The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced that its Small Business Improvement Grant (SBIG) has awarded close to $13 million to over 500 small businesses in the Garden State since it launched this February. The SBIG awards small businesses up to $50,000 to reimburse costs associated with making building improvements or purchasing new Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment (FFE).
“The SBIG is a great example of Gov. Phil Murphy’s promise of finding creative ways to help strengthen our economy,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan “In a little over seven months, this program has helped more than 500 New Jersey businesses become more resilient and better position themselves for future growth by offsetting costs they incurred as they adapt to a post-pandemic economy.”
Sullivan also noted that 40% of the SBIG funding will be set aside for businesses and nonprofits in Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts, in line with Gov. Murphy’s commitment to equity.
Created under the Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA), and funded with $15 million from the Main Street Recovery Program, the SBIG reimburses eligible small businesses and nonprofits for up to 50% of eligible project costs associated with building improvements or the purchase and/or installation of new FFEs.
One of the hundreds of small businesses that received reimbursement is the Admiral Resort Motel, a family-owned vacation destination located a short distance away from the famous Wildwood Boardwalk at the Jersey shore.
“For more than 40 years, we’ve hosted families of all sizes and from all corners of the world as they enjoy their time off at the Jersey shore,” said the Admiral Resort Motel owner William DiAntonio. “After several needed upgrades to our facilities, which included revamping our security system and refreshing our guest rooms, we’re now in a much better financial position to invest in future projects as we continue to build vacation memories for years to come thanks to the grant we received from the NJEDA.”
Another business that secured funding from the SBIG is Enterprise Solutions Accounting, a consulting and accounting firm whose focus is primarily the Latino market. This Hamilton-based minority-owned small business received reimbursement for a new HVAC system, new flooring, new doors, new panel dividers, and all the labor associated with these necessary improvements.
“The SBIG has allowed us to offset thousands of dollars in renovation costs to upgrade our facility and operations,” said Enterprise Solutions Accounting owner Henry Pulido. “The reimbursement we received from the NJEDA will allow us to keep investing in the community we serve as we continue to provide the highest professional experience to our clientele.”
Businesses and nonprofits that receive funding through the SBIG are required to pay employees for the grant term the greater of $15 per hour or 120 percent of the minimum wage.
Tipped employees must be paid at least 120% of the minimum wage. Applicants must also commit to remaining in the facility and meeting wage requirements for up to four years following the execution of the grant agreement and depending upon award amount. Awards greater than $25,000 will have a compliance period of four years and grant awards less than $25,000 will have a compliance period of two years.
For more information on the SBIG, please visit https://www.njeda.com/small-business-improvement-grant/.
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