New Jersey to Begin Accepting Applications for Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program

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The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced this week that it will commence accepting applications for its Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program on Friday, April 3, 2020 at 9:00 A.M.

The grant is available to small and medium-sized New Jersey businesses and non-profits (SMEs). The Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program will provide up to $5,000 to NJ-based SMEs that have between 1–10 full time equivalent employees (FTE). The grant funding is targeted as unrestricted payroll and working capital support, and cannot be used for any capital expenses, including construction.

Grant values are calculated at $1,000 per FTE reported on business’ most recent WR-30 filed with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The total pool of funding made available for the grants is $5 million. Of this $5 million, $3 million will be set aside for SMEs with 5 or fewer FTEs.

To be eligible for the grant, a business must:

  • Have a physical commercial location in New Jersey; home-based businesses are not eligible for this grant.
  • Fall into one of the following industries: Retail (NAICS codes starting with 44 or 45); Accommodation & food services (NAICS codes starting with 72); Arts, entertainment & recreation (NAICS codes starting with 71); Other services (only those with NAICS codes starting with 811 and 812).
  • Be registered to do business in New Jersey.
  • Be in good tax standing with New Jersey.
  • Be in good standing with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
  • Have the business’s CEO certify that the business:
  • Will make a best effort not to furlough or lay off any individuals from the time of application through six months after the end of the declared state of emergency. SMEs that have already furloughed or laid off workers must make a best effort pledge to re-hire those workers as soon as possible. Any material breach of its best efforts certification may result in the NJEDA seeking repayment of the grant.
  • Has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 declared state of emergency.
  • Has a material financial need that cannot be overcome without the grant of emergency relief funds.
  • Non-profits must have status of 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), or 501(c)(7) to be eligible

The following business types are not eligible for the grant:

  • Businesses related to gambling or gaming activities
  • Businesses related to the purveyance of “adult” (i.e., pornographic, lewd, prurient, obscene) activities, services, products or materials (including nude or semi-nude performances or the sale of sexual aids or devices)
  • Businesses subject to auction or bankruptcy or fire or “lost-our-lease” or “going-out-of-business” or similar sale
  • Traveling merchants
  • Christmas tree sales or other outdoor storage
  • Any other activity constituting a nuisance
  • Businesses illegal under the laws of the State of New Jersey

Businesses interested in applying can view a copy of the grant as a series of screenshots on the NJEDA website. The NJEDA also provides several tools on its website to assist New Jersey businesses in determining whether they qualify for the grant including the NJ COVID-19 Business Support Eligibility Wizard and the Grant Size Calculator.

Applications close Friday, April 10, 2020 at 9:00 A.M.

The Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program is one program within a package of initiatives the NJEDA has introduced, representing approximately $75 million in value, to assist small and medium sized New Jersey businesses and non-profits facing negative economic impacts as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The suite of initiatives introduced also includes, a zero-interest loan program for mid-size companies, support for private-sector lenders and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), funding for entrepreneurs, and a variety of resources providing technical support and marketplace information. The NJEDA will roll out these other initiatives over the coming weeks. White and Williams will continue to monitor the status of these programs and provide additional details as applications for the programs open.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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