County of Bergen Expands Small Business Grant Program to Restaurants and Other Essential Businesses

County Executive Jim Tedesco announces that all Bergen County small businesses with up to 19 or less full-time employees will be eligible to apply for the Bergen County CARES Small Business Grant Program which is set to open its next round of funding in phases starting on Monday, August 31st. The program which first opened in July, was only initially available to “non-essential” businesses forced to close as a measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Approximately $6,041,838 has been awarded to 754 small “non-essential” businesses in Bergen County thus far with applications still under review.

Like before, eligible businesses will be able to apply for up to $10,000 to offset the costs of rent payments, property mortgage, and utilities expenses.

The next round of applications will open in three staged phases:

  • Restaurants and Food Service Establishments – application opens Aug 31
  • Essential Retail – application opens Sept 7
  • All Small Businesses – application opens Sept 14

The deadline for all three phases will be Friday, October 5, 2020 at 5p.m. To apply for the program and for more information, business owners can visit

To qualify for the Bergen County CARES Small Business Grant Program businesses must fall under the following criteria:

  • Businesses must have a physical location in Bergen County, NJ and must provide evidence that they are a valid operating business in the State of New Jersey (i.e. Certificate of Formation or Incorporation, latest corporate tax returns, sales tax returns and/or payroll tax returns).
  • Must have 19 or fewer full-time employees.
  • Businesses must have been open and operating on March 1, 2020.
  • Businesses owned by county employees and elected officials, as well as their immediate families, are not eligible.
  • Must provide affidavit stating company has not received any Federal, State or other funding or Federal/State documents showing date and monetary amount of all received assistance

Priority will be given to businesses that have not received any Federal grant assistance, New Jersey Economic Development Authority or US Small Business Administration grants or other grant assistance.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to small businesses across Bergen County as they continue to endure the uncertain reality of whether or not they can keep their doors open. That is why the County of Bergen has decided to expand the Bergen County CARES Small Business Grant Program to essential businesses that meet the same criteria as non-essential businesses so they can apply for much needed financial relief,” said County Executive Jim Tedesco.

“Our Bergen County small businesses have struggled to survive during the pandemic, and we want to help them stay alive. We shared our federal CARES Act money with non-essential businesses starting in July, and now we are pleased to extend a financial helping hand to even more of our small businesses,” said Bergen County Freeholder Chairwoman Mary Amoroso.

Receipt of grant funds through the Bergen County Small Business Grant Program is a one-time opportunity. Any business that has received grant funds during any phase of the Bergen County Small Business Grant Program is not eligible to receive additional grant funds through the program.

The Bergen County CARES Small Business Grant Program is funded through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Federal relief fund. For administrative and troubleshooting questions, please email or call 201-336-6011.

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