Gov. Phil Murphy officially signed the bills that will provide an additional $235 million in grants to small businesses in the state Tuesday.
There was never any doubt that the bill would be signed. After all, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority already had taken applications for the grants. But the symbolism of the event — and the dollar amount associated with it — made it grounds for celebration among state officials.
The additional $235 million means the state has now made more than $600 million in grant funding available, according to the Governor’s Office.
“Throughout the past year, we have focused our relief efforts on supporting New Jersey’s small businesses so they can emerge from the pandemic stronger than before,” Murphy said. “This additional funding will help us add to the more than 60,000 small businesses that have received aid to date.”
Tim Sullivan, the head of the EDA, which will be responsible for distributing the money, said he is happy to do so. Sullivan said many businesses desperately need the help.
“As we head into the summer, it’s encouraging to see more people out and about, but recovery from the severe economic impact of the pandemic won’t happen overnight,” he said. “It’s clear that businesses are still hurting, and we are grateful for the continued support of Gov. Murphy and the Legislature, as it will help us to bolster these businesses as they ride out what’s hopefully the end of a very turbulent time.”
The breakdown of the $235 million is as follows:
- Microbusinesses: $120 million;
- Other small businesses and nonprofits: $50 million;
- New businesses and startups: $25 million;
- Bars and restaurants: $20 million;
- Child care facilities: $10 million;
- Sustain and Serve: $10 million.
In the Assembly, the bills were sponsored by Assembly members Vince Mazzeo, Roy Freiman, Lisa Swain, Andrew Zwicker, John Armato, Chris Tully, Pedro Mejia, Angela McKnight, Adam Taliaferro, Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Linda Carter, Joann Downey, Yvonne Lopez, Stanley Sterley and Eric Houghtaling.
In the Senate, the bills were sponsored by Sens. Dawn Marie Addiego, Vin Gopal and Joseph Lagana.
The group released a joint statement.
“Small businesses are the backbone of New Jersey’s economy and assisting them as we reopen our state is paramount,” they said. “We need to bolster our small business community in every way possible. Giving them the resources they need to survive and thrive is a win-win. As New Jersey returns to normalcy, we must ensure that everyone is well-positioned for our inevitable recovery.”