NJEDA to Launch Additional Financing Tool for Micro Businesses Next Month
By Adam Rizvi, TIO. Montclair, N.J.- The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced plans to begin applications for its Micro Business Loan next month in honor of National Small Business Week, which will provide additional funding resources through the Authority’s Main Street Recovery Program. Through the Main Street Recovery Program, the NJEDA has already distributed approximately $5.5 million in grants.
The Governor’s proposed budget for the Fiscal Year 2023 contains $50 million for the Main Street Recovery Program. The Governor paid a visit to East Side Mags, a Montclair comic book store, to showcase a company that has received this money.
“Small businesses like East Side Mags are essential to New Jersey’s vibrant and thriving Main Streets,” said Governor Murphy. “As we transition from pandemic to endemic, we must continue to support small businesses as they recover from the devastating impact of COVID19. I am proud to support New Jersey’s small businesses and look forward to seeing their continued resiliency and contributions to our economy and communities.”
“During Governor Murphy’s tenure, we have made historic progress to spur economic growth and support small businesses dealing with the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “We’re already seeing the impact of the Main Street Recovery Program, as new businesses open their doors, hire new employees and move their local communities forward.”
The New Jersey Main Street Recovery Program has a budget of $100 million to help small businesses expand and succeed. Since February, more than 200 small firms have received Small Business Lease Grant approval and 32 small businesses have received Small Business Improvement Grant approval in just over six months. The Small Business Lease Grant helps enterprises that have recently leased or expanded their commercial space. At the same time, the Small Business Improvement Grant covers half of the cost of capital improvements, furnishings, fixtures, and equipment at their premises.
The NJEDA will start applications for its Main Street Micro Business Loan in early June, recognizing the need for early-stage micro-enterprises to access flexible finance. The Main Street Micro Business Loan will provide forgiven working capital loans with a 2% interest rate and no interest or payments for the first year. Micro-businesses in New Jersey with 10 or fewer full-time employees and annual revenues of less than $1.5 million will be able to apply for up to $50,000 in funding. For-profit, non-profit, and home-based businesses with a business location in New Jersey that has been open for at least six months will be eligible for the Micro Business Loan. On a first-come, first-served basis, funding will be made available.
Crunch Time, a Kosher eatery known for burgers, sandwiches, soups, and more in the Lakewood community, was reimbursed under the Small Business Improvement Grant funding for renovations done to its building ahead of opening in mid-2020.
“We had the vision to transform an old bakery into a lively and attractive place for families to gather and share a meal,” said Crunch Time Owner Eliezer Kadoch. “We are grateful that funding from the NJEDA’s Small Business Improvement Grant was available to support our dream.”
Dreamweaver Equine Center, a non-profit in Ringoes that provides equine-assisted activities and social and emotional learning for people of all abilities and ages, starting as early as two years old, is another success story thanks to NJEDA financing. The minority- and woman-owned charity has improved accessibility across the site with the help of the NJEDA’s Small Business Improvement Grant.
“When we opened our doors in 2020, we knew that people were looking for ways to stay connected while staying safe and having fun,” said Dreamweaver Equine Center Founder and Director Ali Cho. “Our family-friendly learning environment has been extremely well-received by the community, and we are so grateful. Improvements made to our facilities with support from the NJEDA will enable our farm to accommodate more individuals seeking opportunities to connect with our horses and farm critters, furthering our mission to promote mental health and wellness in Hunterdon County and all our surrounding communities.”
Curated By Leen Hamade