LONG BRANCH – Governor Phil Murphy announced a new relief program for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Small Business Lease – Emergency Assistance Grant Program (SBL-EAGP) will allow businesses in 64 eligible municipalities to apply for grants of up to $10,000 for lease costs. The program will assist small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which also assists landlords, many of whom are also small businesses.
“We are committed to helping small businesses across our state survive this unprecedented crisis,” said Governor Murphy. “A stronger and fairer New Jersey starts from the bottom up. The Small Business Lease – Emergency Assistance Grant Program will infuse much-needed funding into local economies by assisting both small businesses and the landlords that they rent from.”
“The Small Business Lease Emergency Grant Assistance Program is directly geared toward keeping the mom-and-pop shops on main streets and business centers afloat in this time of need, specifically in our most vulnerable communities in New Jersey,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and Board Chair of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority. “Governor Murphy and I remain as committed as ever to supporting New Jersey’s small businesses and this new lease program will work hand-in-hand with other state assistance programs to help them emerge from this crisis stronger.”
“I am enormously proud to stand with Governor Murphy today to announce the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority Small Business Lease Emergency Assistance Grant Program. At NJRA, impact is and has always been our primary objective. And our number one priority is our state’s most vulnerable communities and neighborhoods. Not only do we invest in the communities that need it the most, but we’re there first in the areas that are often overlooked by traditional lenders. Right now New Jersey’s small and micro-businesses, particularly those in economically challenged communities, are bearing the brunt of our nation’s health and economic crisis. These businesses deliver value and stability to our state, and yet, struggle to access capital. Today, we’re proud to be there with the Governor to offer these businesses both rental relief grants and support accessing them,” explained Leslie Anderson, President and CEO of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority.
The SBL-EAGP, managed by the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA), is the first component of a broader Main Street Commercial Corridors Relief Package to be paid for with federal CARES Act funding. Through the SBL-EAGP, small businesses located in NJRA’s 64 eligible municipalities that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 will be able to apply for up to $10,000 to assist with lease payments. It will provide grants to:
- Tenants leasing commercial space in mixed-use buildings
- Tenants leasing space in commercial buildings
- Tenants leasing space to operate a storefront business
The program will be targeted to businesses with 5,000 square feet of leased space or less, and is requiring standard debarment and legal qualifications from applying businesses. Applications will open August 10, 2020, online, and funds will be distributed on a first come first served basis. $6 million in federal CARES Act funding will be allocated for this program.