Additional $100 million on the way for NJ COVID Relief

TRENTON – On 14 October 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy with US Senator Bob Menendez and Congressman Tom Malinowski announced $100 million in additional Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support New Jersey COVID-19 affected residents and businesses.

$70 million will be distributed to restaurants, microbusinesses, and other small businesses through Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. $10 million of the funds will help small businesses purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through the NJEDA Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program. $15 million will support renters through the Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program; and $5 million will support food banks and other hunger relief efforts.  

“Small businesses and the people they employ are the backbone of New Jersey’s economy, yet they have borne a disproportionate share of the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Murphy“It is incumbent on us to support them in any way possible. This additional funding helps us accomplish that goal.” 

“Many restaurants have had a hard time staying afloat even with outdoor dining and are now facing an uncertain winter. Our economic recovery depends on the ability of our small businesses to survive until an effective treatment and cure for the coronavirus can be found,” said Senator Steve Sweeney. “We need Washington to step up now with another stimulus package to keep us from sliding further into recession.” 

“I want to commend our state leaders for working together to get the federal coronavirus relief dollars we passed last spring into the hands of those who need it most,” said US Senator Bob Menendez.  “This $100 million fund comes from the money we in Congress included in the CARES Act to help combat the economic fallout of this pandemic.”

Phase 3 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program expands eligibility to any business with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) and increases the amount of funding businesses can receive. To ensure funds flow to businesses that need them most, Phase 3 grants are earmarked primarily forrestaurants and micro-businesses. $35 million will be dedicated to support businesses classified as “Food Services and Drinking Places” and $15 million is designated for “micro-businesses” with five or less employees. The remaining $20 million will be available to support any eligible business. 

One third of each funding pool is designated for entities located in New Jersey Opportunity Zones. 

$10 million will support the NJEDA’s new Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program, an public-private partnership for businesses with 100 employees or fewer to receive grants in the form of discounts on PPE purchased through NJEDA “Designated Vendors”. 

$15 million will be provided as rent relief for New Jersey tenants through the DCA’s COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Landlords will receive up to six months direct payments for tenants struggling to pay rent. It will cover rent incurred from August 1 through December 30, 2020. Payment amounts will depend on location, family size, household income and other factors..   

$5 million will fund food banks, hunger relief centers and soup kitchens.

Last Friday, the Department of Human Services also announced its new Housing Assistance Program, which will use $12 million in CARES Act funds to provide rental or mortgage assistance payments on behalf of eligible households that have suffered a financial hardship due to COVID-19. More information on this program is available here.

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