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NJEDA to Administer $10M in CARES Act-Funded Grants for Essex County Businesses

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) is partnering with Essex County to award $10 million in grants to Essex County businesses through Phase 2 of the Authority’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. Essex County is providing the funds and they will be distributed only to businesses located in Essex County. Business owners can apply for funding at https://forms.business.nj.gov/grant-2/.

“Small businesses form the backbone of our local economy and non-profit organizations provide a vital safety net of social services for our residents. Both have been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus and both need our help to be able to economically survive,” DiVincenzo said. “Through our partnership with the NJEDA, we are making grants available to help small businesses and non-profits weather this unprecedented storm. The first phase of grants awarded by the State were a tremendous boost for businesses. There is still a grave need and the additional funds being provided by Essex and the state will help reach a greater number of businesses and non-profits,” he added.

Essex County is contributing $10 million of federal CARES Act funding to be awarded to Essex County-based businesses and nonprofits through Phase 2 of the NJEDA’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. Businesses can use grant funding to replace revenues interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but not for capital expenses, such as construction.

The NJEDA’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program uses funding from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to support small businesses and non-profits throughout New Jersey. During Phase 2 of the program, the NJEDA will use five million dollars of federal funding to fund waitlisted applications from Phase 1 of the Grant Program, with the remaining $45 million allocated to Phase 2 applicants on a first come, first serve basis. The application is available at https://forms.business.nj.gov/grant-2/.

“Partnering with Essex County will expand our reach as we advance this next round of support for business owners and their employees during this unprecedented time,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan. “The COVID-19 outbreak has brought many underlying inequities to light, and the NJEDA is dedicated to awarding grant funding in a manner that bears out Governor Phil Murphy’s vision for a stronger and fairer state economy.”

The NJEDA launched the first round of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program on April 3 with $5 million in NJEDA funds.  This phase provided grants up to $5,000 to a precisely targeted subset of businesses that had been hit particularly hard by the Coronavirus outbreak. Phase 2 of the program provides grants up to $10,000 to a significantly expanded variety of businesses and nonprofits with up to 25 full-time employees, including sole proprietorships and home-based businesses, which were excluded from Phase 1. To ensure equitable access for businesses in economically disadvantaged communities, $15 million of Phase 2 funding is reserved for businesses in census tracts that were eligible to be designated as Opportunity Zones.

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