The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) is encouraging owners of small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak to explore the Authority’s existing small business financing programs. These programs, which pre-date the outbreak, are important tools for business owners and can serve as valuable complements to federal and State programs launched specifically to respond to the pandemic.
“Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, we have always been committed to providing small businesses with capital they need to grow,” NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan said. “While we created new resources to address the unique challenges COVID-19 poses, our established programs remain effective tools that businesses can use to face today’s challenges and prepare for tomorrow.”
Sullivan noted that, while the NJEDA continues to seek additional funds to support its COVID-specific programs, the Authority urges business owners to explore its other programs, which provide many of the same or similar resources. The existing programs are offered both directly by the NJEDA and in partnership with lenders throughout the Garden State.
The NJEDA encourages businesses to explore the following programs. More details about each of these programs can be found on the NJEDA’s website at http://www.njeda.com/small_midsize_business.
Micro Business Loan Program: Through this program, the NJEDA makes financing of up to $50,000 available to for-profit New Jersey businesses, which can use the financing for working capital or to purchase equipment. To ensure that the financing is accessible to the early-stage and micro businesses that need it most, to qualify, a business must have annual revenues of less than $1,500,000 in the most current fiscal year and cannot have more than 10 full-time employees at time of application.
Small Business Fund: The Small Business Fund offers loans of up to $500,000 for qualifying creditworthy small, minority- or women-owned businesses in New Jersey with up to $3 million in revenue that have been in operation for at least one full year and may not have the ability to get bank financing. Not-for-profit corporations that have been operating for at least three full years may also be eligible for assistance under the Small Business Fund.
Direct Loans: Direct loans are available up to $2 million for fixed assets, and $750,000 for working capital. New Jersey businesses in need of financing and committed to job creation/retention may be eligible for direct loans through the NJEDA when conventional financing is not available. NJEDA’s direct loan financing offers competitive interest rates and terms.
Premier Lender Program: In partnership with two dozen banks throughout New Jersey, The Premier Lender Program offers up to a $2 million loan participation or $1.5 million loan guarantee for fixed assets, and up to a $750,000 loan participation or $1.5 million guarantee for term working capital. Line of credit guarantees of up to $750,000 are also available.
In addition to these programs, which pre-date the COVID-19 outbreak, the NJEDA also launched a suite of programs specifically designed to address the challenges the outbreak has caused. These initiatives include grants, loans, guarantees, and support for entrepreneurs and community development financial institutions. The grant and loan programs are currently oversubscribed, but the NJEDA is actively seeking funding from federal, corporate, and philanthropic sources to expand them. Small business owners seeking more information about any of these programs should visit New Jersey’s COVID-19 Business Information Hub at https://cv.business.nj.gov.
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