to tenants leasing commercial space in mixed-use buildings; tenants leasing space in commercial buildings; and tenants leasing space to operate a storefront business.

While applications for the county program are still be developed business will be able to apply for the leasing assistance online beginning August 10 online with funds being distributed on a first come, first served basis. 

Businesses can apply, and potential receive, both grants, O’Dea said. “A business can apply for the county program for help with employee salaries and the state program for help with rent.”

In his statement Davis encouraged local small businesses to begin getting their financial documents together so that they are ready once applications become available. “At this difficult time for our nation, financial help is on the way for many small businesses.”

The following documents are likely to be needed, in digital format, to apply for the Hudson County Small Business Grant Program:

  • Copy of last Form WR-30 filed with the State of New Jersey
  • Copy of last filed federal income tax return or proof of owner draws
  • Copy of last filed federal Form K-9
  • Copy of the signed lease, canceled rent checks, or signed statement from landlord stating terms of lease.
  • Copy of signed mortgage note and/or business loan note
  • Copies of any water, sewer, gas and electric utility bills from the period the businesses were closed from COVID-19
  • Copies of any invoices for equipment and supplies related to COVID-19 provided by the supplier
  • Denial letters from any previous applications for insurance, grants, or loans covering any COVID-19 expenses or any documentation showing the monetary amount of any federal, state, or other funding received towards COVID-19-related expenses

Bayonne businesses can also contact the Bayonne Business Administrators' Office at 201-858-6109 for any questions of assistance needed. 

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