26K-plus businesses preregistered to be eligible for $70M in CARES Act aid available

Approximately 4,800 restaurants and bars in New Jersey preapplied to be eligible for the $35 million in grants the state is making available through Phase 3 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, which is being distributed by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

Applications for the grant will be available at 9 a.m. Thursday. The grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Overall, the EDA received approximately 26,600 preregistrations for Phase 3, which will be distributing $70 million of CARES Act money.

Approximately 15,700 preapplied for a microbusiness grant (applications will become available Friday) and 6,100 applied for a small business grant (applications will become available Monday).

Of the money available, $15 million is being targeted to microbusinesses that have five or fewer full-time equivalents. And $20 million will be available to support any eligible business.

In addition, 33% of each pool will be targeted to businesses in Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts.

The biggest emphasis for Phase 3, however, was the hard-hit restaurant sector, classified as “Food Services and Drinking Places” (NAICS code 722). The grant money available varies by the size of the business:

  • 5 or fewer FTEs: $10,000;
  • 6 to 25 FTEs: $15,000;
  • 26 to 50 FTEs: $20,000.