Murphy signs bill authorizing $15M in grants to small businesses, nonprofits

Program is different from $25M for microbusinesses (fewer than 5 employees) announced earlier this month

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill Monday that will provide $15 million in federal COVID-19 relief aid for small businesses and nonprofits in the state.

The grant money will be administered through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, but specific details, including eligibility, the application process and the timeline for the program were not announced.

That being said, the bill is the fourth of five in a package of legislation providing $100 million in relief to small businesses — programs the state is eager to get going as quickly as possible.

Earlier this month, Murphy signed a bill allocating $25 million for microbusinesses (those with five employees or fewer).

Last week, he signed a bill authorizing $35 million to go to restaurant and eating establishments.

Murphy, speaking at Jammin’ Crepes, a Princeton-based business that began its journey at a farmers’ market in the local train station parking lot in 2014, said he understands small business needs assistance.

“New Jersey’s small businesses were particularly hard-hit by the ravages of COVID-19,” he said. “This legislation, along with three additional bills I signed last week and one I will sign in the near future, will go a long way toward helping hundreds of state businesses keep their doors open as we recover from this yearlong ordeal.”

EDA CEO Tim Sullivan said small businesses are the lifeblood of the state’s economy.

“Ensuring they not only recover, but come back stronger and better prepared for future challenges is critical to achieving a sustainable, equitable recovery,” he said. “The funding announced today, in addition to the other funds for specific industries announced over the past week, will provide much-needed support for businesses as they overcome the remaining pandemic-related challenges and set the stage for a stronger, fairer recovery.”