COVID 19 Resource Page

COVID 19 Resource Page

Downtown New Jersey acts as an advocate for downtown commercial districts in New Jersey, tracking legislative, regulatory, and policy issues that can affect the success of the state’s downtowns and then informing and educating members on these issues.

We will post important updates here related to legislative and policy initiatives in response to COVID 19, as well as resources from peers and experts. Things are moving fast, so we are adding information regularly – be sure to hit refresh each time you visit to make sure you see the latest updates.

Resource Table of Contents (click to jump to section)

DNJ Forums

Downtown New Jersey is providing a series of virtual opportunities for downtown managers, economic development professionals, and public officials to exchange ideas about best practices related to downtown economic development in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Exchanges are occurring both via a Facebook Group and a series of scheduled live online web forums. More information>

  • Stay tuned for an upcoming forum in February 2021. In the meantime the Downtown NJ 2021 Conference will be held virtually January 19-22! Register now to receive the early bird rate! 

Have a topic you want to hear more about? Email your suggestions to info@downtownnj.com.

Downtown New Jersey created a safe space for members and partners to exchange ideas about hot topics in downtown economic development. There are currently several feeds related to COVID-19 response.

Please note that you must answer the membership questions to be approved. We want to be sure only “real people” are joining, and we need to know who you are before we will approve your membership. Also, this group is is not intended for individual business owner participation, rather it is meant to be an exchange of ideas between those involved with the management of downtown business districts.

NJ Resources

NJ Administrative Action

On December 1, 2020 Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 204, which further lowered the number of people allowed to gather outdoors to 25 from 150.

On November 16, 2020 Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 196, which lowered the number of people allowed to gather indoors from 25 to 10 persons.

On November 5, 2020 Executive Order 192 went into effect for all New Jersey businesses. The EO establishes health and safety standards for all private and public-sector businesses to protect employees from the coronavirus. 

*More details regarding gatherings are provided below. 

The following are highlights of rules and restrictions relative to downtowns. For detailed information, visit the State’s COVID-19 Information Hub at: covid19.nj.gov

  • Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people or fewer, with exception of First Amendment-protected outdoor activities, outdoor weddings, and outdoor funerals or memorial services.
  • Indoor gatherings (general) are limited to 10 people.
  • Indoor gathering for weddings, funerals, or memorial services are permitted at 25% of a room’s capacity or 150 persons, whichever is less. Attendees at indoor gatherings must wear face coverings and stay 6 feet apart.
  • Indoor gathering for First Amendment protected activities are permitted at 25% of a room’s capacity or 150 persons, whichever is less. Attendees at indoor gatherings must wear face coverings and stay 6 feet apart.
  • Face Masks are required in outdoor public spaces when social distancing is not possible.
  • A travel advisory requires travelers from arriving from states with a significant spread of COVID-19 to isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
  • Executive Order No. 108 states that municipal and county orders cannot conflict with Executive Order No. 107 (described above) except that they may choose to apply stricter restriction for:
    • Parks under their jurisdiction
    • Online lodging marketplace (e.g. AirBNB, VRBO, etc.) 
  • Executive order No. 123 extends property, casualty and life insurance premium grace periods to 90 days, and health insurance premiums to 60 days.
  • Non-essential retail stores, including malls, can allow customers inside at 50% capacity with protocols.
  • Bars and restaurants are open for drive-through, delivery takeout, and outdoor dining (with protocols established under Executive Directive 19). As of September 1, 2020, indoor dining is also allowed at 25% capacity (with protocols established under Executive Order 183/NJDOH guidance). As of November 12, 2020, all indoor dining premises must close between 10 PM and 5 AM. Municipalities may further restrict those hours to 8 PM (established under Executive Order 194).
  • Microbreweries and brewpubs may be open for home delivery. Depending on the type of license they hold, outdoor and indoor service may also be allowed. For eligibility and protocols consult Executive Orders 150 and 157 and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s ruling.
  • The following personal care businesses may be open: beauty salons; barber shops; cosmetology shops; day spas (but not saunas, steam rooms, or shared bathing facilities) and medical spas which solely perform elective and cosmetic medical procedures; electrology facilities; hair braiding shops; massage parlors; nail salons; tanning salons; and tattoo parlors. Licensed businesses must abide by the Division of Consumer Affairs’ comprehensive safety standards, and tattoo and tanning facilities must follow NJDOH standards.
  • All outdoor recreational and entertainment businesses may be open at 50% following Department of Health Standards for Pools and Aquatic Recreation Facilities and Standards for Outdoor Amusement and Water Parks.
  • Indoor recreational facilities, museums, and aquariums may be open at 25% capacity, and following requirements set forth in Executive Orders 157 and 158.
  • Gyms and fitness centers may operate indoor and outdoor spaces, so long as they follow the required safety policies detailed in Executive Orders 157 and 181 and the NJDOH guidance.
  • Entertainment centers where performances are viewed or given may be open, including movie theaters, performing arts centers, and other concert venues, following requirements in Executive Order 183, including 25% capacity or 150 people (whichever is less).
  • Hotels, motor hotels, motels, and other established guesthouses may be open and should adopt and implement written policies as defined in Department of Health Protocols for Hotel Sanitization.
  • Child care centers may be open to all clients with protocols.
  • Construction projects, including nonessential construction, may operate following protocols in Paragraph 2 of Executive Order 142
NJ Programs & Resources

