As the coronavirus rips through local economies nationwide, Jersey City announced they will match any grants awarded to local businesses through the the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program.
“We’ve been working to stay ahead of the curve by anticipating our residents’ and business owners’ needs to survive this pandemic not only from a health standpoint, but also economically which could further devastate our community,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“We decided to structure local programs that fully complement the state and federal program so that our local businesses can get a much needed advantage. We are achieving that here with short term grants up to $10,000 per business.”
The small business grant program will use local Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to match any $1,000 to $5,000 grants awarded to Jersey City applicants of the NJEDA’s grant Program.
The state program goes live on Friday and will award funds to small business statewide. All local funds will be administered through the through the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation (JCEDC), a 501c3, nonprofit and any small businesses and nonprofits with a physical storefront will be eligible.
“As a city, we believe in small businesses and their contribution to the economy, which is why providing a matching grant program is essential,” added Council President Joyce Watterman.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our city, and are among those who need financial help the most right now. This financial boost will really help businesses get back on their feet.”
Additionally, any funds Jersey City matches will specifically be used to “help with payroll and provide working capital with the goal of retaining employees,” said Vivian Brady-Phillips, Vice Chair of the JCEDC.
The application for the NJEDA Small Business Grant program will be available on https://cv.business.nj.gov beginning at 9 a.m. Friday.
The announcement follows news today that Hudson County will receive $9.3 million as part of the first wave of federal funding from the COVID-19 emergency stimulus package.
Approximately $3.4 million in CDBG monies will go towards Jersey City.
The announcement also comes on the heels of a proposed halt on any rent increase in rent-controlled units throughout the city, a measure the Hoboken City Council approved on first reading last night.
Fulop, via Facebook live, said on Wednesday that his administration is working with the City Council to introduce the rent increase halt at Wednesday’s city council meeting.
The COVID-19 outbreak has devastated local economies, and upended daily lives for people throughout the country.
Unemployment claims soared to 6.6 million last week, more than double the previous week.
As of this report, 25,590 people in New Jersey have tested positive for the coronavirus, while 537 residents have died.
In Hudson County, there have been 2,270 confirmed cases and 44 deaths reported, the New Jersey Department of Health announced today.