Camden County giving small businesses $5M more grant assistance

Firms will receive 20% of their original grant from county — or up to $10,000

Congressional leaders have been slow to release a second round of grant funding to small businesses, but the same can’t be said for the freeholders in Camden County.

The Camden County Board of Freeholders announced Thursday it is dedicating an additional $5 million to the Camden County CARES Small Business Grant Program. These funds will be distributed to the 3,100 small businesses and nonprofits that have already received grant funding and provide a 20% increase over the initial grant amount.

Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. said it’s the right thing to do in these tough financial times.

“This program was a lifeline in the summer months and has benefited thousands of businesses and nonprofits countywide,” he said. “As the second surge has continued into the holidays, we knew there needed to be support to the small business owners getting crushed under the strain of the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, the need in our community is still significant. This second disbursement of funding will allow us to provide assistance to the many businesses that we know are still struggling.”

Small businesses will receive a grant equal to 20% of their original grant.

If a small business qualified for a $10,000 grant based on the criteria laid out in the first program, it would receive an additional $2,000. If it qualified for $7,500, an additional $1,500 would be distributed, and down the scale depending on the original grant sum.

The county launched the grant program to assist small businesses impacted by the pandemic on July 23, dedicating $20 million of the county’s CARES Act funding. With almost $25 million already distributed, the freeholder board has added an additional $5 million to the program to assist struggling businesses, bringing the total to $30 million.

“The strain on small businesses is unprecedented,” Cappelli said. “This decision by the board was a conventional way to get money back into the hands of principals and proprietors of these shops, restaurants and retailers.”

The original grant awards were built on the revenue businesses had in 2019.

  • Companies with revenues under $25,000 received grants up to $2,500;
  • Companies with revenues between $25,000-$50,000 received grants up to $5,000;
  • Companies with revenues between $50,0000$100,000 received grants up to $7,500;
  • Companies with revenues over $100,000 received grants up to $10,000.

Cappelli hopes even more assistance is coming.

“We are hopeful there will be more funding coming from Washington for these merchants in the near future to ensure the vibrancy of county’s No. 1 employer — small businesses,” he said.