Ocean County Press Release
TOMS RIVER – With thousands of businesses here in Ocean County and across the state being affected by the coronavirus outbreak, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has launched a COVID-19 Economic Relief Package for the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the outbreak.

"Small businesses are the backbone of the economy here in Ocean County and it is important to make sure that they can get as much help as possible during these times," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as liaison to Ocean County's Business Development and Tourism Division. "Ocean County will continue to work with the NJEDA and other State agencies to provide assistance to local businesses throughout this pandemic.

"The NJEDA has launched this package with hopes to stabilize and revitalize local small and mid-size businesses, as well as start-ups and other early-stage companies," Vicari said.

The NJEDA will launch an online application for the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program on Friday, April 3 at 9 a.m. on https://cv.business.nj.gov which will be available through April 10.

"The package of initiatives includes a grant program for small businesses, a zero-interest loan program for mid-size companies, support for private-sector lenders and Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs), funding for entrepreneurs, and a variety of resources providing technical support and marketplace information," Vicari said.

According to the NJEDA, taken together, these programs will provide more than $75 million of State and private financial support, with the opportunity to grow to more than $100 million if additional philanthropic, State and federal resources become available. The initiatives will support between 3,000 and 5,000 small- and midsize- enterprises.

The following programs are available in the relief package:
• Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program - $5 million emergency grant program providing up to $5,000 to NJ-based small businesses with between one to 10 full time equivalent employees.
• Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program – A $10 million zero- and low- interest loan program providing up to $100,000 to NJ-based small and medium based businesses and non-profit organizations.
• Programs to mobilize capital to micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses:
o $10 million first-loss guarantee pool for CDFIs.
o $1.25 million in direct operating grants to support scaling of CDFI operations.
o $10 million in expansions and enhancements of existing NJEDA guarantee programs through the Premier Lender Program (PLP) banks and CDFI partners.
• NJ Entrepreneurship Support Program - $5 million to support entrepreneurs and other early stage firms.
• Credit Flexibility to Support Businesses – short-term deferral of payments and other accommodations for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

To help small businesses and non-profits understand which programs they may qualify for, the NJEDA has launched a new online "Eligibility Wizard" which can be found https://faq.business.nj.gov/.

"While it is imperative for everyone to stay safe and healthy, we have to think about how to continue to boost our economy and work with these local businesses to help keep them viable," Vicari said.

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