PATERSON, NJ – Street level business and non-profits seeking to locate or grow in Paterson now have two new opportunities to receive financial support through programs recently announced by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA).

The Business Lease Incentive (BLI) and the Business Improvement Incentive (BII) programs, administered by the EDA, in collaboration with the city’s Department of Economic Development, are designed to help increase foot traffic, and, according to EDA’s Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen, are “attracting private investment and creating momentum in Passaic and Paterson.”

Paterson businesses in the Urban Enterprise Zones as well as those in the Downtown Historic District, Main Street, from lower Main to Crooks Ave, 21st Ave. from Main to Madison, and 10th Ave. are considered eligible. A detailed map of eligible locations is available here.

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The BLI program offers reimbursement of 15 percent of annual lease payments for two years to for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations in eligible areas that plan to lease between 500 and 5,000 square feet of new or additional market-rate, first floor office, industrial or retail space for a minimum five-year term.

The BII program offers grants of up to 50 percent of total project costs, up to $20,000 for improvements made to the first floor of a facility in the eligible areas. The minimum project cost must be at least $5,000.

Ruben Gomez, Paterson’s Director of Economic Development, points out it’s not just business owners that can avail of these funding opportunities. They can also be, Gomez said, “leveraged by commercial realtors and landlords as an incentive to attract tenants.”

The pilot programs make up to $200,000 per year for three years available to Paterson businesses and non profits and are , as stated by Penny Forestieri, Director of Paterson’s Urban Enterprise Zone, “great economic tools, coupled with other UEZ opportunities, to give Paterson further opportunities to support local and growing businesses.”

Those interested in finding out more about these programs in Paterson can email Ruben Gomez.