The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announces applications for the Small Business Lease Assistance Program are available. The program, which reimburses small businesses a portion of annual lease payments for new or additional space leased in targeted cities around the state, is part of the NJEDA’s efforts to invest in communities by revitalizing commercial corridors.
“Bringing small businesses back to New Jersey’s main streets and downtown areas is central to creating walkable, transit-accessible neighborhoods where people will choose to live and work,” said Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who also serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. “NJEDA’s Small Business Lease Assistance Program will help to attract new businesses, create new jobs, and lend a hand in community revitalization – it’s a win-win for New Jersey.”
The Small Business Lease Assistance Program reimburses businesses and nonprofit organizations 15 percent of annual lease payments for two years when they rent market-rate, first-floor office, industrial, or retail spaces for a minimum 5-year term. Businesses in the program can lease spaces of any size, but will only receive NJEDA reimbursements on the first 5,000 square feet of leased space.
“Supporting small businesses that create good jobs for residents is a critical component of Governor Murphy’s plan to invest in communities,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The Small Business Lease Assistance Program will provide businesses the support they need to get off the ground, helping to build more vibrant downtown areas that attract more businesses and the talent we need to build a competitive economy.”
The program is available in thirteen cities, including the five legislatively-designated Garden State Growth Zones (GSGZs)—Atlantic City, Camden, Trenton, Passaic, and Paterson—as well as eight Urban Enterprise Zones (UEZs) with Main Streets as designated by the NJ Department of Community Affairs: Bridgeton, Jersey City, Millville, Mt. Holly, Phillipsburg, Plainfield, Salem, and Vineland. Within each municipality, the NJEDA can approve up to $100,000 in lease assistance per year for three years. To ensure the greatest possible impact, the NJEDA has coordinated with the eligible municipalities on specific areas of eligibility within the cities that are consistent with local redevelopment plans and fit into the city’s long-term vision.
Each of the cities has also designated a program representative to assist businesses with the application process, questions specific to the city, and to help market the program to local businesses. Each city’s representative can be found at www.njeda.com/LeaseAssistance.
“The Small Business Lease Assistance Program is an important tool for creating vibrant, walkable communities,” said Christina Fuentes, Director of Small Business Services at the NJEDA. “Small businesses are what make communities unique and helping them thrive is the best way to foster dynamic and inclusive cities and downtown areas that make New Jersey special.”
In addition to the Small Business Lease Assistance Program, the NJEDA also supports small businesses with low-interest loans, bond financing, and educational programming. Many of these programs place a special emphasis on supporting women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses.
Business owners can apply for the Small Business Lease Assistance Program here: www.njeda.com/LeaseAssistance
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