Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program

In response to the economic challenges facing New Jersey Small- and Medium-sized businesses and non-profits (collectively “SMEs”), the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has created the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program.

The grant program will provide funding as efficiently and quickly as possible to SMEs that are in need. The focus of this round of funding is on the smallest enterprises, in industries that are among the most adversely impacted by the COVID-19 containment measures.

The goal of the grants is to try to preserve the ability for SMEs to support and maintain a workforce during this containment period that is as close to pre-outbreak levels as possible.

The Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program will provide up to $5,000 to NJ-based SMEs that have between 1–10 full time equivalent employees (“FTE”). The grant funding is targeted as unrestricted payroll and working capital support, and cannot be used for any capital expenses, including construction.

Grant values are calculated at $1,000 per FTEs reported on business’ WR-30 filed with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

  • Minimum grant amount (per application): $1,000
  • Maximum grant amount (per application): $5,000

Total available funding of up to $5 million, of which $3 million of the program funds will be set aside for SMEs with 5 or fewer FTEs.

Your organization is eligible for the Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Grant if you…

  • Have between 1 and 10 FTEs. This means non-employee companies (holding), companies that have between 1-10 FTE utilizing 1099 employees, and larger firms are not eligible for this round of grant funding.
  • Have a physical commercial location in the State of New Jersey. Home-based businesses are not eligible for this round of grant funding.
  • Are classified in one of the following industries: Retail (NAICS codes starting with 42… or 43…); Accommodation & food services (NAICS codes starting with 72…); Arts, entertainment & recreation (NAICS codes starting with 71…); Other services (only those with NAICS codes starting with 811… and 812). You can look up your NAICS code at naics.com/search
  • Are registered to do business in the State of New Jersey.
  • Must certify that the company is in good tax standing with the State
  • Are in good standing with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, with all decisions of good standing at the discretion of the Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
  • The CEO of the business must certify that the business:

1. Will make a best effort not to furlough or lay off any individuals from the time of application through six months after the end of the declared state of emergency. SMEs that have already furloughed or laid off workers must make a best-effort pledge to re-hire those workers as soon as possible. Any material breach of its best efforts certification may result in the NJEDA seeking repayment of the grant.

2. Has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 declared state of emergency in Executive Order 103 (e.g., has been temporarily shut down, has been required to reduce hours, has had at least a 20% drop in revenue, has been materially impacted by employees who cannot work due to the outbreak, or has a supply chain that has materially been disrupted and therefore slowed firm-level production).

3. Has a material financial need that cannot be overcome without the grant of emergency relief funds at this time (e.g., does not have significant cash reserves that can support the SME during this period of economic disruption

  • Non-profit organizations are eligible for this program. Eligible non-profits must have status of 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(7)

Types of businesses not eligible:

  • Related to gambling or gaming activities
  • Related to the purveyance of “adult” (i.e., pornographic, lewd, prurient, obscene) activities, services, products or materials (including nude or semi-nude performances or the sale of sexual aids or devices)
  • Auction or bankruptcy or fire or “lost-our-lease” or “going-out-of-business” or similar sale
  • Traveling merchants
  • Christmas tree sales or other outdoor storage
  • Any other activity constituting a nuisance
  • Illegal under the laws of the State of New Jersey

No fees will be collected by the authority for this program, and funding will be fully disbursed as quickly as possible upon approval of grant application.

Applications are anticipated to be opened on the week of March 30th. Completed applications will be considered on a first come, first serve rolling basis.

Check back at https://faq.business.nj.gov/en/articles/3835237-what-grants-are-available-for-small-and-medium-sized-businesses-via-the-njeda-small-business-emergency-assistance-grant for more information on the applications over the next week.