Below are NJ programs to assist downtowns and/or small businesses. We will provide updated information as economic relief programs come on line. See “NJ Legislation” below for information about enacted and pending bills.

  • The New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC) team knows that the COVID-19 pandemic, and the restrictions designed to combat the virus, means New Jersey’s downtown shopping and dining districts look much different than they did this time last year. If your downtown businesses have questions the NJBAC works to get the answers. More Information > 
NJ Economic Relief Funding

The NJEDA announced several relief packages including a grant program for small businesses, a zero percent interest loan program for mid-size companies, support for private-sector lenders and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), funding for entrepreneurs, and a variety of resources providing technical support and marketplace information.

Phase 3 (closed): NJEDA will award a total of $70 million in federal CARES Act funding to small businesses. Any business or nonprofit located in New Jersey, including home-based businesses, with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) is eligible to receive grant funding during Phase 3. Businesses that received funding in previous phases of the program are eligible to receive Phase 3 funding.

Interested business owners will need to pre-register to receive an application. Pre-registration will begin on Monday, October 19th and will close on Tuesday, October 27th. The application will be available via a phased approach following the end of the pre-registration period, as detailed below. Applicants must complete the full application to be considered for grant funding.

Phase 3 of the Grant Program will likely be oversubscribed. To streamline the application process, the Authority is requiring all applicants to pre-register online. Applications will become available on a rolling basis following the pre-registration period. Pre-registered applicants will need to return to complete an application based on the following schedule:

  • Restaurants – 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 29, 2020
  • Micro businesses – 9:00 a.m. on Friday, October 30, 2020
  • All other businesses, excluding restaurants and micro businesses – 9:00 am on Monday, November 2, 2020
    Applications for each category will be open for a period of one week will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, visit: business.nj.gov

Phase 2 (closed): NJEDA awarded $45 million in federal CARES Act funding to small businesses. To ensure that funding goes to businesses and communities that need it most, $15 million of Phase 2 funding will be set aside to support qualified businesses located in one of the 715 census tracts that were eligible to be selected as a New Jersey Opportunity Zone. Additionally, all NAICS code restrictions from Phase 1 of the grant were removed for Phase 2.

On July 28, Governor Phil Murphy announced that an additional $15 million in CARES Act funding has been made available to bolster the NJEDA’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. The program is currently oversubscribed and not accepting applications, but the NJEDA intends to use the additional CARES Act funding to fulfill a significant portion of the applications already in the pipeline.

  • NJEDA’s Christina Fuentes joined DNJ’s Downtown Management Forum on Friday, May 29th to provide an overview of the refined program. Forum Recap>

Phase 1 (closed): This $5 million program will provide grants up to $5,000 to small businesses. The program is limited to businesses with 1 to 10 full time employees (1099 workers do not qualify). The business must be registered in NJ and have physical location here (home-based businesses do not qualify). Non-profits are eligible. Qualifying business type is by NAICS code, including retail (codes starting with 44 or 45); accommodation & food services (codes starting with 72); arts, entertainment & recreation (codes starting with 71); other services (codes starting with 811 and 812). This is a self-certification program, meaning that businesses must certify, but does not need to provide paperwork to prove “need”. An agreement to retain employees is part of the self-certification. 

The NJEDA launched a pilot E-Commerce Technical Assistance Program on June 29, which will help New Jersey restaurants, retail stores, and personal care businesses continue to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is intended to help businesses that normally rely on foot traffic and in-person transactions identify and implement the website and e-commerce capabilities they need to stay in business while complying with current health guidelines and changing customer preferences. 

