Following up on Governor Murphy’s announcement last week committing $50 million to the EDA for grants to support small businesses hurt by the COVID-19 shutdown, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) voted today to add $5 million to April’s oversubscribed grant program for those already in the queue and use $45 million for a new broader grant program to support small businesses.
NJ EDA will receive this money from the federal CARES Act funding. The new phase of the grant program will be extended to:
- all NAICS codes instead of the limited few covered in the first phase
- employers with up to 25 employees will be eligible instead of the 1-10 criteria from the first round
- a cap of $10,000 per application instead of the previous $5,000
- sole proprietors and home-based businesses that were left out of first program
- allow counties to piggyback on this new grant program by using their CARES Act money to create a similar small business grant program
- focus one-third of the grants on traditionally underserved areas in Opportunity Zone-eligible tracts
- work with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection to dole out their CARES Act grant funds
“NJBIA had been advocating to provide federal CARES Act funding to the EDA for helping businesses struggling in this pandemic, and we were happy to see that the State listened to us about giving the EDA this money,” said Christopher Emigholz, NJBIA’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “NJBIA had also been requesting that the EDA expand the very limited eligibility criteria from the first round of EDA grants, and we were happy to see that expansion with this new $45 million.”
The EDA’s special board meeting approving this new grant funding featured several small business owners frustrated that they did not access the first round of EDA funding, and NJBIA understands this frustration. Toward that, NJBIA hopes that more CARES Act and other federal funding can flow to the EDA to further expand the programs they offer to support businesses struggling in this pandemic.
EDA CEO Tim Sullivan estimated that these programs may be available to apply to by June 8, 2020. NJEDA staff will again process the applications on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be no application fee.
Applications for Phase 2 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program will be available soon. NJEDA staff will process the applications on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be no application fee. More information about New Jersey’s COVID-19 response is available here.