EDA grant program aims to help projects in 3 key cities get started

Projects in Atlantic City, Trenton and Paterson may be eligible for up to $1M

The board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority — eager to help projects in Atlantic City, Trenton and Paterson get going — announced Wednesday the creation of the Government Restricted Municipality Planning Grant Program.

The two-phased program could provide grants of up to $1 million to help develop and execute strategic action plans to move forward stalled projects that have significant potential to provide sustainable and resilient benefits for community members and business stakeholders.

The program will be administered in two phases.

During Phase 1, the EDA will award three grants of up to $250,000 each to support the creation of detailed, long-term and action-oriented strategic plans that synthesize existing plans from both the municipality and stakeholders and identify technical capacity needs that have held projects back from completion.

Following the creation of these strategic action plans, Phase 2 of the program will provide additional funding of up to $750,000 per GRM to support the execution of projects identified in the strategic action plans.

Phase 1 of the GRM Planning Grants Program is open to New Jersey municipalities, counties and authorities, as well as accredited higher education institutions, public interest research groups and professional services providers who have completed at least one municipal, county or New Jersey state government plan focused on economic revitalization.

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Applications for Phase 1 of the GRM Planning Grant Program are expected to open in the coming months and will be accepted until 60 days after the opening date. The EDA anticipates awarding the first grant through the program in late 2021.

Tim Sullivan said the program is key to long-term growth in targeted areas of the state.

“As we move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that we ensure communities that were hit the hardest have the support they need to come back stronger and ready for long-term growth,” he said. “The GRM Planning Grant Program will help Trenton, Atlantic City and Paterson identify projects that are close to execution and provide the catalytic funding they need to get those projects done. In this way, the program will provide immediate, tangible benefits for these communities while setting the stage for them to thrive.”