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Governor Signs Relief Bills; $235M for Small Businesses Up for Grabs

Gov. Murphy signs small business relief legislation

By Press Release

TRENTON – As New Jersey continues to recover from the ravages of the Covid pandemic, Gov. Phil Murphy June 22 signed six bills – A5704, A5705, A5706, A5707, A5708, and A5709 – which provide additional aid to small businesses that continue to suffer from the economic effects of the pandemic. 
According to a release, together, the bill package provides $235 million to small businesses throughout the state, allowing the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to fulfill all eligible applications submitted during Phase IV of the EDA’s Small Business Emergency Grant Program. 
“Throughout the past year, we have focused our relief efforts on supporting New Jersey’s small businesses so they can emerge from the pandemic stronger than before,” stated Murphy. “This additional funding will help us add to the more than 60,000 small businesses that have received aid to date.”
“As we head into the summer, it’s encouraging to see more people out and about, but recovery from the severe economic impact of the pandemic won’t happen overnight,” stated NJEDA Cheif Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “It’s clear that businesses are still hurting, and we are grateful for the continued support of Gov. Murphy and the legislature, as it will help us to bolster these businesses as they ride out what’s hopefully the end of a very turbulent time.”
In the Assembly, the bills were sponsored by Assembly members Vince Mazzeo (D-2nd), Roy Freiman (D-16th), Lisa Swain (D-38th), Andrew Zwicker (D-16th), John Armato (D-2nd), Chris Tully (D-38th), Pedro Mejia (D-32nd), Angela McKnight (D-31th), Adam Taliaferro (D-3rd), Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-31st), Linda Carter (D-22nd), Joann Downey (D-11th), Yvonne Lopez (D-19th), Stanley Sterley (D-18th, and Eric Houghtaling (D-11th). 
In the Senate, the bills were sponsored by Sens. Dawn Marie Addiego (D-8th), Vin Gopal (D-11th, and Joseph Lagana (D-38th).
“Small businesses are the backbone of New Jersey’s economy, and assisting them as we reopen our state is paramount, the Assembly sponsors stated, in a joint statement. “We need to bolster our small business community in every way possible. Giving them the resources they need to survive and thrive is a win-win. As New Jersey returns to normalcy, we must ensure that everyone is well-positioned for our inevitable recovery.”
“Our legislation will provide $235 million in grants to help businesses and non-profits who were hit hard by the pandemic and are now deciding when and how to reopen, rehire and ramp-up to full operation in the weeks and months ahead,” stated Addiego, the lead Senate sponsor on the bill package. “The six-bill package sets aside $30 million specifically for restaurants, and most important, it includes a $25 million fund for the new restaurants, retailers and service providers that we need to fill the vacant storefronts in our downtown business districts left empty by businesses that closed.”
“The restaurant, hospitality and tourism industries were crippled by the pandemic shutdown last spring and the continuing capacity restrictions that are just now being lifted sufficiently for them to be able to resume somewhat normal operations heading into the summer,” stated Gopal. “These new grants will be a big help.”
“Small businesses are not only the backbone of our downtowns, but the biggest generators of job growth, and we are going to need that private-sector job growth when all of the federal aid and incentives go away in September,” stated Lagana. “We need to do all we can to keep our existing small businesses afloat and help new businesses emerge.” 
The funding will be administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), which has reopened its Phase IV grant pre-application for those businesses that missed the original deadline. To date, the NJEDA has distributed more than $420 million in aid to some 63,000 businesses across the state. The breakdown of the $235 million in proposed today’s bill package is as follows:
Microbusinesses: $120 million
Bars and Restaurants: $20 million
Child Care Facilities: $10 million
Other Small Businesses and non-profits: $50 million
New Businesses and Start-Ups: $25 million
Sustain and Serve: $10 million
The bill signing was held at the iconic WindMill restaurant, in Long Branch, owned by Rena Levine Levy and her brother, Steven Levine.

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