NJEDA expands program to revamp N.J.’s downtown areas

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority announced Monday it has expanded its Business Lease Incentive program to bring new businesses and jobs to some of New Jersey’s downtown commercial areas.

The expanded program, which initially targeted five Garden State Growth Zones (Atlantic City, Camden, Trenton, Passaic, Paterson) will now be called the Small Business Lease Assistance Program and will include eight additional municipalities: Bridgeton, Jersey City, Millville, Mount Holly, Phillipsburg, Plainfield, Salem and Vineland.

“Revamping New Jersey’s downtown corridors by supporting small businesses that provide unique, engaging experiences for their communities and create good jobs for residents is a crucial component of (Gov. Phil) Murphy’s plan for building a stronger, fairer New Jersey,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “The existing business lease program has already made an impact on the communities we targeted during the pilot phase, so expanding it to include more municipalities is the next logical step.”

The new program will be structured as a three-year pilot with $100,000 per year allocated to each of the 13 eligible towns.

To support the program, the NJEDA said it will provide $3.9 million to the SBLAP. Applications for the BII program are open until June 18.