The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has made several enhancements to its lending programs for small, women, minority, and veteran-owned businesses. Applications are now open for its newest program unveiled last month: Access, which allows companies to take out loans with less collateral.

“The NJEDA is now better positioned to provide more dynamic support to small businesses, particularly those firms that have been historically underserved — a key component of Governor Phil Murphy’s plan for a stronger and fairer economy,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan. “New Jersey’s small business community employs an estimated 50 percent of our residents, and it is critical to the state’s long-term economic competitiveness that we create an environment where these businesses can thrive.”

The EDA says it has improved its Premier Lender Program, a partnership with more than two dozen banks throughout New Jersey that is designed to help small businesses overcome financial obstacles that can stall growth and expansion through EDA loan participations and guarantees. Changes include extending the EDA’s loan term and amortization from 10 years to 30 years. This enhancement also applies to the EDA’s direct loan programs, which can offer up to $3 million for fixed assets and up to $750,000 for working capital. In addition, the EDA will now be able to fix interest rates for up to 30 years across its small business lending programs.

Applications for the new Access program are now available via www.njeda.com/access. NJEDA will initially be making a total of $15 million available for small businesses that been in operation for at least two full years and meet requirements relating to net income, debt, and credit scores.

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