NJEDA Opens Small Business Improvement Grant Application on Feb. 10th

Created: 10 February 2022

NJEDA to Open Small Business Improvement Grant Application on February 10th

Launch of New Grant Product is Designed to Support Long-Term Recovery of Small Businesses
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced plans to open applications for its Small Business Improvement Grant on Thursday, February 10. The Small Business Improvement Grant is the second of several products the NJEDA is launching under the Main Street Recovery Program, to help small businesses become more resilient and position themselves for growth.
Funded with $15 million, this product will reimburse eligible small businesses and nonprofits for up to 50 percent of eligible project costs associated with building improvements or the purchase and/or installation of new furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FFE) made on or after March 9, 2020, but no more than two years prior to application. The maximum grant award will be $50,000 per business entity for the life of this program.
Created under the ERA, the Main Street Recovery Program is a $100 million small business support program that will fund multiple financial assistance products aimed at supporting the growth and success of small businesses in New Jersey. More information is available at https://www.njeda.com/main-street-recovery-fund/.
To be eligible, work must be completed on or after March 9, 2020, but no more than two years prior to application date. Applicants must provide documentation proving payment was made for completed work (e.g. invoices, statements, payments, and/or cancelled checks.)
Applicants must also commit to remaining in the facility and meeting wage requirements for up to four years following the execution of the grant agreement and depending upon award amount. Awards greater than $25,000 will have a compliance period of four years and grant awards less than $25,000 will have a compliance period of two years.
The first offering created under the Main Street Recovery Program is the Small Business Lease Grant. That grant provides an award of 20 percent of annual lease payment for each of the first two years of a lease to small businesses and nonprofits that have entered into a new lease no earlier than 12 months prior to their date of application and the new lease is for at least 250 square feet of street-level space and has a term of at least five years. Businesses that have amended or extended their lease and have added at least 250 square feet of space are eligible as well.
Applications for the grant were launched on October 20, 2021. Details about that grant, including complete eligibility criteria, and additional information are available at https://www.njeda.com/small-business-lease-grant-program/
Businesses and nonprofits that receive funding through the Small Business Lease Grant or Small Business Improvement Grant are required to agree to pay employees going forward for the grant term the greater of $15 per hour or 120 percent of the minimum wage. Tipped employees must be paid at least 120 percent of the minimum wage. For more information on wage compliance for the Main Street products please visit https://www.njeda.com/main-street-recovery-fund/.
Signed in January 2021, the ERA creates a package of programs that includes tax credits to incentivize job creation, new construction, and revitalization of brownfields and historic properties; financial resources for small businesses; support for new supermarkets and healthy food retailers in food desert communities; new funding opportunities for early-stage companies in New Jersey; and support for the growing film and digital media industry.
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