Governor Phil Murphy today signed into law A-5446, which provides $15 million in federal COVID-19 relief aid for small businesses throughout New Jersey. The bill – sponsored by Senators Linda Greenstein and Joseph Lagana and Assembly Members Joann Downey, Andrew Zwicker, and Sterley Stanley – provides aid in the form of grants to small businesses and non-profits in need. The bill is part of a five-bill, $100 million relief effort aimed at helping New Jersey’s small businesses recover from the year-long pandemic.
“New Jersey’s small businesses were particularly hard hit by the ravages of COVID-19, ” said Governor Murphy. “This legislation, along with three additional bills I signed last week and one I will sign in the near future, will go a long way toward helping hundreds of state businesses keep their doors open as we recover from this year-long ordeal.”
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, supporting small businesses has been central to Governor Murphy’s response. These businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and ensuring they not only recover but come back stronger and better prepared for future challenges is critical to achieving a sustainable, equitable recovery,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The funding announced today, in addition to the other funds for specific industries announced over the past week, will provide much-needed support for businesses as they overcome the remaining pandemic-related challenges and set the stage for a stronger, fairer recovery.”
“Providing our support during this difficult time will not only allow these organizations to remain in operation, but will help preserve and create jobs while spurring the economic recovery we aim to achieve,” said Assembly Members Downey, Zwicker and Stanley. “Investing in our businesses and non-profits will have a direct, beneficial impact on families throughout our state for years to come.”
“Throughout the last year, COVID-19 has placed a serious strain on many of our local businesses and nonprofit organizations. Unfortunately, a number of beloved businesses in our communities were unable to weather this storm and sadly closed their doors for good,” said Senator Greenstein. “This $15 million in federal funding will provide a big sigh of relief to so many business owners and nonprofits throughout our state, as well as their employees and individuals that rely on their services.”
“Providing financial support to businesses and nonprofits is fundamental to their survival during the pandemic,” said Senator Lagana. “Local businesses create vibrant downtowns and communities, while nonprofits can efficiently and effectively provide services for people in need. Together, they will play a central role in New Jersey’s economic recovery and the quality of life for our residents.”
The relief aid will be administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, which will announce when the application for the aid is open. To date, the NJEDA has distributed more than $250 million in aid to some 55,000 businesses across the state.
The signing was held at Jammin’ Crepes, a business that began its journey at a farmers market in the local train station parking lot and in 2014 opened its first brick and mortar location in downtown Princeton.