EDA to host virtual info session for $80M Clean Energy Loan Program for small businesses

Co-lending program will offer loans up to $10M to finance clean energy projects or to help create or expand clean energy businesses

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority will provide as much as a matching $10 million loan for small businesses looking to finance clean energy projects as part of its $80 million New Jersey Clean Energy Loans program.

The NJ CELs is a co-lending program created by the NJEDA for small businesses seeking to finance qualifying clean energy projects or for the formation or expansion of clean energy businesses that create jobs in state.

NJ CELs are intended to unlock capital for small businesses and startups, catalyze the deployment of clean energy in New Jersey and support minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses to participate in the state’s energy transition.

The program’s funds come from the U.S. Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative, which was reauthorized under the American Rescue Plan in order to stimulate state and local economies in the wake of COVID-19.

Here’s how it works: NJ CELs will offer loans of $500,000 to $20 million with a term of one to 25 years, with the NJEDA financing up to 50% of the total loan amount ($250,000 to $10 million). NJEDA loans must be matched at least dollar for dollar with capital from a financial institution.

Not quite following?

That’s OK.

The EDA will host a virtual public information session at 1 p.m. Monday. The session will provide information on program eligibility, loan terms, engagement with banking partners and the application process.

Potential applicants, banking partners, and other interested parties can register for the information session here. A recorded version of the webinar will be posted here following the event.

Applications for the NJ CELs program open Wednesday and will be available here.

Those considering applying may conduct an Eligibility Self-Assessment here. Financial institutions interested in offering the benefits of the NJ CELs program to their clients can find information here, and may complete an expression of interest form here.

To be eligible, an entity must have fewer than 750 Full-Time Equivalent employees and be seeking financing for a clean energy business or project located in New Jersey.

Complete eligibility requirements can be found here.

Businesses certified as minority-, woman- or veteran-owned, as well as businesses or projects located in an overburdened community, are eligible for an additional 1% rate reduction and 10% loan forgiveness if the project results in at least one job being created per $100,000 of aggregate loan.