Interested business owners should sign up via the intake form or contact ecommerceta@njeda.com.

  • NJ Entrepreneur Support Program: This $5 million program encourages continued capital flows to new companies by providing 80 percent loan guarantees up to $200,000 for working capital loans to entrepreneurs. Eligible companies must be headquartered in NJ, with less than 25 employees (at least 50% of whom are in NJ), and have under $5 million in revenue. The company must be in one of the following sectors: advanced manufacturing, information/technology, life sciences, finance and insurance, clean energy, food and beverage, advanced transportation, food and beverage, film and digital media.
  • Small Business Emergency Assistance Guarantee Program: This $10 million program provides 50 percent guarantees on working capital loans and waive fees on loans made through institutions participating in the NJEDA’s existing Premier Lender or Premier CDFI programs. Businesses must have a physical location in NJ, have been in existence for at least one year, have less than $5 million in revenue, demonstrate negative impact from COVID-19, and certify effort to retain employees.

In addition to these pandemic-specific funds and loans, NJEDA continues to provide its traditional loans to support small businesses:

  • Micro-Business Loan (CLOSED): On June 9th, the NJEDA announced an expansion of its Micro Business Loan Program to assist New Jersey small businesses, many of which are facing business interruption as a result of COVID-19. The expanded program provided financing up to $50,000 for micro businesses and nonprofits with ten or fewer employees and no greater than $1.5 million in annual revenues. The 10-year loan had no payments for 3 years and a 2% interest rate. For loans under $25,000, there is no collateral requirement. There was be a forgivable piece, and fees were waived. The application window is closed as of August 21, 2020.
  • Small Business Fund: Loans up to $500,000 for businesses and non-profits that have less than $3 million annual revenue.
  • Direct Loan: Eligible businesses can receive up to $2 million for fixed assets, and up to $750,000 for working capital. To be eligible, businesses must create and retain one full-time job for every $65,000 within two years.

 

This $10 million program provided short-term working capital loans of up to $100,000 to businesses. Loans have ten-year terms with zero percent for the first five years, and then reset to the EDA’s prevailing floor rate (capped at 3.00%) for the remaining five years. The business must have a physical location in NJ, less than $5 million in revenues, and have been in existence for at least 1 year. To be eligible for the loan, the business must have demonstrate negative impact from COVID-19. Application window is closed. More information>

In addition, the NJEDA provided financial support to the following organizations to provide technical support to businesses applying for federal assistance from Small Business Administration (SBA) programs. Assistance includes, preparing financial information, packaging application documentation, and completing and submitting the on-line or paper-based application.

Assisting organizations include:

NJ Legislation

DNJ is reviewing legislation as it is introduced and will post updates to this page as things progress… 

