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New Jersey Economic Development Authority officials joined NJBIA today to take small business owners step-by-step through the application process for $85 million in COVID-19 emergency aid that will become available next month, but only to those who pre-register by 5 p.m., April 29.

Phase 4 of NJEDA’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program will provide short-term operating support to a broad group of small and medium-sized New Jersey businesses and nonprofits that have been struggling due to the pandemic. Grant awards will range from $10,000 to $20,0000 depending on need and how many employees the business has.

The first step of the application process is to pre-register online before 5 p.m., April 29, NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said during the NJBIA-hosted webinar, which had more than 300 registered attendees. The NJEDA’s pre-registration process opened April 19 and 20,000 businesses have already done so, he said.

“You have to pre-register,” Sullivan emphasized. “If you don’t pre-register, you cannot apply.”

The $85 million in federal funds is allocated into “four buckets” that will be distributed to small and medium-sized businesses as follows: $35 million for restaurants; $10 million for childcare centers; $25 million for micro-businesses with five or fewer employees (including sole proprietors and home-based businesses); and $15 million for all other small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.

To ensure that grants reach businesses in the communities most impacted by the pandemic, 33% of the funding in all four buckets will be set aside for eligible businesses whose primary location is in an Opportunity Zone Census Tract. New Jersey has 75 municipalities in all 21 counties that have an Opportunity Zone within their boundaries.

Patience Purdy, the director of Strategic and Program Initiatives at NJEDA, used a PowerPoint presentation to take interested business owners step-by-step through the online pre-registration process. Before pre-registering, a business owner must have the following information handy:

  • The legal name of the business used when it was registered with the State of New Jersey
  • Type of business entity (sole proprietor, LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp, etc.)
  • The year the business was established
  • Tax ID number
  • Peak full-time equivalent employee count from the last eight quarters of WR-30 filings
  • North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code
  • 2019/2020 annual revenues to establish revenue lost due to COVID-19

Pre-registered businesses that either did not apply, or applied and did not receive funds during Phase 2 and Phase 3 of NJEDA’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, may proceed with their applications on May 3.

Pre-registered businesses that have previously received Small Business Emergency Assistance Grants can move forward with applications on May 5 if they are a restaurant or childcare facility. A pre-registered business of any type that received funding in the earlier program rounds may proceed May 10 if it has five or fewer full-time equivalent employees and on May 12 if it has between 6 and 50 employees.

Purdy stressed that only businesses that have pre-registered by 5 p.m. on April 29 will be allowed to move forward with applications in May. More information about the program is available here.

To watch the entire NJBIA webinar, go here.