Jersey City making grants of up to $50K available to some microbusinesses

Jersey City is making more grant money available to its smallest businesses. A lot more money.

On Monday, Mayor Steve Fulop and the Jersey City Economic Development Corp. announced $1.5 million in COVID-19 Small Business Microenterprise Grants focusing on brick-and-mortar and mobile businesses with five employees or fewer.

The city-funded program will provide upward of $50,000 for business-related costs incurred throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to assist microenterprise businesses that provide goods and/or services within Jersey City.

In order to qualify, the household income of the business owner or owners cannot exceed 80% of the city’s Area Median Income limit.

Jersey City officials said the grant money is intended to be widely distributed, as the AMI cutoff numbers (up to nearly $55,000 for one person and $63,000 for two) are meant to be inclusive.

And, if a business owner exceeds the amount, but his employees meet these guidelines, then the business is still eligible to apply.

Applications will open Nov. 8. The JCEDC will host a free webinar at 7 Monday night to help low-income business owners understand the grant application process, federal qualifications, and necessary documentation. Click here to register.

These latest grants can be used for costs incurred between Oct. 1, 2020 and Aug. 31 for microenterprise businesses providing goods and services, such as:

  • Grocery stores;
  • Child care facilities;
  • Food delivery;
  • Food trucks;
  • Beauty salons;
  • Drugstores;
  • Medical supplies;
  • Laundromats;
  • Home health support.

As long as a business did not receive funding for the same expenses during the same time period, eligible expenses include payroll assistance, training, peer support, supplies, personal protective equipment for employees, child care, transportation assistance, etc.

“Our smallest businesses that provide a wide range of goods and services to our community are among the most financially burdened by this pandemic,” Fulop said. “These are business owners who live in Jersey City and are invested in the community.

“Since Day One of this pandemic, we’ve worked to provide the support and resources our small businesses need to grow and thrive, and this second round of small business grants worth upward of $50,000 each looks to build upon those efforts.”

JCEDC Chair Rosemary McFadden agreed.

“The JCEDC is proud to work closely with Mayor Fulop and the administration, as we have one collective goal: to help as many of Jersey City’s small business owners as possible,” she said. “Our mission is to promote and facilitate economic development here in Jersey City, and these grants come at a critical time, as many microenterprise businesses work to keep their doors open and recover from COVID-induced hardships.”

A year ago, Fulop and Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise awarded more than $9 million in CARES Act grants to nearly 600 small businesses with 25 or fewer employees. Of the nearly 600 grant recipients, approximately 300 of those small businesses are located in Jersey City’s West Side and Heights sections, with an additional 200 within the downtown business district and nearly 80 business owners from the city’s Greenville section.