Small Hoboken businesses can now apply for grants of up to $20,000 following an announcement by Senator Bob Menendez, County Executive Tom DeGise, Freeholder Anthony Romano, and Mayor Ravi Bhalla.
Hoboken has been allocated $1.9 million in CARES Act funding, which will be used to provide relief for local businesses economically impacted by COVID-19.
The grant program, administered by Hoboken and Hudson County, is designed to help offset the significant impact COVID-19 has had on businesses by helping with payments, including salaries, mortgages, business loans, equipment leases, finance, and utilities.
Hoboken officials announced $8 million of CARES Act funding has been allocated for the City’s COVID-19 expenses, including expanded testing, food for seniors, and costs of disinfecting public buildings.
“Small businesses are vital to our state and nation’s economy, and they need our help,” said Senator Menendez. “This funding will ensure small business owners can continue paying their employees, their bills, and are ready to safely and responsibly reopen.”
“I’m extremely grateful to our federal and county officials for allocating funding for our city and small businesses,” said Mayor Bhalla. “This will not only provide us with important resources as we continue to expand testing and keep our residents safe, it also provides critical grants for our small businesses who have been severely impacted over the past several months.”
The announcement took place outside bwè kafe, owned by Dale Mori-Ryan and Tats Mori-Ryan.
Tats Mori-Ryan, who serves on Hoboken’s Economic Recovery Task Force, said he estimates that across all three bwè kafe locations and their Persian restaurant Seven Valleys, they are making only 35 to 45 percent of normal pre-COVID revenue.
“The CARES Act was a lifeline for small businesses like us to be able to restart, employ, and do what we are passionate about: serving communities,” said Tats Mori-Ryan. “When the PPP loans came in, a weight was lifted off our shoulders. We immediately contacted our managers and reached out to team members to invite them back. We figured out a game plan that kept everyone inside at a distance from each other and in a way that everyone felt was as safe as possible. But, we are still struggling. We are thrilled to hear that Hoboken was awarded another $2 million to help small businesses survive and will be applying for this grant.”
Hoboken small businesses can apply at http://www.hobokennj.gov/smallbusinessgrants.
Small businesses must be in Hoboken, be a for-profit entity, and have 25 full-time employees or fewer per week as of March 15, regardless of the number of business locations.
Bhalla said the application process is simple, noting that grant awards will are slated to be distributed at the beginning of September.
“Hoboken’s dynamic small business community has long been a leading driver of economic growth in Hudson County,” said County Executive DeGise. “That is why we are so pleased to offer Mile Square City business owners our County Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Program, funded by Federal CARES Act dollars secured by Senator Menendez.”
“The COVID-19 national emergency has disrupted daily lives of Hoboken residents and our business community in unprecedented ways,” s “For a small business, knowing you will be paid in a timely manner is essential to maintaining operations, particularly as these companies face uncertainties surrounding the progress of the virus and the duration of emergency measures,” said Freeholder Romano. As a small business owner myself, I understand the stress generated from this pandemic.”
Hoboken is also eligible for up to $5.5 million in reimbursements for COVID-19-related expenses.
Approximately $1.5 million has been used on increasing COVID-19 testing, providing meals for seniors, additional expenses for the OEM, and disinfecting senior buildings in the Hoboken Housing Authority.