Pre-registration is now open for Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. The grants are funded by $70 million in CARES Act funding, some of which has been specifically set aside for businesses most impacted by the pandemic, including restaurants, micro-businesses, and businesses based in Opportunity Zone eligible census tracts.

Pre-registration is required by Tuesday, October 27, in order to receive an application for funding. Any business or nonprofit located in New Jersey, including home-based businesses, with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees is eligible to receive grant funding during Phase 3, even if the business has previously received funding through the program.

Phase 3 also increases the amount of funding available to businesses, with awards based on the number of full-time employees a business has. Micro-businesses with five or fewer full-timers and sole proprietorships will receive $5,000; businesses with six to 25 employees will receive $10,000; and businesses with 26 to 50 employees will receive $15,000.

The award amounts increase to $10,000, $15,000, and $20,000 for business classified as “Food Services and Drinking Places” under the same parameters for number of employees.

Awards will be based on a business’s maximum employee count from the past six quarters of wage reporting. Funds must be used to reimburse lost revenue and may not be used for capital expenses.

The $70 million will be allocated as follows: $35 million will support businesses classified as “Food Services and Drinking Places”; $15 million will support “micro-businesses” that have five or fewer full-time equivalent employees; and the remaining $20 million will be available to support any eligible business.

The NJEDA expects the program to be oversubscribed and will release applications on a rolling basis. Applications for restaurants open Thursday, October 29, at 9 a.m.; for micro-businesses on Friday, October 30, at 9 a.m.; and for all other businesses on Monday, November 2, at 9 a.m.

Applications for each category will be open for one week and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information about the grant program visit cv.business.nj.gov.

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