MIDDLETOWN, NJ —Middletown Township on Friday, announced the application process for its Middletown Economic Relief Program (MERP). It's an initiative hat will provide financial assistance to small businesses in the municipality that has been affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

During a press conference on Oct. 15, Mayor Tony Perry and the Middletown Township Committee announced the launch of MERP, which will offer up to $15,000 to eligible businesses in the township. Congressman Chris Smith, Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone, Middletown Economic Development Committee Chairman Abe Littenberg, Township officials, and some local small business owners attended the event.

The program’s funding, which is more than $400,000, was provided through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and seeks to help businesses that are suffering from the financial impact of COVID-19.  These funds are provided from the Department of Housing and Urban Development via the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-CV) Program.

Sign Up for Holmdel & Colts Neck Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

“As soon as we learned that the Township would be receiving aid through the (CARES) Act, we swiftly created this program as a mechanism to provide a financial lifeline to our small business owners,” said Mayor Tony Perry, who also serves on the board of the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce. “We understand the emotional and financial burden this pandemic has had on our business owners and want to be able to give something back since they all bring so much to our community.”

Middletown-based businesses and non-profit organizations that fit the criteria below are encouraged to apply for the program:

  1. Your business/non-profit organization is located in Middletown Township.
  2. Your business/non-profit organization has between 3-40 employees.
  3. At least 51% of your business’s employees fall at or below designated regional income standards.

INELIGIBLE BUSINESSES INCLUDE:

  1. Governmental or quasi-governmental employees such as branches of the United States Post Office.
  2. Banks and other financial or lending institutions with more than 1 branch or office.
  3. Real estate agencies or brokerages.
  4. Businesses with any elected official ownership stake.

When applying, please keep in mind that any business that participates in this program and receives and uses funds must sign an agreement to remain open and not lay off any employees in place at the time of grant approval for 12 months from the date of the receipt of the fund. If a business does not adhere to this, then it will be required to return a monthly prorated share of the full awarded grant amount. This does NOT apply in the event of a government mandated shutdown.

Visit www.middletownnj.org/merp for additional information about the program and to complete the application. All applications must be submitted through the Township’s website. If you do not have access to a computer/scanner and need assistance with submitting the application, you can stop by the Reference Desk at the Middletown Township Public Library (55 New Monmouth Road) during regular business hours for help. The deadline to apply is Monday, November 9, 2020 by 11:59 PM. Applications received after that time will not be considered.