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‘Back to business’ in Bayonne

Relief for small businesses closed due to COVID-19

What a relief!

As New Jersey continues to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Phil Murphy has allowed more businesses to open.

“We are hoping to see all of our small businesses reopen soon so we can all get out and support them again,” Bayonne Mayor James Davis announced via robo-call to citizens.

As stores reopen, Davis said the city had reinstituted parking regulations to help local businesses.

At the height of social distancing restrictions, the city introduced “No Parking” zones in front of businesses that would allow for the pickup of goods only, usually food.

The city has now reversed the policy to allow for more parking.

“Our local shops need our support, now more than ever,” Davis said. “Their success is our success.”

Davis also asks that  “everyone please shop local as much as you can.“

“Part of being Bayonne Strong is seeing the incredible rebirth of our city continue,” he said.

CARES relief program

The City of Bayonne Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) asks all businesses that were closed because of COVID-19 to complete this form as part of the federal CARES relief program.

Access the form here: https://www.jotform.com/build/201487876462163

Hard copies will also be available at city hall by the main entrance if businesses are not able to complete the form online.

State relief

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced that applications for the expanded Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program will be available at 9 a.m. on June 9.

The $45 million program will provide grants up to $10,000 to small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The business’s Chief Executive Officer or equivalent officer must certify that the company was in operation on February 15, has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, and will try not to furlough or lay off employees.

Applicants will be required to fill out an affidavit identifying all funding previously received related to COVID-19, including Small Business Administration loans and grants, forgivable portions of Payroll Protection loans, and Economic Injury Disaster grants.

NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan said the expanded program will allow the NJDEA to serve thousands more businesses and will ensure it benefits the communities COVID-19 has hit the hardest.

“The coronavirus pandemic is forcing all of us to grapple with unprecedented challenges, but small business owners and their employees are undoubtedly among the most severely impacted members of our communities,” Sullivan said. “From the start of the pandemic, the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program has played a central role in supporting New Jersey’s small business community.”

Available in 12 languages

Sample applications are available in English, Spanish, and ten additional languages at https://cv.business.nj.gov. Other languages include Arabic, both Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, and Tagalog.

Translated versions will be available in advance of opening.

NJEDA Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Michelle Bodden said that setting aside a portion of Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program funding for businesses in at-risk communities and providing translation services for applicants who do not speak English are crucial steps that will increase the program’s impact and ensure relief goes where it’s needed most.

“New Jersey’s diversity is our strength,” Bodden said. “When we take extra steps to ensure equitable access to programs, we not only support a broader range of businesses and communities, but we also create more jobs and economic growth that benefits everyone.”

According to the NJDEA, $15 million will be reserved for businesses in Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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