Gov. Phil Murphy said Sept. 3 that grants will be available to New Jersey small businesses impacted by Tropical Storm Ida which caused severe damage this past week.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will create and administer the program, which will provide short-term, immediate rent/mortgage reimbursement support to New Jersey businesses and nonprofits with up to 50 employees that suffered physical damage on Sept. 1 and Sept. 2 and any additional flooding immediately thereafter.
Through the proposed $10 million grant program, small businesses and nonprofit entities will be able to apply for grants of $1,000 to $5,000 dollars. Landlords and home-based businesses are not eligible for grant funding through this program.
The announcement was made during a visit to Millburn, in Essex County, where the governor toured the downtown small business corridor, which was inundated by floodwaters beginning Tuesday evening.
“As with any emergency situation, our top priority is the health and safety of New Jerseyans, and we extend our deepest condolences to those families experiencing the loss or grave injury of a loved one,” said Murphy. “Now that the skies have cleared, we are eager to get to work on helping those who are waking up to harsh economic realities reclaim their livelihoods and mitigate Ida’s financial impacts to their businesses and the hardworking people they employ.”
“A disaster on the scale of what occurred in New Jersey and neighboring states is distressing under any circumstances, but it’s particularly devastating on the heels of an economic disruption of the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan.“NJEDA staff is prepared, under Governor Murphy’s leadership, to act quickly to assist businesses experiencing the destructiveness of Ida, with the continued agility and dedication that has enabled us to provide more than 80,000 grants and loans through our COVID-19 programs.”
Under the preliminary plan, to be eligible, the applying entity must:
Provide certification of an unmet need due to damage and/or business interruption
Provide documentation of physical damage to the applicant’s physical commercial location
Present a valid Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Submit recent wage reporting form (WR30), if applicable
Be registered to do business in the State of New Jersey
Be in good standing with the Department of Taxation
Additional requirements may apply
As proposed, grants will be provided in the form of reimbursement of August rent or mortgage ($1,000 min rent eligibility). To ensure grants reach businesses in the hardest-hit communities, including communities of color, one-third of the $10 million in funding available through the program will be targeted to businesses with a primary business location within the 715 census tracts designated as eligible to be selected as an Opportunity Zone.
The parameters of the program announced are preliminary and are subject to change. The proposed program will be presented to the NJEDA’s Board for consideration of approval at a special meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 10:00 a.m. If approved, the NJEDA expects to announce full details and the application timeline for the grant program following that meeting.