PLAINFIELD, NJ - Effective April 1, Plainfield is one of 13 municipalities participating in the Small Business Lease Assistance Program.  Kenneth Hart from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) presented an overview of the plan to the city council, administration and public at Monday's agenda setting meeting.

The program is an extension of the state’s original Business Improvement Incentive Program (BLI) under Governor Murphy’s plan for building a stronger, fairer New Jersey by revamping the state’s downtown corridors.

The Small Business Lease Assistance Programpdf is being structured as a three-year pilot program with $100,000 allocated annually to each of the thirteen cities.  In Plainfield, the designated area will be in the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), and eligible businesses will be provided lease assistance through lenders participating with the NJEDA.

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There is $500 application fee for the grant and a $100 administration fee, and application forms are available on the NJEDA website. Small businesses leasing spaces between 500 to 5,000 square feet for a minimum five-year term will be reimbursed 15 percent of their annual lease payments for two years.

Hart also mentioned the Grow NJ program and the relocation of the Carts Food Equipment company, a Brooklyn-based business that is moving its business to Plainfield.

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Under the program, Carts Food Equipment was provided tax incentives through the state and financial assistance spread over ten years, allowing them to purchase the property and renovate accordingly. In addition to bringing 22 to 25 existing jobs, Carts plans to provide a minimum of 30 new jobs at the new Plainfield facility.

According to Economic Development Director Valerie Jackson, the city will monitor the jobs, and ensure that local residents have early access to them.  She said the Grow NJpdf program is about relocating businesses from outside the state to New Jersey.