Additional $100 million on the way for NJ COVID Relief

Sen Menendez announces

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”.  read more

After Iceland put bankers in jail, good things happened

Why Iceland recovered so quicklyVox tells us why good things happened in Iceland after it prosecuted and convicted its bankers for the criminal fraud that led to the country’s economic collapse.

There’s no free lunch in life, and no country recovers from a severe recession without some bad things happening. But while most developed countries have gone through years of grindingly high unemployment paired with super-low inflation, Iceland did the reverse. It let the value of its currency tumble, which naturally brought about higher prices.

But as a result, the country’s export industries rapidly gained ground in international markets. Unemployment rose, but maxed out at a modest 7.6 percent before falling steadily to a very low level. In the US and Europe, the priority has been on low inflation to protect the asset values of the wealthy. Iceland prioritized jobs, and it worked.

…Getting policy right is difficult, but it can be done. And the upside to doing the right thing — devaluing the currency massively, then imposing capital controls to contain the fallout, then ending the capital controls once the economy recovers — can be enormous. Iceland has had a rough time over the past seven or eight years, but so have a lot of other countries. Things are looking up there now because the country’s leaders had the wisdom to reject elements of the self-satisfied conventional wisdom that have proven so harmful elsewhere. read more

Operation Hope

Non-profit organization HOPE Coalition America (HCA) through its disaster preparedness and recovery division, established Operation Hope to provide financial recovery services to Sandy victims. Individuals and small business owners can receive free information, guidance and assistance for loss associated with storm recovery by calling 888-388-HOPE (4673).

Services provided include:
? Disaster Recovery Budget
? Mortgage on a Destroyed Home
? Home Inspections and Repair Contracts
? Assistance with Working with Your Creditors
? Referrals to Government and Private Agencies
? Assistance with Obtaining Copies of Destroyed Documents
? Insurance Claims Assistance
? Completing Applications for Grants and Loans

HCA is a collaborative effort that allows knowledgeable, responsible individuals employed in the regulated financial
services industry to provide one-on-one assistance to individuals and families recovering from disasters.

Sandy recovery – get & give help

General government-based assistance

  • Legal hotline for NJ residents needing legal assistance after #Sandy.
    1-888-541-1900 or probono_public_service/ls_pb_hurricane_sandy_fema_new_jersey.authcheckdam.pdf
  • A special Federal Government website is set up to process Sandy requests http://www.disasterassistance.gov. It consolidates the application process across several Federal agencies, including FEMA and the Small Business Administration and reduces the number of forms applicants will need to fill out and you can check the progress of your applications online. You can also apply at
    • 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362) or fema.gov
    • via smartphone at m.fema.gov
    • Speech disability or hearing loss
      TTY 1-800-462-7585
      711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) 1-800-621-3362

    Financial assistance and grants

    • Look into applying for a Lion Clubs International direct grant or see what your local club has to offer.
    • FEMA assistance and how to apply
    • 5. Operation Hope
      Financial dignity nonprofit Operation HOPE offers financial triage, financial recovery and free consultation services for individuals and small business owners impacted by Hurricane Sandy. More information here

      6. Disaster SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Information (aka Foodstamps)
      SNAP Handbook Guide
      b. D-SNAP Toolkit: SNAP Guidance Toolkit.pdf

    Health issues

    The New Jersey Department of Health has public health experts available through the state’s 2-1-1 system to answer questions about food and water safety and mold removal. To reach public health experts, call 211 or 1-866-234-0964, or visit them online at nj211.org. Experts are available 8am-8pm weekdays and 10am-5pm weekends. More than 800 New Jersey residents have called the Department of Health hotline seeking help with food and drinking water safety, mold removal and prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning. The 211 number is open for general enquiries 24/7.

    General help

    • Lists of shelters, food pantries and soup kitchens at: nj211.org/hurricane.cfm
    • FEMA Diaster Assistance Q&A Video
    • Find a “>Red Cross shelter
      1-800-RED-CROSS or app.redcross.org/nss-app/
    • or Text “Shelter + Your Zip code” to 4332.

      • National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD)

        La Casa de Don Pedro
        75 Park Avenue, Newark, New Jersey 07104
        If you would like to report on additional resources available or any immediate needs that you observe, please send us an email or call us at 973.482.8312

        Collection Drives & Distribution Centers

        Please check that organizations are still taking in donations before you drop anything off. Always check before bringing furniture or other large items to the collection center
        Urban League of Essex County is collecting food donations & needs volunteers to distribute food 973-624-9535 508 Central Ave http://t.co/5Uwg0IHM
        Collection at Fire Hose Company 1, 63 Mount Vernon Street, Ridgefield ParkNov 2-4 Friday & Saturday 10-4 Sunday 10-2. If you need something in particular, please contact Sarah Mielnicki by email or by private message on Facebook and she will look out for it.
        La Casa de Don Pedro in Newark
        Maple Avenue School is a drop-off and distribution center. Email

        douglasfreeman@zaztek.com read more