  •  P.L.2020, c.74 (A3971/S2475): Authorizes the issuance of “coronavirus relief bonds” by municipalities and counties.
    This legislation would allow counties and municipalities to borrow moneys (through the issuance of bonds and notes) to cover the revenue shortfalls and additional costs that are directly attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation passed both the Senate and Assembly on July 30, 2020. Governor Murphy conditionally vetoed the bill on July 30, 2020. The Senate and Assembly concurred with the Governor’s recommendations and the bill was approved by Governor Murphy on September 1, 2020.
  • P.L.2020, c.60. (A4175/S2697): “New Jersey COVID-19 Emergency Bond Act,” authorizes issuance of State bonds totaling $5 billion and authorizes borrowing from federal government.
    The legislation authorizes the issuance of $9.9 billion in State general obligation bonds with a 35-year maturity to be used for the purpose of responding to the fiscal exigencies caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The bill also authorizes the Governor to apply for and receive federal stimulus loans for the benefit of local government units. The bill passed in both the Senate and Assembly, and was approved by Governor Murphy on July 16, 2020.
  • P.L.2020, c.53 (S2346/A3919): Extends certain permits during COVID-19 emergency.
    The legislation extends existing permit approvals six months after the end of the declared COVID-19 public health emergency. The legislation passed both houses and was approved by Governor Murphy on July 1, 2020.
  • P.L. 2020, c.42 (S2437/A3978): Limits service fees charged to restaurants by third-party food takeout and delivery applications during COVID-19 state of emergency.
    During a state of emergency, third-party take-out and delivery websites/apps are prohibited from charging a fee greater than 25% of the order where delivery is being provided by the third-party, or greater than 10% where delivery is being provided by restaurant staff. The legislation passed both houses and was approved by Governor Murphy on June 26, 2020.
  • P.L. 2020, c.35 (A4157/S2387): Extends time period for filing and processing certain property tax appeals in 2020.
    The legislation extends the deadline to file an FY20 tax appeal to July 1, 2020, and extends the deadline for decision to September 30, 2021. The legislation passed both houses and was approved by Governor Murphy on May 28, 2020.
  • P.L.2020, c.33 (A3966/S2413): Concerns delivery and sale of alcoholic beverages during declared state of emergency; requires ABC director to notify licensees of certain tax exemptions during emergency.
    The legislation allows establishments with consumption liquor licenses the ability to sell and deliver alcoholic beverages. The legislation passed both houses and was approved by Governor Murphy on May 15, 2020.
  • P.L.2020, c.8 (A3845/S2284): Authorizes EDA to make grants during periods of emergency declared by Governor and for duration of economic disruptions due to emergency; allows EDA to grant certain business documentation submission deadline extensions.
    This legislation authorizes the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to provide grants during periods of emergency declared by the Governor for the planning, designing, acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, improving, equipping, and furnishing of a project, including, but not limited to, grants for working capital and meeting payroll requirements. The bill also extends the uses of the economic growth account in the Economic Recovery Fund to small and medium-size businesses and not-for-profit corporations. Finally, the bill extends the deadline for Grow NJ projects. The legislation passed both houses and was approved by Governor Murphy on March 20, 2020.
  • P.L.2020, c.9 (A3848/S2301): Concerns time off from work in connection with infectious disease.
    The legislation prohibits an employer, during the COVID-19 State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 103, from terminating or refusing to reinstate an employee if the employee requests or takes time off from work based on the recommendation from a medical professional because the employee has, or is likely to have, an infectious disease. The legislation passed both houses and was approved by Governor Murphy on March 20, 2020.
  • P.L.2020, c.16 (A3865/S2291): Limits return of items purchased from retail food stores under certain circumstances.
    The legislation prohibits retail food stores to accept returns of any groceries  purchased during the state of emergency declared in response to COVID-19 and for 30 days following. The legislation passed both houses and was approved by Governor Murphy on March 20, 2020.
  • P.L.2020, c.17, (S2304/A3900): Concerns family leave and disability benefits during epidemic-related emergencies.
    The legislation makes a COVID-19 illnesses (or suspected illness) eligible for earned sick leave and disability insurance, as well as the care of a family member with COVID-19 illnesses (or suspected illness) an eligible reason for family leave protections. The legislation passed both houses and was approved by Governor Murphy on March 25, 2020.
  • P.L.2020, c.19., S2338/A3918: “COVID-19 Fiscal Mitigation Act”
    The legislation extends filing and payment deadline for gross income tax or corporation business tax return taxpayers to July 15, 2020. The legislation passed both houses and was approved by Governor Murphy on April 14, 2020.
Latest Movement in October
  • S2354/A3920: Prohibits cancellation or non-renewal of insurance for a period of at least 60 days.
    The legislation prohibits the cancellation or non-renewal of insurance for a period of at least 60 days during a public health emergency. The Senate passed a version of the bill on April 13, 2020. The Assembly passed an amended version of the bill on September 24, 2020. A second reading on Senate concurrence took place on October 8, 2020, but the bill has yet to pass in that chamber. The Senate Bill passed in both Houses on October 29, 2020. Awaiting Governor Murphy’s signature.
Latest Movement in September
  • On September 29, 2021, the Governor approved a $32.7 billion, nine-month budget bill. The budget included the “millionaire’s tax”, a $500 rebate for some families based on income, and increase on he annual assessment on HMO premiums, and reinstates a 2.5 percent surcharge on corporations.
Latest Movement in July
  • S2542/A4418: Allows municipality to suspend certain zoning requirements during COVID-19 emergency.
    The legislation allow a municipality, by resolution, to suspend or temporarily modify specific provisions of a zoning ordinance, or grant temporary relief from the terms and conditions of a prior land approval, in order to facilitate the ability of a business to resume operation during the COVID-19 emergency. The bill passed in the Senate on June 15, 2020. A companion bill was introduced on July 20, 2020 in the Assembly and was referred to the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.
  • S2485/A4228: Authorizes municipality to prohibit eviction as a remedy of nonpayment of rent due during time surrounding COVID-19 pandemic.
    The legislation authorizes municipalities to prohibit eviction as remedy for nonpayment of residential or commercial rent through the COVID-19 State of Emergency. The bill passed the Senate with an amendment excluding commercial tenants on June 29, 2020. A companion bill was reported out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee on June 25, 2020. Subsequent to the Assembly bill, the amended Senate bill was received in the Assembly, without assignment, for a second reading, on July 2, 2020.
  • Liability Protection Bills Introduced (NJBIA – July 10, 2020)

