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The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board today approved rules for two new grants available within the Main Street Recovery Program that will help small businesses with new leases and other improvements.

The rules create two grant products funded by the Main Street Recovery Program: The Small Business Lease Assistance Grant and the Small Business Improvement Grant.

The Small Business Lease Assistance Grant is a $10 million program that will provide grants to businesses entering new or amended leases with at least five-year terms that include at least 250 square feet of street-level space. This grant funding will offset a portion of annual lease payments for two years.

The Small Business Improvement Grant is a $15 million program that will provide grants up to $50,000 to reimburse businesses for a portion of costs associated with improvements and/or the purchase or installation of furniture, fixtures, and equipment since March 9, 2020.

The applications for these programs are under development and will be announced soon, the NJEDA said.

“The Main Street Recovery Program approved today will build on the NJEDA’s successful COVID-19 relief programs to provide new resources tailored specifically to help business owners recover from the impacts of the pandemic and prepare for long-term success,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said after the board vote.

Created under the Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA), the Main Street Recovery Program is a $100 million offering multiple financial assistance products for small businesses. More information is available at https://www.njeda.com/main-street-recovery-fund/.

NJBIA supported the Main Street Recovery Program within the larger Economic Recovery Act because of the need to assist small businesses disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior iterations of tax incentive laws have not focused enough on small businesses, said NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Chris Emigholz.

In addition to the Small Business Lease Assistance Grant and the Small Business Improvement Grant, the NJEDA said it intends to pilot additional products funded through the Main Street Recovery Program. These pilot programs will include financing to help microbusiness lenders provide more low-cost loans and technical assistance for microbusinesses, as well an expansion of the NJEDA’s existing Micro Business Loan Program through which NJEDA will provide low-cost financing directly to eligible microbusinesses.