The Burlington County Commissioners are encouraging restaurants, businesses and nonprofits in the county to apply for a share of $85 million in grant funding being made available through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s small business assistance fund.
Pre-registration for Phase 4 of the EDA’s Small Business Emergency Grant Program ends on Thursday, April 29 at 5 PM.
Only businesses that pre-register will be eligible to apply for grant awards. To register go to NJEDA website at https://programs.njeda.com/en-US/
After registering, businesses will be eligible to apply for grant funding on a rolling basis, starting on May 3 for businesses that did not previously apply for or receive Phase 3 funding, May 5 for restaurants and child care providers, May 10 for microbusinesses with 5 or fewer employees and May 12 for all other small businesses
Applications for each category will be open for one week and will be accepted on a first-come, fire-served basis, based on the date and time the Economic Development Authority receives a completed application.
In addition to pre-registering, businesses must have experienced revenue loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including those that were temporary shutdown or required to reduce their hours. Grant awards will be calculated based on the number of full-time equivalent employees businesses employ, according to the EDA.
Burlington County Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson urged businesses in Burlington County to register and apply for the state help.
“Small businesses are essential to our economy and we know many of them have suffered greatly because of the pandemic. We don’t want any here to miss out on available assistance because they weren’t aware or didn’t register in time,” said Hopson, who serves as the Board’s liaison for Economic Development. “This grant funding can provide a real lifeline, so we’re encouraging all eligible businesses in the county to make sure they take the time to register and apply.”
In addition to the state grants, Hopson reminded county business owners that the County continues to offer small businesses zero-interest loans to assist them with their recovery.
A total of $660,000 in federal CARES Act funding was secured by the Burlington County Bridge Commission’s Economic Development Office for the Health Emergency Loan Program (HELP), which will extend up to $50,000 in zero-interest financing to county businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
The loans can be used for business-related purchases, expenses and improvements.
For more information or to apply, go to www.bcbridges.org/covid19-resources/.
The Commissioners are also spotlighting local businesses in the county through the Shop Burlington County initiative, which uses the County’s social media pages to share information about local businesses, locations, hours, history and specials.
“We brought back Shop Burlington County First last year to let residents know more about the wonderful stores, restaurants and services in their own backyards,” Hopson said. “These businesses are essential to our communities, so we must continue to support them, not just during the holidays but all year round.”
Local businesses interested in being spotlighted should email firstname.lastname@example.org.