    • S2634/A4440: Establishes general immunity for entities against actions relating to Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic or related viral strain in subsequent years.
      The bill was introduced in the Senate and referred to the Judiciary Committee on June 29, 2020. A companion bill was introduced in the Assembly and referred to the Judiciary Committee on July 23, 2020.
    • S2628/A4377: Establishes general immunity for businesses against actions relating to Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic or related viral strain in subsequent years.
      The bill was introduced in the Senate and referred to the Judiciary Committee on June 29, 2020. A companion bill was introduced in the Assembly and referred to the Judiciary Committee on July 2, 2020.

    Related News: Reopening and COVID-19 Liability (NJBIA – June 30, 2020)

Latest Movement in June
  • A4190/S2522: Permits certain entertainment and retail activity during current public health emergency and state of emergency.
    The legislation would allow a municipality to designate one or more days per week, from Thursday through Sunday, during which any municipal street, road or sidewalk, or county street, road, or sidewalk, that traverses a business district of the municipality shall be closed to vehicular traffic and shall be accessible by pedestrians only. It also directs the ABC to issue a special ruling to allow for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in outdoor places in a manner that adheres to current social distancing practices. The bill passed in the Senate on June 15, 2020 and was reported out of the Assembly State and Local Government Committee on June 18, 2020.
  • A4189/S2502: Establishes immunity for businesses against damage claims for COVID-19 exposure; excludes reckless or intentional conduct.
    The bill was introduced in the Assembly on June 1, 2020 and referred to the Judiciary Committee. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate and referred to the Judiciary Committee on June 4, 2020.
  • S2493/A4195: Allows commercial property owner to claim tax credit against CBT or GIT for providing commercial tenant rent forgiveness during COVID-19 emergency.
    The legislation allows commercial property owners who grant their tenants rent forgiveness because of the COVID-19 pandemic, to claim a tax credit against the taxpayer’s Corporation Business Tax or Gross Income Tax liability. The bill was introduced in the Senate on May 28, 2020 and referred to the Budget and Appropriations Committee. A similar bill was introduced in the Assembly on June 1, 2020 and referred to the Commerce and Economic Development Committee.
Latest Movement in May
  • S2347/A4030: Establishes Employment and Business-Related Tax Deferral Assistance Program in NJEDA.
    The legislation establishes a program in the NJEDA that would enable businesses to apply for a deferral of employment and business-related taxes collected by the State. The legislation passed in the Senate on April 13, 2020. The bill was reported out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 11, 2020.
  • S2348/A3960: Allows tax credits to certain taxpayers that retain employees during COVID-19 pandemic.
    The legislation provides a 20% match of the employment tax credit authorized under the federal CARES Act. The legislation passed the Senate on April 13, 2020. The bill was introduced in the Assembly on May 1, 2020 and was referred to the Budget Committee.
Latest Movement in April or Earlier
  • S2341: Authorizes Governor to restrict rent increases on certain commercial tenants during emergency circumstances.
    The legislation enables the Governor to prohibit a commercial rent increase greater than twice the rate of inflation as indicated by increases in the consumer price index for the immediately preceding nine-month period. The bill passed the Senate on April 13, 2020 and was referred to the Assembly Housing Committee.
  • A3902: Permits extension of certain deadlines applicable to local government units under emergency circumstances.
    The legislation would give a municipality to extend the grace period for quarterly property tax payments and other municipal charges. (We presume this would extend the grace period for SID assessments as well.) The bill passed in the Assembly on April 9, 2020, and was referred to the Senate without committee assignment.
  • S2339: Concerns certain benefits and leave provided to workers.
    The legislation increases unemployment benefit maximum amount, and reduces the minimum earnings for eligibility. The bill was introduced in the Senate on April 9, 2020. A companion bill has not been introduced in the Assembly.
  • A3844: Concerns business interruption insurance during coronavirus disease 2019 state of emergency.
    The resolution indemnifies the insured of businesses with less than 100 eligible full-time employees for any loss of business or business interruption for the duration of  a declared State of Emergency. The insurer may apply to the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance for relief and reimbursement of such claims. The Emergency Resolution was introduced and passed by the Assembly on March 16, 2020. So far, it has not moved further in the legislative process.
  • S2363/A3921: Authorizes Governor to permit emergency rent suspension for certain small business tenants during COVID-19 pandemic.
    The legislation authorizes the Governor to issue executive order allowing rent suspension of up to 3 months for distressed small business tenants. The rent would be repaid over 6 to 9 months, commencing the 2nd month after the end of the emergency declaration. The bill passed both houses on April 13, 2020. Governor Murphy issued an absolute veto of this legislation on May 28, 2020.
  • A3846/S2293: Creates “Temporary Lost Wage Unemployment Program;” allows persons to claim for lost wages due to coronavirus disease 2019, and employers to pay wages to workers ordered under quarantine by licensed healthcare practitioner; appropriates $20,000,000.
    The legislation provides provide, to the extent funds are available, monetary relief to individuals for actual lost wages in an amount that is equivalent to the individual’s average weekly rate of compensation from the past calendar year, if the individuals do not have fully paid leave and to employers who pay wages to workers who are ordered under quarantine by a licensed healthcare practitioner as a result of coronavirus disease 2019. There will also be moneys, not to exceed $10,000,000, to pay the lost wages of individuals due to (1) the individual’s absence from work due to the need to care for a family member; (2) the individual’s absence from work due to the illness of the individual; (3) the individual’s absence from work due to school or childcare facility being closed; and (4) for such other purposes as determined by the commissioner. The bill passed both houses on March 19, 2020. Governor Murphy issued an absolute veto of this legislation on May 4, 2020.

