NJEDA Announces $50 Million Expansion of Emergency Grant Program for Small Businesses and Non-Profits: More Funding, Larger Grants, Expanded Eligibility
Last updated May 26, 2020
On May 22, 2020, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (the “NJEDA”) announced a $50 million expansion of its Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. Funding for the expanded program, referred to as Phase 2, will come from federal assistance to New Jersey under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”).
Phase 2 offers larger grants and expanded eligibility to New Jersey’s small businesses and nonprofit organizations. By eliminating the most restrictive eligibility criteria of the original funding phase, the Phase 2 grant program is accessible to a far broader range of applicants. The NJEDA has also increased the maximum funding level per qualified applicant to $10,000, which is twice that of the original program.
Highlights of Phase 2 include:
- $5 million will be set aside to fund grants to qualified businesses that were waitlisted during Phase 1 of the program.
- $15 million is reserved for qualified businesses operating in Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts.
- Eligible applicants include NJ-based small businesses, home-based businesses, sole proprietorships, and 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), and 501(c)(7) nonprofit organizations.
- Eligible applicants cannot have more than 25 full-time employees, as reported on their most recent WR-30 filing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
- Grant amounts will be calculated at $1,000 per full-time employee, with a maximum grant award of $10,000 (for applicants with 10 or more full-time employees).
- Sole proprietorships and other entities with no full-time employees will be eligible for $1,000 grants.
- Grant funds can be used to replace revenues lost as a result of business interruption caused by COVID-19.
- Grant funds must be used for operating expenses; grant funds cannot be used for capital expenditures, including construction.
- Each grant applicant will be required to certify that it was in operation on February 15, 2020, it will make a best effort not to furlough or lay off any employees from the time of application through six months after the end of New Jersey’s COVID-19 declared state of emergency, it has been negatively impacted by the declared state of emergency, and it has a material financial need that cannot be overcome without the grant of emergency relief funds.
- Eligible applicants must be registered to do business in New Jersey, must be in good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and cannot have any outstanding tax liabilities.
- Applicants will be required to disclose any other funding received relating to COVID-19, including Small Business Administration loans and grants, forgivable portions of CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program loans, and federal Economic Injury Disaster grants.
Applications for Phase 2 are not yet available but are expected to be available soon. When available, applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
CSG will continue to provide updates on state and federal funding programs. If you have any questions regarding any federal or state economic assistance programs, please reach out to your CSG attorney.
For additional information pertaining to the coronavirus outbreak, please visit CSG’s COVID-19 Resource Center.
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