JERSEY CITY, NJ - Mayor Steven M. Fulop said Thursday that Jersey City will receive nearly $7 million from the initial allocation of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Securities (CARES) Act stimulus funds to directly benefit small businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among other officials joining Fulop at the press conference announcing the allotment of part of the $117 million in federal funds from the CARES Act to be distributed throughout Hudson County were Rep. Albio Sires, County Executive Tom DeGise, and Assemblymembers Raj Mukherji and Angela McKnight.
“The funding that Jersey City is receiving is a much needed federal support as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As Congress continues to craft response legislation, I will fight for our community to receive the assistance it needs to recover,” said Sires, who was instrumental in steering federal money to Hudson County. “I was a small business owner once. I know the struggle it takes to stay in business.”
Using American Laundromat on West Side Avenue as the backdrop for the announcement, Fulop said the program will provide up to $20,000 per business. He also highlighted Jake Gergas, President of the West Side Avenue Special Improvement District. The Gergas family has owned the laundromat for three generations, Jack joking about being in diapers in this place.
“We’ve been in business for 45 years – 35 years at this location,” Gergas said. “What this grant means to my family and all other small business owners’ families is survival. It means hope. It means we’ll see another day. With the city’s assistance, we’re doing what we can to survive, and with this grant we feel like we’re almost at the finish line. We’re very appreciative.”
“Throughout this crisis, we have worked on the city-level to prepare for the post-pandemic aftermath by expanding various city resources and services, and this federal aid will bolster those efforts to ensure our residents and businesses can get back on their feet as swiftly as possible,” said Fulop. “We’re grateful to the county and for our Congressional delegation who fought for this money that will allow our business owners to hire back local employees, pay outstanding expenses, and retain employees to stimulate and strengthen our local economy as we work to rebuild and strong and resilient foundation.”
“From the smallest town of East Newark to the biggest of Jersey City, we are going to make sure everybody gets their fair share,” DeGise said, sharing that county officials will oversee the distribution of the funds. “This stimulus funding is critical to the survival of many of our small businesses struggling after months of revenue losses and bills piling up. We’re encouraged by the work already underway and will continue to work with our municipalities to further foster recovery efforts.”
Businesses with 25 or fewer employees that are home-based, mobile, or brick and mortar are eligible for the grant allowable spending being directed towards salary expenses, rent or mortgage expenses, equipment leases, finance payments, loan payments, and utility payments incurred since March.
Freeholder Bill O’Dea, who represents West Side Avenue said the county hopes to make up for previous mistakes made in state funding programs, by encouraging local minority and woman-owned businesses to apply for the grant early on, while his colleague, Freeholder Jerry Walker, adding that this money could make the difference between a business staying open or not.
In order to be eligible for funding Jersey City businesses must be in good standing with Federal and State authorities, be able to provide documentation proving the expenses, be a for-profit business and click here to complete the application by July 16.
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