Governor Phil Murphy yesterday signed into law S-3523, which provides $25 million in federal COVID-19 relief aid for small businesses throughout New Jersey. The bill – sponsored by Senators Dawn Marie Addiego and Joe Lagana and Assemblymen Gordon Johnson, John Armato, and Roy Freiman – focuses on providing a lifeline to microbusinesses with five or fewer employees. The bill is part of a five-bill, $100 million relief effort aimed at helping New Jersey’s economy recover from the year-long pandemic.
“Main Street businesses have always been the backbone of our economy and unfortunately have been the hardest hit during the pandemic,” said Governor Murphy. “This bill, along with others I’ll sign later this month, will help thousands of businesses keep their doors open as we climb out of the economic hardships wrought by COVID-19.”
“New Jersey never fully recovered from the Great Recession, and a lot of that was due to the limited relief residents, businesses and organizations received,” said Senator Dawn Marie Addiego. “Right now, we have an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and provide relief funding for those who have struggled over the past year, specifically microbusinesses. No more businesses should have to permanently close because of the pandemic, and this legislation will provide the assistance needed to prevent any more business closures.”
“In the last year, small businesses across the state have been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many being forced to permanently close their doors due to a lack of revenue,” said Senator Joseph Lagana. “Our employees and business owners have been hurt badly, especially in the smaller economies throughout the state. It is crucial to provide the support needed for our businesses to remain open and once again thrive in communities across New Jersey.”
“Microbusinesses are facing unprecedented challenges through no fault of their own because of this ongoing public health crisis,” said Assemblymen Gordon Johnson, Roy Freiman, and John Armato. “Offering our support in these difficult times will help ensure these valuable enterprises can continue to succeed for years to come.”
“Small businesses are the heart and soul of our communities. While these businesses have been hit the hardest by COVID-19, the resilience and ingenuity of business owners and their employees throughout the pandemic has been inspiring,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “I am proud to be here today with Governor Murphy celebrating this new bill that will provide additional resources for small businesses as they begin the hard work of recovering from the devastation of the pandemic.”
“Small businesses are not only the backbone of our economy, but are the center of our downtowns and local communities, so we are thrilled that Governor Murphy and the Legislature are taking this step to make sure significant funds are available to assist them through this crisis,” said Burlington County Commissioner Deputy Director Dan O’Connell. “Throughout the last year, we’ve seen how important it is for all levels of government to work together to provide the necessary help and support for our residents and businesses. That’s what is happening in Burlington County and across New Jersey.”
The relief aid will be administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, which so far has provided more than $250 million in aid to 55,000 New Jersey businesses.
The bill signing was held at Fond Memories, a boutique in Medford specializing in jewelry, handbags, and baby gifts. Fond Memories was opened in 1987.