Deadline extended for PPE subsidy program

Daniel J. Munoz//March 22, 2021//

Deadline extended for PPE subsidy program

Daniel J. Munoz//March 22, 2021//

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The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is providing a two-month extension for a state subsidy program meant to help businesses eat the costs of personal protective equipment like gloves and masks needed to stay open during the pandemic.

All told, more than 10,000 businesses have benefited from this state aid, known as the NJ Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program, according to Gov. Phil Murphy.

Businesses with less than 100 employees interested in applying will now have until May 28 to submit their applications rather than March 31, or when the funds run out, the NJEDA said in a March 22 statement.

Companies that buy from one of three designated vendors – Boxed, Office Depot, and Staples – can get discounts of nearly 70% for PPE such as masks, gloves, dividers and floor markings for social distancing, hand sanitizer, gowns, face shields and disinfectant.

Added discounts of up to $1,000 are available for businesses in some of the state’s poorest communities, the Opportunity Zone eligible census tracts.

Businesses that stay open during the pandemic have to provide PPE to their workers at their own expense.

The NJEDA has rolled out a host of state aid programs meant to help out businesses during the pandemic. They include grants, low-interest and deferred-payment loans, financial guarantees for investors, and grants that essentially pay pandemic-hit restaurants to prepare meals for many of the state’s residents in need.

Lawmakers are proposing $100 million of grants and tax breaks for businesses struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic and keep their workers on the payroll.

Those are slated for full floor votes by the entire state Assembly and Senate later this week. Another measure would dedicate the entire annual $100 million of hotel and motel tax revenue for the state’s pandemic-hit arts and culture industry.

Federally, a combined 71,587 New Jersey businesses have received $5.8 billion in federal forgivable loans under the Trump-era Paycheck Protection Program.