As expected, the board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority approved an emergency grant program for small businesses — those with up to 50 employees — impacted last week by the remains of Hurricane Ida, which hit Sept. 1-3.
The board also announced money will be available for businesses impacted by Tropical Storm Henri, which hit New Jersey on Aug. 22-23.
Altogether, the Henri/Ida Business Assistance Grant Program will make $10.5 million available, with $500,000 designated specifically for damage caused by Henri.
The program will provide grants of $1,000 to $5,000 for businesses and nonprofits that suffered physical damage from the effects of the recent tropical storms. The grants will be provided in the form of reimbursement of August rent or mortgage ($1,000 minimum rent eligibility).
To ensure grants reach businesses in the hardest-hit communities, including communities of color, one-third of the $10 million in funding available through the program will be targeted to businesses with a primary business location within the 715 census tracts designated as eligible to be selected as an Opportunity Zone.
EDA officials said they expect to launch an online application for the program at 9 a.m. Sept. 17. Click here for more details.
Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Landlords and home-based businesses are not eligible for grant funding through this program.
To be eligible, the applying entity must provide certification of an unmet need due to damage and/or business interruption. This includes, but is not limited to, flooding, interior or exterior damage to the building structure, roof damage and siding damage, all of which are directly related to tropical storm Henri and Ida. Loss of power alone will not be considered physical damage.
In addition, businesses must:
- Provide documentation of physical damage to the applicant’s physical commercial location.
- Have been in operation Aug. 1, 2021.
- Present a valid Employer Identification Number (EIN).
- Submit recent wage reporting form (WR30), if applicable.
- Submit evidence of an August rent/mortgage payment of at least $1,000 as well as have a need that is greater than $1,000.
- Be registered to do business in the state of New Jersey, as evidenced by a valid Business Registration Certificate.
- Be in good standing with the Department of Taxation and Department of Labor & Workforce Development, and, if applicable, the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Department of Children and Families, and/or the Department of Human Services.
- Complete an affidavit identifying all funding sources related to recovery from tropical storms Henri and Ida, including prior grants, insurance and Small Business Administration loans and grants.
- Comply with any additional requirements that may apply.
The NJEDA has stressed to business owners and nonprofit leaders the importance of thoroughly documenting all physical damage as they prepare to apply for assistance through this and any future programs, including taking clear photographs and saving receipts for repairs and associated materials.