HACKENSACK, NJ — Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco announces that the application portal for the Bergen County CARES Municipal Reimbursement Program to provide relief for municipalities straddled with expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic will open today Monday, June 29.
Under the Bergen CARES Municipal Reimbursement Program, all 70 municipalities are entitled to direct reimbursement from the County for COVID-19-related expenses identified in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These expenses include payroll expenses for health care workers and public safety employees, personal protective equipment and building improvements. To receive credentials for the cloud-based Municipal Reimbursement Application System, all municipalities must submit the Bergen County CARES Act Municipality Reimbursement Agreement with approval of their local government body to the County of Bergen. The Bergen County CARES Act Municipality Reimbursement Agreement was distributed to every municipality on June 10.
Tedesco also announces that Bergen County CARES Small Business Grant Program to assist local businesses financially impacted by the government ordered shutdown will begin accepting applications through a separate portal on Monday, July 13. Businesses deemed “non-essential” per the Governor’s Executive Order 104 that were forced to close as a measure to stop the spread of COVID-19 will be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in financial relief to cover rent, property mortgage, and utilities expenses. Subsequent announcements regarding the small business grant application process will be forthcoming.
To qualify for the Bergen County CARES Small Business Grant Program businesses must fall under the following criteria:
- Businesses must have a physical location in Bergen County, NJ. This includes home-based businesses;
- Businesses must have been deemed “non-essential” within the classification of “Businesses Required to Close” as per the Governor’s Executive Order No. 104, dated March 16, 2020;
- Only businesses with 1-19 full-time employees qualify;
- Sole-proprietorships; LLCs; LLPs; Corporations; and S-Corporations are eligible;
- Businesses owned by county employees and elected officials, as well as their immediate families, are not eligible;
- Businesses must have been open and operating on March 1, 2020.
Priority will first be given to businesses who have not received any Federal grant assistance, New Jersey Economic Development Authority grants or US Small Business Administration grant or other grant assistance.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious financial impact on governments and business communities across the country," said Tedesco. "It is important that we use available resources to support the municipalities in their efforts to combat the spread of the pandemic and one of the hardest hit sectors, small, mom-and-pop shops, who were forced to close their doors. These local businesses are the backbone of Main Street, Bergen County and it is important to support our fellow neighbors as we begin to reopen."
"We are sensitive to the challenges our municipalities face to provide the critical resources needed to end this pandemic, and we understand our small Main Street businesses deemed non-essential during the shutdown have struggled to survive," said Bergen County Freeholder Chairwoman Mary Amoroso. "Your survival is essential to us in Bergen County, and we encourage you to apply."
The Bergen County CARES Municipal Reimbursement and Small Business Grant Programs are funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Federal relief fund. All administrative questions regarding both programs can be sent to BergenCountyCares@co.bergen.nj.us.