HOBOKEN, NJ - Back in March, Hoboken was among the first cities in the nation to begin closing down its retail and hospitality sectors in the face of the COVID threat. Obviously the economic ramifications of the pandemic response are far-reaching. As those businesses continue to struggle, every bit helps.

To that end, Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, and Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano announced that 321 small businesses in Hoboken were awarded a total of $1.82 million in grant funding— which can be utilized for COVID-19 related expenses including payroll, mortgage payments, utilities, and more. These funds were made available through Hoboken’s share of the federal CARES Act.

“Our small businesses make up the backbone of our City, and we are doing everything we can to assist them during these difficult times,” said Mayor Bhalla. “I’m hopeful that our federal elected officials will provide even more relief in the months ahead, as we continue to support our local mom-and-pop shops. Thank you to Senator Robert Menendez, Senator Cory Booker, and Congressman Albio Sires for fighting for CARES Act funding for our community.” 

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To qualify for the grant funding, small businesses had to be in operation at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, operate as a for-profit entity, and have 25 employees or fewer—all stipulations written into the CARES Act.

“Hoboken’s economic recovery from the pandemic depends on small business coming back strong,” said County Executive DeGise. “That’s why we are so grateful to Senator Menendez and our federal legislative delegation for securing these CARES Act funds and working so hard with Mayor Bhalla and the business community to put them to the best use possible.” 

Based on the number of recipients, the average grant amount would be around $5,670. Specific amounts for each business were determined by criteria established by Hudson County. Should another COIVD-19 relief package come through at the Federal level, additional funding may be available in the future for Hoboken small businesses.

“I would like to thank Senators Menendez and Booker for the CARES funds given to the County to be distributed to all cities, and I would like to thank Mayor Bhalla and his administration for working cooperatively with the County to make sure all qualified small business owners receive their share of funding,” said Freeholder Romano.    

Hoboken has also provided relief for small businesses through the Hoboken Relief Fund, created to provide financial assistance to small businesses and individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief fund, co-chaired by Council President Jen Giattino and Councilman Phil Cohen, has raised over $410,000 to-date for impacted Hoboken businesses and individuals. 

As for when the current round of grant money will be made available to recipients, Councilperson-At-Large Emily Jabbour tells TAPinto Hoboken, “as of yesterday, the majority of payments to qualifying small businesses have been made. There are some businesses that may have not received payment yet because they have been asked to provide additional information (e.g. bank info, updated W9). All remaining payments should be made by the end of this week."

Hoboken business owners with questions about the CARES Act grant funding, or may not have received the correspondence, are encouraged to email smallbizgrants@hobokennj.gov.

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