Program Has Awarded Close to $13 Million in Reimbursements Since It Launched in February
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced that its Small Business Improvement Grant has awarded close to $13 million to over 500 small businesses in the Garden State since it launched this February. The Small Business Improvement Grant awards small businesses up to $50,000 to reimburse costs associated with making building improvements or purchasing new Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment (FFE).
“The Small Business Improvement Grant is a great example of Governor Phil Murphy’s promise of finding creative ways to help strengthen our economy,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan “In a little over seven months, this program has helped more than 500 New Jersey businesses become more resilient and better position themselves for future growth by offsetting costs they incurred as they adapt to a post-pandemic economy.”
Sullivan also noted that 40 percent of the Small Business Improvement Grant funding will be set aside for businesses and nonprofits in Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts, in line with Governor Murphy’s commitment to equity.
Created under the Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA), and funded with $15 million from the Main Street Recovery Program, the Small Business Improvement Grant reimburses eligible small businesses and nonprofits for up to 50 percent of eligible project costs associated with building improvements or the purchase and/or installation of new FFEs.
One of the hundreds of small businesses that received reimbursement is the Admiral Resort Motel, a family-owned vacation destination located a short distance away from the famous Wildwood Boardwalk at the Jersey shore. “For over 40 years, we’ve hosted families of all sizes and from all corners of the world as they enjoy their time off at the Jersey shore,” said the Admiral Resort Motel owner William DiAntonio. “After several needed upgrades to our facilities, which included revamping our security system and refreshing our guest rooms, we’re now in a much better financial position to invest in future projects as we continue to build vacation memories for years to come thanks to the grant we received from the NJEDA.”
Another business that secured funding from the Small Business Improvement Grant is Enterprise Solutions Accounting, a consulting and accounting firm whose focus is primarily the Latino market. This Hamilton-based minority-owned small business received reimbursement for a new HVAC system, new flooring, new doors, new panel dividers, and all the labor associated with these necessary improvements.
“The Small Business Improvement Grant has allowed us to offset thousands of dollars in renovation costs to upgrade our facility and operations,” said Enterprise Solutions Accounting owner Henry Pulido. “The reimbursement we received from the NJEDA will allow us to keep investing in the community we serve as we continue to provide the highest professional experience to our clientele.”
Funding from the program also supported the Boys and Girls Clubs of Lower Bergen County (BGCLBC) offsetting costs from plumbing, heating, gutter and electrical repairs that were needed for them to continue to provide a safe environment for youth from disadvantaged economic, social, and family circumstances to go after school and throughout the summer.
“Since 1949, our doors have been open to children from underprivileged communities as they try to find a safe place to learn and grow, or simply search for a sense of belonging,” said BGCLBC Chief Executive Officer Joseph Licata. “The funding we received from the NJEDA helped us offset costs so we can focus on continuing to provide quality programs and services to enable all Bergen County children, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”
Businesses and nonprofits that receive funding through the Small Business Improvement Grant are required to pay employees for the grant term the greater of $15 per hour or 120 percent of the minimum wage. Tipped employees must be paid at least 120 percent of the minimum wage. Applicants must also commit to remaining in the facility and meeting wage requirements for up to four years following the execution of the grant agreement and depending upon award amount. Awards greater than $25,000 will have a compliance period of four years and grant awards less than $25,000 will have a compliance period of two years.
For more information on the Small Business Improvement Grant, please visit https://www.njeda.com/small-business-improvement-grant/.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.