By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor
TRENTON, N.J. — On Friday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that the state will provide an additional $235 million in funding for small businesses and $40 million for individuals that have been impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. Murphy will work with the state Legislature to provide $235 million in state funds to small businesses as part of the fourth phase of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s small business grant program. The EDA will also begin accepting applications for its extended fourth phase in the near future, and it also provided a breakdown of how the next round of $235 million will be allocated:
- Microbusinesses: $120,000,000
- Bars/Restaurants: $20,000,000
- Child Care Facilities: $10,000,000
- Start-Ups/Other New Businesses: $25,000,000
- Sustain & Serve: $10,000,000
- Other Small Businesses/Nonprofits: $50,000,000
New Jersey’s EDA has, to date, distributed more than $250,000,000 in grant money to approximately 55,000 businesses throughout the state. Gov. Murphy also signed a five-bill, $100,000,000 legislative package last month to provide $100,000,000 in federal COVID-19 relief funds to small businesses.
The $40 million will fund an excluded residents fund to support residents who aren’t eligible to receive federal assistance. This includes Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) holders and other people who were excluded from federal COVID-19 assistance. The Excluded New Jerseyans fund will provide a one-time cash payment of up to $2,000 to households with incomes of $55,000 or fewer. These households must also be able to prove how they’ve suffered from economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19 has created unimaginable challenges for our economy over the past year,” Gov. Murphy said in a release. “As we emerge from this pandemic, we need to make targeted investments in both our small businesses and our workforce to lay the foundation for a stronger and fairer future that works for everyone.”
New Jersey has recently announced its plans to lift COVID-19-related restrictions on businesses and effectively reopen New Jersey. Nearly all restrictions, including capacity limits on indoor businesses such as restaurants, will no longer be in place effective May 19. The state will still require mask-wearing and social distancing at indoor public places, but that could change if the CDC updates its recommendations in the coming weeks or months.
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