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What programs, loans, or resources are available to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak? Where can I learn more about resources for businesses?

Last Updated: 08/11/2020

COVID-19 BUSINESS INFORMATION HUB

For detailed information on COVID-19/Novel Coronavirus and its impact on businesses, visit the State of New Jersey COVID-19 business information hub.

There you'll find information on resources, assistance, and regulations. You can also live chat with a representative from the NJ Department of State's Business Action Center.

NEW PROGRAMS TO SUPPORT BUSINESSES

Applications for the various programs are available now or will become available shortly; see each program page for details. To see which of these programs you are eligible for, use the NJ COVID-19 Business Support Eligibility Wizard.

Please click on each program below for more information, including full eligibility criteria.

  • NJHMFA Small Landlord Emergency Grant Program A $25 million NJHMFA program that will assist small rental property owners and their tenants during the COVID-19 emergency. The grant will support vulnerable landlords and renters by reimbursing small landlords for missed/reduced rent payments between April and July 2020. Landlord grantees will be required to forgive back rent and late fees that their tenants have accrued during the April to July period. Eligible properties must have between 3 and 10 units; may not be seasonal/vacation rentals; must be registered with the Department of Community Affairs Bureau of Housing Inspection; must have a current fire inspection certificate as of March 9, 2020; must have at least one non-vacant rental unit that has been negatively impacted by COVID-19; and must have low-to-moderate income rent levels. The Application Portal will open on August 19th at 9 AM online and close on August 26th at 1 PM. After the Portal closes, applications will be computer-randomized and then reviewed and awarded in the randomized order to give all properties an equal opportunity to be assisted.
  • Small Business Lease - Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $6 million NJRA program that allows businesses in 64 eligible municipalities that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to assist with lease payments. The program is targeted to businesses with 5,000 square feet of leased space or less, and provides grants to tenants leasing commercial space in mixed-use buildings, tenants leasing space in commercial buildings, and tenants leasing space to operate a storefront business. Applications open August 10, 2020, online, and funds will be distributed on a first come first served basis.
  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, Phase 1 (Application Deadline Passed) – A $5 million program that will provide grants up to $5,000 to small businesses in retail, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food service, and other services – such as repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services – to stabilize their operations and reduce the need for layoffs or furloughs. The NJ EDA will soon be using an additional $5 million to fund businesses that were waitlisted during Phase 1.
  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, Phase 2 (Application Deadline Passed) – $45 million in federal CARES Act funding will provide grants up to $10,000 to a significantly broader range of businesses than were previously eligible. Those applicants on the oversubscribed list are encouraged to apply for the expanded second round program.
  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program – A $10 million program that will provide working capital loans of up to $100,000 to businesses with less than $5 million in revenues. Loans made through the program will have ten-year terms with zero percent for the first five years, then resetting to the EDA's prevailing floor rate (capped at 3.00%) for the remaining five years.
  • NJ Entrepreneur Support Program – A $5 million program that will encourage continued capital flows to new companies, often in the innovation economy, and temporarily support a shaky market by providing 80 percent loan guarantees for working capital loans to entrepreneurs.
  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Guarantee Program – A $10 million program that will provide 50 percent guarantees on working capital loans and waive fees on loans made through institutions participating in the NJEDA's existing Premier Lender or Premier CDFI programs.
  • Emergency Technical Assistance Program – A $150,000 program that will support technical assistance to New Jersey-based companies applying for State and US Small Business Administration programs. The organizations contracted will be paid based on SBA application submissions supported by the technical assistance they provide.
  • Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Emergency Loan Loss Reserve Fund - A $10 million capital reserve fund to take a first loss position on CDFI loans that provide low interest working capital to micro businesses. This will allow CDFIs to withstand loan defaults due to the outbreak, which will allow them to provide more loans at lower interest rates to microbusinesses affected by the outbreak. Only NJ-based CDFIs are eligible for these programs.
  • CDFI Emergency Assistance Grant Program - A $1.25 million program that will provide grants of up to $250,000 to CDFIs to scale operations or reduce interest rates for the duration of the outbreak. Only NJ-based CDFIs are eligible for these programs.

EXISTING EDA PROGRAMS FOR BUSINESSES

The EDA encourages businesses to explore the following programs. More details about each of these programs can be found on the EDA's website.

Micro Business Loan Program: Through this program, the NJEDA makes financing of up to $50,000 available to New Jersey businesses, which can use the financing for working capital or to purchase equipment. To ensure that the financing is accessible to the early-stage and micro businesses that need it most, to qualify, a business must fewer than ten employees and no greater than $1.5 million in revenues. On June, 9, NJEDA announced an expansion of its Micro Business Loan Program to assist New Jersey small businesses, many of which are facing business interruption as a result of COVID-19.

The expanded program will provide financing up to $50,000 to businesses for inventory, equipment, and working capital. Loans will have a standard ten-year term. Interest rates will be set at 2 percent with no interest and no payment due for the first three years. Businesses that receive financing under the enhanced program and are still in operation 12 months after the closing date of the loan will have ten percent of the approved loan amount forgiven.

The expanded Micro Business Loan Program is open to for-profit businesses with a business location in New Jersey, as well as home-based businesses and not-for-profit organizations that have been in operation for at least two years. Startup businesses, defined under the program as business in operation between six months and one year, may also be eligible for the program, but will be required to provide a business plan and five-year projections at application. The NJEDA will capitalize the program with $10 million. Of the $10 million in total funding available, $3.5 million will be set aside to support eligible entities located in New Jersey Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts.

The application for the expanded Micro Business Loan Program is now live. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Recognizing the extraordinary economic circumstances that make this program necessary, the NJEDA will waive all fees for three months from the date the application is opened.

Small Business Fund - The Small Business Fund offers loans of up to $500,000 for qualifying creditworthy small, minority- or women-owned businesses in New Jersey with up to $3 million in revenue that have been in operation for at least one full year and may not have the ability to get bank financing. Not-for-profit corporations that have been operating for at least three full years may also be eligible for assistance under the Small Business Fund.

Direct Loans - Direct loans are available up to $2 million for fixed assets, and $750,000 for working capital. New Jersey businesses in need of financing and committed to job creation/retention may be eligible for direct loans through the EDA when conventional financing is not available. EDA's direct loan financing offers competitive interest rates and terms.

Premier Lender Program - In partnership with two dozen banks throughout New Jersey, The Premier Lender Program offers up to a $2 million loan participation or $1.5 million loan guarantee for fixed assets, and up to a $750,000 loan participation or $1.5 million guarantee for term working capital. Line of credit guarantees of up to $750,000 are also available.

Source: NJEDA; http://cv.business.nj.gov/; https://nj.gov/governor/news/news/562020/approved/20200723a.shtml