TRENTON, NJ - Help is available for local small businesses, mid-size businesses that have had to close or drastically reconfigure operations, and new businesses that were just getting on their feet before the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis hit.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will launch the application for its Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program on Friday, April 3, 2020 at 9 a.m. A link to the grant program application will be posted on the State’s COVID-19 Business Information Hub. The grant program is part of a package of initiatives announced last week to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
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.
The NJEDA developed these relief programs using the results of an online survey of small and mid-sized businesses conducted over March 20 and 21. The survey, which was conducted in both English and Spanish, received more than 2,000 responses. Key findings that informed the NJEDA’s new programs include:
· COVID-19 has had a significant impact on New Jersey’s business community, with 73 percent of organizations surveyed reporting a significant loss of revenue and/or contract commitments. The accommodation & food services and arts & entertainment sectors have been hit particularly hard.
· Many businesses anticipate needing to lay off workers if support is not available, with 52 percent of respondents suggesting temporary lay-offs may be necessary if they do not receive support within the next three months.
· Businesses need financial support, but are not requesting large sums. 96 percent of respondents predicted they would need financial assistance within the next three months, with the average amount of funding needed falling between $50,000 and $75,000.
Applications for other NJEDA COVID-19 programs, including no/low interest loans, entrepreneurship support, and technical assistance for those applying for U.S. Small Business Administration loans will be available in the coming weeks.
Businesses and nonprofits can find eligibility requirements for all programs on the COVID-19 Business Information Hub or use the Eligibility Wizard to identify which emergency assistance programs they may want to consider for their business’s specific needs. Comprehensive information about New Jersey’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak is available online at: https://covid19.nj.gov/.