Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses have been struggling to stay afloat. Now, help is on the way.
The Hudson County Economic Development Corporation (HCEDC) has committed a new $100,000 grant to New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC).
The grant will help buy down interest rates for the Garden State Relief Fund, which provides working capital loans to Hudson County small businesses and nonprofits negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know that small business and nonprofit communities have experienced extraordinary challenges in the midst of COVID-19,” said County Executive Tom DeGise. “This important partnership with NJCC through The Garden State Relief Fund provides much-needed capital for those hit hardest by the COVID- 19 pandemic. We are proud to launch this program as part of the HCEDC’s commitment to support underserved communities through access to capital and timely information on corona-virus pandemic resources and business training.”
The HCEDC grant will eliminate interest on loans for small business and nonprofit applicants in eligible municipalities applying to the Garden State Relief Fund. The grant will reduce the customary 3 percent interest rate to 0 percent for eligible borrowers.
NJCC launched the Garden State Relief Fund to meet the unique financial needs of vulnerable and historically underserved businesses and organizations across New Jersey adversely affected by the pandemic.
The program provides low-interest loans up to $75,000 to small businesses and nonprofits with 3 to 75 full-time employees. Currently, 17.6 percent of Hudson County residents remain unemployed, among the highest in the state.
“This important grant will aid the recovery of communities throughout Hudson County in need of long-term stability,” said Wayne Meyer, President of NJCC. “HCEDC’s partnership and support will help accelerate sustainable and equitable recovery in the vibrant communities we serve.”
Since its inception, NJCC has partnered with several counties and municipalities to expand the Garden State Relief Program and identify immediate and long-term solutions that fit with local needs.
As of July 30, 83 Garden State Relief Fund loans have closed in 63 cities and towns across 20 New Jersey counties, nine in Hudson County. 36 percent of the loans have been disbursed to woman- and minority-owned small businesses and nonprofit organizations.
“Hudson County is home to one of the country’s most diverse, culturally rich and fastest growing regions in the State,” said Michelle Richardson, Executive Director of HCEDC. “The HCEDC continues to support Hudson’s local economies, ensuring the survival of our main street business owners working to recover from the pandemic.”
Hudson County applicants previously approved for a Garden State Relief loan are also eligible for a loan modification to reduce their interest rate from 3 to 0 percent.
To learn more about the Garden State Relief Fund, visit www.newjerseycommunitycapital.org/initiatives/garden-state-relief-fund.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.