MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Freeholders are pleased to announce that small businesses in the county will share in the $15.3 million in Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Emergency Security (CARES) Act funding the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has made available to select businesses in 12 counties that did not receive direct aid from the federal government.
The limited grant program is earmarked for business owners in Morris and 11 other counties – Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren – that did not get any direct federal CARES Act funding because it was predicated on counties meeting specific population requirements.
Grants are to be provided to businesses that had already applied as of the July deadline for aid through the NJEDA’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program.
“We are pleased to announce, along with our chamber partners, small business assistance for Morris County. We urge the EDA to increase funding for this program, as has been done for Passaic and Essex counties. While the EDA’s effort to boost our small businesses is a good start, we need to do more for businesses and employees in New Jersey,” said Freeholder John Krickus.
From small retail outlets to service providers and restaurants, Morris County entrepreneurs continue to struggle to stay in business under the state’s COVID19 restrictions.
“I applaud this first step by the NJEDA as one of many that must be taken to help Morris County’s family-owned stores, small businesses, and our overall economy during this crisis. As the board’s liaison to economic development, I will continue to fight, along with my colleagues on the freeholder board, to ensure there is a fair distribution of this federal and state aid to the people of Morris County,” said Freeholder Tom Mastrangelo.
The Morris County Chamber of Commerce and the Morris County Hispanic-American Chamber of Commerce (MCHACC) also expressed gratitude that Morris County businesses are receiving grants.
“Latinos are playing a critical role in driving our economy through outsized new business growth in Morris County. Helping the small Latino businesses and their employees will tolerate the effects of the economic impact of COVID-19,” said Esperanza Porras-Field, President Emeritus & Founder of the MCHACC.
“The Cares Act Funding for grants will be a big relief for small business owners that are struggling. The Latino community is opening more small businesses than anyone else in the United States and become the fastest-growing business owners across the country, she added.”
Hispanic-owned businesses employ more than 3 million people, according to the 2019 State of Latino Entrepreneurship report by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI), and account for about 4% of U.S. business revenues and 5.5% of U.S.
“Small businesses are vital to the economy of Morris County which overall produces over $50 billion in GRP and thousands of jobs, tax revenue, and desired goods and services, and these businesses have been disproportionately affected during this health and economic crisis,” said Meghan Hunscher, President of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce and Morris County Economic Development Corporation.
“We are grateful that the NJEDA will allow businesses in Morris County to access the CARES Act funds. Since continued cash flow is a concern, we also strongly encourage the Governor to consider reopening businesses in portions of the state where the virus is clearly under control and in a way that can keep customers safe to make sure businesses survive this pandemic,” she added.
The NJEDA created its Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program in March to provide financial assistance to certain small and medium-sized businesses and non-profits that needed payroll and working capital support because of the adverse impacts they suffered under restrictions imposed due to the COVID19 pandemic. The program focused initially on certain targeted industries that were the most adversely impacted and offered reimbursement for lost revenue as a result of business interruption.
The NJEDA has a newly created Small Business Dedicated Team. More information on that team can be found by clicking here.
For information on the State’s COVID-19 resources for businesses click here.
To learn more about the NJEDA click here.