Federal Resources

Federal Funding Resources

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed into law on March 27, 2020. The legislation establishes programs to provide assistance to small business and private non-profits. Below is a summary of the major programs and initiatives. 

This Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program provides guaranteed loans to employers that maintain payroll through the COVID-19 emergency. The loans are available to organizations that existed as of February 15, 2020 with fewer than 500 employees. The SBA will forgive the portions of the loan used for payroll costs (for employees with compensation under $100,000), health benefits, rent, mortgage interest payments, utilities, and interest on debt occurred prior to the covered period. Any remaining loan amount not eligible to be forgiven can be carried forward at a maximum 4 percent interest rate for a maximum of 10 years with the first 6 months of payments deferred. The maximum loan amount is $10 million. (Small businesses may apply for both the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, but may not use the resources for the same expenses.)

While the program initially ran out of money quickly, an additional allocation of $310 billion was appropriated. As of June 4, there is still funding available. Businesses should continue to submit applications through their banks. copy of the application can be referenced to determine necessary information.

These grants provide an emergency advance payment up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This advance does not need to be paid back under any circumstance, and  may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments. Small businesses in existence as of January 31, 2020 with 500 or fewer employees are eligible for EIDL, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors, and cooperatives and employee owned businesses. Most private non-profits of any size are also eligible. (Small businesses may apply for both the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, but may not use the resources for the same expenses.) 

On June 15, SBA began accepting new EIDL and EIDL Advance applications from qualified small businesses and U.S. agricultural businesses. Contact an SBA resource partner for assistance (list below).

The Small Business Debt Relief Program is for existing SBA 7(a), 504 and microloan holders, the SBA will cover all loan payments on these loans for 6 months, including principal, interest, and fees.

The SBA Express Bridge Loan is for small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender, they can to access up to $25,000 quickly. The funds can be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from an EIDL loan.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds can be used for a range of eligible activities, including assistance to businesses and special economic development assistance. More information in the Quick Guide to CDBG Eligible Activities.

SBA’s resource partners will receive additional funds to expand their reach and better support small business owners with counseling and up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.

SBA resource partners include:

  • Local Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
  • Women’s Business Centers (WBC)
  • SCORE mentorship chapters

To find a local resource partner, visit sba.gov/local-assistance/find.

In addition, NJEDA has provided funds to the following organizations to provide similar assistance:

Other Federal Informational Resources

Local Initiatives

Is your town implementing innovative initiatives to help your small businesses? Let us know, and we’ll share the information here.

  • Although the warmer months are over, winter tents can help extend outdoor dining into the colder months. 
  • Throughout the course of the pandemic Municipalities and Downtown organizations passed ordinances and resolutions to help their restaurants, bars, and shops expand outdoors.
  • The pandemic has hurled both new and existing issues to the forefront of public space considerations, forcing placemakers and public space managers to rethink the way we plan, design, and program public space.

Other Resources

Communities across the country are working to open the streets and the public realm to enable residents and businesses to spread out. Below are best practices resources to help your community  implement some of these concepts: