SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- On July 23rd, Governor Phil Murphy announced the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program funded through the CARES Act and managed by the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA). The program qualifies businesses in only 64 out of 565 municipalities to apply for grants up to $10,000.00 for lease costs.   

“Our small-town businesses are struggling and in many cases on life-support,” said Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith. “Lease assistance would be a great help to them at this time.  I urge the Governor and Legislature to find additional monetary assistance for our small business, but it is time to get them fully up and running with appropriate safety procedures.”  

”At first blush, this looked like a promising and exciting program for the small business community in New Jersey,” said Dunellen Mayor Jason Cilento.  “While it still is for the municipalities that were fortunate enough to be included, it leaves the businesses in my town, and the vast majority of all New Jersey towns, on the outside looking in."

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The Mayors for Main Street are asking the Governor and Legislature to create additional programs for the rest of the 501 municipalities who will not see any additional aid for their small businesses through this program.

“Every individual, family, business and government has skin in the game here,” said Bridgewater Mayor Matthew Moench.   In order to get all of New Jersey’s economy up and running again, we should be investing more equitably into all 565 municipalities.”

“This is just another instance of bureaucrats in Trenton picking the winners and losers in this economic recovery,” said Washington Township Mayor Matthew Murello. “This pandemic does not recognize municipal boundaries.  Every small business in the state is struggling.”

“I would like to call upon my Independent and Democratic colleagues across the State of New Jersey to join the ranks of Mayors advocating for their Main Streets during COVID-19 and beyond,” said Mendham Township Mayor Sarah Neibart.   “Now more than ever, bi-partisan efforts are needed for each of our towns and small businesses.”

Founded in May of 2020, Mayors for “Main Street” is an alliance of Mayors representing towns spanning several New Jersey Counties. The group mission is to advocate for the swift and safe reopening of businesses within their communities. Businesses that have been drastically and negativity impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also serves as a platform for local elected officials to share experiences, ideas and best practices. 

For more information on membership, please visit or contact is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily local news source. Sign up for our free daily eNewsletter and “Like” us on Facebook and Twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.

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