Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation Wednesday providing an additional $135 million in aid to small businesses. The funding comes from money the state received from the federal government.
To be clear, the allocation is additional funding for Phase 4 of the Economic Development Authority’s Emergency Grant Program. It’s an effort to ensure that all small businesses that apply will get funding — rather than an additional round of funding.
To date, the EDA has allocated more than $650 million in aid to tens of thousands of small businesses across the state. The breakdown of the $135 million in the legislation signed today is as follows:
- Microbusinesses: $55 million;
- Bars and restaurants: $15 million;
- Child care facilities: $10 million;
- For-profit arts and culture organizations: $10 million;
- Eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations: $45 million.
Murphy said helping small businesses remains a top priority.
“As small businesses throughout New Jersey continue to struggle from the economic aftermath of COVID-19, we remain committed to providing them with the resources they need to recover,” he said. “Together with our partners at the federal level, the EDA and other departments have provided more than three-quarters of a billion dollars to our small business community as we emerge from the pandemic stronger and more resilient.”
Tim Sullivan, the CEO of the EDA, which will distribute the funding, said Phase 4 is attempting to target key sectors.
“The $135 million in additional COVID-19 relief funding enacted today will be a lifeline to small businesses as they reopen and return to full capacity,” he said. “The targeted funds for restaurants, arts and culture organizations, and child care providers will be particularly important in ensuring businesses that were severely impacted by the pandemic have the resources they need to make a full recovery.”
The bill was sponsored by Sens. Dawn Marie Addiego (D-Medford) and Linda Greenstein (D-Cranbury) and Assemblymen Gordon Johnson (D-Teaneck), Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield) and Andrew Zwicker (D-Monmouth Junction).
“The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on all of us, with our business community being among the most affected,” Addiego said. “This grant will be a crucial step to aid many of our small businesses as they continue to recover from the pandemic.
“While we can’t recoup the full losses they have endured over the last year, our hope is that this funding, which brings us to nearly $500 million in assistance issued to small businesses and nonprofits, can help the community to rebuild, recover and reopen.”