Murphy approves $25M grant program from smallest NJ businesses

Daniel J. Munoz//April 2, 2021//

Murphy approves $25M grant program from smallest NJ businesses

Daniel J. Munoz//April 2, 2021//

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Gov. Phil Murphy approved the creation of a $25 million pot of money to help keep some of the state’s smallest businesses – those with up to five employees – afloat during the pandemic.

“We can definitely say help is here,” Murphy said at the Thursday, April 1 bill-signing ceremony at Medford in Burlington County.

The $25 million for these establishments – known as microbusinesses – is part of a broader package of $100 million in proposed state grants, that would be enacted under a package of bills the state Legislature sent to Murphy’s desk on March 25.

All of those funds would come out of the state’s slice of federal money under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act signed last year.

The package includes $35 million to bars and restaurants, $10 million to daycare, $15 million to arts and culture groups, and $15 million for other businesses and nonprofits, all of which would be given out by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

On top of the funding is a slew of tax breaks lawmakers want to go toward businesses to hire back workers, and to hold them over during the pandemic.

Tim Sullivan, who heads the NJEDA, assured that once the governor approves the bill  “we’ll  be hard at work getting this money out.”

New Jersey is slated to get another chunk of direct funding – roughly $6.4 billion – under President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, the first of several recovery acts moving through Washington. None of those funds are scored into Murphy’s proposed $44.8 billion spending plan.

But state budget lawmakers – the first step in an approval process for sending Murphy a budget to sign – are scheduled to receive an update from the governor’s executive branch this Tuesday, April 6 on the status of what funding is in store for the state.