NJEDA Emergency COVID-19 Relief Programs

UPDATE 5/15/2020: The Administration is committing $50 million in CARES Act funding to the EDA to develop programs to support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will primarily be used to provide grants that will serve as a vital lifeline for the thousands of small businesses struggling during these unprecedented times.

A package of initiatives from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority includes a grant program for small businesses, a zero-interest loan program for mid-size companies, support for private-sector lenders and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), funding for entrepreneurs, and a variety of resources providing technical support and marketplace information. Taken together, they will provide more than $75 million of State and private financial support, with the opportunity to grow to more than $100 million if additional philanthropic, State, and federal resources become available. The initiatives will support between 3,000 and 5,000 small and midsize enterprises and are meant to complement recently announced federal economic recovery initiatives.

Applications for the various programs are available now or will become available shortly; see each program page for details. To see which of these programs you are eligible for, use the NJ COVID-19 Business Support Eligibility Wizard.

Please click on each program below for more information, including full eligibility criteria.

Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, Phase 1 – A $5 million program that will provide grants up to $5,000 to small businesses in retail, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food service, and other services – such as repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services – to stabilize their operations and reduce the need for layoffs or furloughs. The NJ EDA will soon be using an additional $5 million to fund businesses that were waitlisted during Phase 1.

Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, Phase 2 – $45 million in federal CARES Act funding will provide grants up to $10,000 to a significantly broader range of businesses than were previously eligible. Those applicants on the oversubscribed list are encouraged to apply for the expanded second round program. Applications will be available soon.

Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program – A $10 million program that will provide working capital loans of up to $100,000 to businesses with less than $5 million in revenues. Loans made through the program will have ten-year terms with zero percent for the first five years, then resetting to the EDA’s prevailing floor rate (capped at 3.00%) for the remaining five years.

NJ Entrepreneur Support Program – A $5 million program that will encourage continued capital flows to new companies, often in the innovation economy, and temporarily support a shaky market by providing 80 percent loan guarantees for working capital loans to entrepreneurs.

Small Business Emergency Assistance Guarantee Program – A $10 million program that will provide 50 percent guarantees on working capital loans and waive fees on loans made through institutions participating in the NJEDA’s existing Premier Lender or Premier CDFI programs.

Emergency Technical Assistance Program – A $150,000 program that will support technical assistance to New Jersey-based companies applying for State and US Small Business Administration programs. The organizations contracted will be paid based on SBA application submissions supported by the technical assistance they provide.

Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Emergency Loan Loss Reserve Fund – A $10 million capital reserve fund to take a first loss position on CDFI loans that provide low interest working capital to micro businesses. This will allow CDFIs to withstand loan defaults due to the outbreak, which will allow them to provide more loans at lower interest rates to microbusinesses affected by the outbreak. Only NJ-based CDFIs are eligible for these programs.

CDFI Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $1.25 million program that will provide grants of up to $250,000 to CDFIs to scale operations or reduce interest rates for the duration of the outbreak. Only NJ-based CDFIs are eligible for these programs.

Traditional NJEDA Programs

The NJEDA encourages businesses to explore the following programs. More details about each of these programs can be found on the NJEDA’s website at njeda.com/small_midsize_business.

Micro Business Loan Program:

Through this program, the NJEDA makes financing of up to $50,000 available to New Jersey businesses, which can use the financing for working capital or to purchase equipment. To ensure that the financing is accessible to the early-stage and micro businesses that need it most, to qualify, a business must fewer than ten employees and no greater than $1.5 million in revenues. On June, 9, NJEDA announced an expansion of its Micro Business Loan Program to assist New Jersey small businesses, many of which are facing business interruption as a result of COVID-19.

The expanded program will provide financing up to $50,000 to businesses for inventory, equipment, and working capital. Loans will have a standard ten-year term. Interest rates will be set at 2 percent with no interest and no payment due for the first three years. Businesses that receive financing under the enhanced program and are still in operation 12 months after the closing date of the loan will have ten percent of the approved loan amount forgiven. The expanded Micro Business Loan Program is open to for-profit businesses with a business location in New Jersey, as well as home-based businesses and not-for-profit organizations that have been in operation for at least two years. Startup businesses, defined under the program as business in operation between six months and one year, may also be eligible for the program, but will be required to provide a business plan and five-year projections at application. The NJEDA will capitalize the program with $10 million. Of the $10 million in total funding available, $3.5 million will be set aside to support eligible entities located in New Jersey Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts. The application for the expanded Micro Business Loan Program is currently in development, and is expected to be available soon. Recognizing the extraordinary economic circumstances that make this program necessary, the NJEDA will waive all fees for three months from the date the application is opened.

Small Business Fund: The Small Business Fund offers loans of up to $500,000 for qualifying creditworthy small, minority- or women-owned businesses in New Jersey with up to $3 million in revenue that have been in operation for at least one full year and may not have the ability to get bank financing. Not-for-profit corporations that have been operating for at least three full years may also be eligible for assistance under the Small Business Fund.

Direct Loans: Direct loans are available up to $2 million for fixed assets, and $750,000 for working capital. New Jersey businesses in need of financing and committed to job creation/retention may be eligible for direct loans through the NJEDA when conventional financing is not available. NJEDA’s direct loan financing offers competitive interest rates and terms.

Premier Lender Program: In partnership with two dozen banks throughout New Jersey, The Premier Lender Program offers up to a $2 million loan participation or $1.5 million loan guarantee for fixed assets, and up to a $750,000 loan participation or $1.5 million guarantee for term working capital. Line of credit guarantees of up to $750,000 are also available.

Updated: June 9, 2020
Source: NJEDA

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