The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board has approved a suite of new initiatives designed to support small and mid-sized local businesses facing economic hardship due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The initiatives are expected to support between 3,000 and 5,000 local businesses by providing more that $75 million of State and private financial support and are intended to complement the recently announced federal economic stimulus bill, the CARES Act.

The suite of new programs includes:

Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program which will provide grants up to $5,000 to small businesses in order to stabilize their operations and reduce the need for layoffs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible small businesses include those that can demonstrate that they have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak with between one and ten full-time equivalent employees and in the following industries: retail, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food service, and other services, such as repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services.

Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program which will provide ten-year working capital loans up to $100,000 with a zero percent interest rate for the first five years and a maximum interest rate of 3% for the remaining five years. Eligible businesses are those with less than $5 million in annual revenue who have been in existence for at least one year and can demonstrate that they have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Applications for the Small Business Emergency Assistance Programs are anticipated to be opened during the week of March 30th, with completed applications considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

NJ Entrepreneur Support Program which will provide 80 percent guarantees for working capital loans to investors of NJ-based startups with less than $5 million in annual revenue and less than 25 total employees at the time of application. Eligible startups are those in the following industries: advanced manufacturing, information/technology, life sciences, finance and insurance, clean energy, food and beverage, advanced transportation, and film and media.

Applications for the NJ Entrepreneur Support Program will be accepted in the upcoming weeks, with completed applications considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Small Business Emergency Assistance Guarantee Program which will provide 50 percent guarantees for working capital loans in addition to waiving fees on loans made through institutions participating in the NJEDA’s existing Premier Lender or Premier CDFI programs. Eligible businesses are those with less than $5 million in annual revenue who have been in existence for at least one year and can demonstrate that they have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Access to the Small Business Emergency Assistance Guarantee Program is available through any one of the NJEDA’s Premier Lenders.

Meg Chesley

Author Meg Chesley

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