More than 600 businesses submitted applications for state grants to help them recoup losses from Hurricanes Ida and Henri, according to state officials.
Tim Sullivan, head of the state agency overseeing the $10.5 million pool of money, said there’s plenty to go around before applications close at the end of the day, next week on Sept. 24.
“We can likely fund 2,500,” Sullivan, chief executive officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, tweeted on Sept. 17. “So if you were impacted by the recent storms, help is available.”
With COVID-19 relief grants for businesses, the NJEDA, in some cases, saw thousands of more applications than there were funds available within the span of an hour. That scenario has not played out with the hurricane relief.
Ida/Henri grant update: Application opened this morning, system performing well. ~500 apps in so far, we can likely fund ~2,500 so if you were impacted by the recent storms help is available.
— Tim Sullivan (@timsullivan510) September 17, 2021
At the time Sullivan tweeted the update, just over 500 employers had applied to the funds, which are meant to bridge those businesses between federal hurricane-relief loans, which could take weeks to process.
The available grants are for between $1,000 and $5,000 and are limited to businesses with up to 50 employees. They would be awarded to companies in the form of reimbursements for their August rent or mortgage, and can be used for a litany of expenses related to the storm recovery.
“The major disaster declaration” from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for 11 counties “unleashed not only individual assistance, but Small Business Administration and other buckets of money,” Gov. Phil Murphy said during a remotely-held COVID-19 press briefing on Sept. 15.
Murphy continued that the grant money “is a sort of bridge” for businesses in the midst of getting that federal relief.
New Jersey’s congressional delegation is pushing for federal appropriations to grant money to businesses in the state like had been done with Superstorm Sandy, but that faces an uncertain path, as noted by Sullivan.
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