The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) board approved the creation of the Government Restricted Municipality (GRM) Planning Grant Program. This two-phase program will provide grants for the benefit of the three GRM municipalities identified in the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA) – Trenton, Atlantic City, and Paterson – to develop and execute strategic action plans to move forward stalled projects that have significant potential to provide sustainable and resilient benefits for community members and business stakeholders.
“As we move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that we ensure communities that were hit the hardest have the support they need to come back stronger and ready for long-term growth,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The GRM Planning Grant Program will help Trenton, Atlantic City, and Paterson identify projects that are close to execution and provide the catalytic funding they need to get those projects done. In this way, the program will provide immediate, tangible benefits for these communities while setting the stage for them to thrive.”
In line with Gov. Phil Murphy’s commitment to investing in communities and people, the GRM Planning Grants Program leverages $3 million of ERA funding to provide grants to qualified applicants to create long-term strategic action plans to catalyze stalled projects and meet the community’s goals.
The program will be administered in two phases. During Phase 1 the NJEDA will award three grants of up to $250,000 each to support the creation of detailed, long-term, and action-oriented strategic plans that synthesize existing plans from both the municipality and stakeholders and identify technical capacity needs that have held projects back from completion. Following the creation of these strategic action plans, Phase 2 of the program will provide additional funding of up to $750,000 per GRM to support the execution of projects identified in their strategic action plans.
Phase 1 of the GRM Planning Grants Program is open to New Jersey municipalities, counties, and authorities as well as accredited higher education institutions, public interest research groups, and professional services providers who have completed at least one municipal, county, or New Jersey state government plan focused on economic revitalization. All applicants must provide a letter of support from the chief executive of the eligible GRM that they will be working with. Eligibility for Phase 2 will be limited to GRMs that have either developed strategic action plans or had such plans developed for them under Phase 1.
Applications for Phase 1 of the GRM Planning Grant Program are expected to open in the coming months and will be accepted until sixty days after the opening date. The NJEDA anticipates awarding the first grant through the program in late 2021.
More information about the GRM Planning Grant Program is available at https://www.njeda.com/grmpgp.
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