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Jersey City awards $9 million to small businesses

Nearly 600 grants distributed across the city

On Sept.17 behind City Hall, Mayor Steven Fulop distributed checks to small businesses struggling during COVID-19. Photo by Jen Brown.

Mayor Steven Fulop and Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise awarded 594 grants to small business owners throughout Jersey City to provide direct funding and support to those struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Every business is important,” said Mayor Fulop. “Every local employee they can retain and hire back is important. We’re grateful to the county and to our congressional delegation who fought for this money so that we can provide local business owners with the tools they need to recover as quickly as possible. This financial aid will be the boost most of these small businesses need in order to reopen and remain open for business, ultimately regenerating our local economy.”

The checks, worth upward of $20,000 each, were handed to each business owner on Sept. 17.

Jersey City received $9 million from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Securities (CARES) Act stimulus funds to directly benefit small businesses with 25 or fewer employees.

The county as a whole received more than $117 million.

The CARES Act was signed by the President in March to provide $2 trillion in financial aid to communities across the nation that were impacted by the health and economic crisis.

“I’d like to thank our federal delegation, led by Senator Robert Menendez, for securing these monies that are a lifeline for Hudson County so that our small businesses can hit the restart button,” said DeGise.

Citywide distribution

Of the nearly 600 grant recipients, approximately 300 of the businesses are in the city’s west side and Heights sections, 200 are within the downtown business district, and approximately 80 are in the city’s Greenville section.

Jersey City businesses with 25 or fewer employees that are home-based, mobile, or brick and mortar were eligible for the grants.

They were selected based on criteria developed by Hudson County with applications reviewed by the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation (JCEDC) to determine eligible expenses. These include employee salaries (capped at $2,000 per employee); the salary of the sole proprietor or principal (capped at $2,000); mortgage or rent payments; loan payments; equipment leases; and utility payments incurred since March.

“Having been a part of the selection process, I’m confident the nearly 600 business owners will put the funding we’re providing to the best possible use, whether it’s rehiring employees they had to let go, or paying overdue bills that continued to pile high while they were closed for several months,” said Rosemary McFadden, chair of the JCEDC. “The JCEDC will continue to work with the Mayor and Administration to provide the financial relief our businesses and residents are relying on as we continue forward with this recovery process.”

Helping businesses survive

This small business grant distribution is the latest step to move Jersey City forward as the city works with residents and businesses to safely reopen and recover.

From expanding outdoor dining to installing Slow Streets and Pedestrian Plazas, to offering free testing and supplies to residents and businesses, the administration has been working to identify areas where assistance is needed from the city level.

The Mayor’s COVID-19 Relief Distribution Fund has raised millions in private donations to directly support community-based nonprofits, youth and arts programming, as well as services and grant support to low-income residents impacted by the pandemic.

For updates on this and other stories check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.co



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