EDA tweaks rules for NJ Ignite program’s rent support element

A new age of business has transformed how the New Jersey Economic Development Authority focuses on incentivizing businesses — and that includes the NJ Ignite program, which focuses on startups.

At a regular board meeting Tuesday, the EDA approved a more specific definition of collaborative working spaces for those who qualify for the grants, which help provide rent support for early-stage technology or life science companies in collaborative spaces or incubators.

The EDA staff proposed rules to help with applications that are submitted with multiple physical locations applying as one collaborative workspace.

The eligibility will be as follows:

  • One business entity has operational control over all physical locations to be considered as one collaborative workspace and manages these locations as one business unit verified by staff via company documentation including, but not limited to, CEO certification and/or the entity’s formation documents;
  • All physical locations to be collectively considered as one eligible collaborative workspace are within a reasonable distance from each other, i.e., within the same municipality or corporate campus, as determined by staff;
  • All program eligibility and bonus requirements are met in the aggregate by the physical locations collectively considered as one eligible collaborative workspace;
  • Tenants have access to all common areas within the collaborative workspaces for all physical locations.

The maximum grant amount for rent per company is $15,000. The maximum amount of grants for a collaborative workspace totals $150,000.

With the new application rules, if an entity meets the requirements, it will impact the amount of the grant and the requirement to host community events.

Other changes to the rules include: A collaborative workspace must have at least three unique paying tenants in the past two years, under certain circumstances, which is reduced from a previous requirement of five tenants.