PLAINFIELD, NJ — Hoping to stop — or at least allay — some of the bleeding felt by small business corridors across New Jersey due to the global pandemic, Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday announced rental assistance will soon be available to almost 70 municipalities, including Plainfield. 

In all, $6 million will be dispersed from the new Small Business Lease Emergency Assistance Program, which will be run by the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority.

The money for the program originates from Federal CARES Act funds. 

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“COVID-19 has upended our economy in a way that only has occurred twice in our state’s history — the Great Depression in the ’20s and ‘30s and the Civil War,” Murphy said at Long Branch City Hall. “We will not let COVID-19 take us down.”

As much as $10,000 will be provided to small businesses and redevelopment authorities for the purposes of rent payment(s), officials said. 

"[We] cannot get to where we need to be and where we know we will be without the women and men who own and operate the small businesses that make a municipality into a community and turn a street into a gathering place for that community,” Murphy said. 

The 64 urban communities — chosen from 565 — were determined to have "special challenges," Murphy said. 

“We need our local economies to rebound from this crisis and come out the other side strong,” Lt. Gov. Sheilah Oliver said at Thursday’s event. “But we can only expect that result by directing programs and funding toward solving the individual problems that are holding local businesses back.”

The program will aim for business with 5,000-square-feet of leased space or less. Grants will be provided to:

  • Tenants leasing commercial space in mixed-use buildings
  • Tenants leasing space in commercial buildings
  • Tenants leasing space to operate a storefront business

More information about the application process will be made available online. It will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

A video of the press conference is available below.

Here is the list of towns that qualify. 

  • Asbury Park 
  • Atlantic City
  • Bayonne 
  • Belleville
  • Bergenfield 
  • Bloomfield 
  • Brick 
  • Bridgeton 
  • Burlington City
  • Camden 
  • Carteret 
  • Clifton
  • East Orange
  • Elizabeth
  • Garfield
  • Glassboro
  • Gloucester City
  • Gloucester Twp.
  • Hackensack
  • Harrison (South Jersey)
  • Hillside
  • Hoboken 
  • Irvington
  • Jersey City
  • Keansburg 
  • Kearny 
  • Lakewood 
  • Lawnside
  • Lindenwold
  • Lodi
  • Long Branch
  • Millville
  • Monroe Twp. (Gloucester)
  • Montclair
  • Mount Holly
  • Neptune City
  • Neptune Twp.
  • Newark
  • New Brunswick
  • North Bergen
  • Nutley
  • Old Bridge
  • Orange
  • Passaic
  • Paterson
  • Pemberton Twp.
  • Pennsauken
  • Penns Grove
  • Perth Amboy
  • Phillipsburg
  • Plainfield
  • Pleasantville 
  • Rahway
  • Roselle
  • Salem 
  • Sussex
  • Trenton
  • Union City
  • Vineland 
  • Weehawken
  • West New York
  • Willingboro 
  • Winslow Twp.
  • Woodbridge 
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