Reopening Guidance

Employer/Business Outreach Packet 

Recommended Signage


Face Covering Required


Cleaning and Disinfecting


Cleaning High Touch Surfaces 


I Wear My Mask in Public for 3 Reasons


Mask Up


No Mask. No Meeting. 


Outdoor Dining


Time. Space. People & Place


What is Your COVID-19 Risk Level?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html

New Jersey Governor’s Orders and Public Health Guidance

Non-Essential Construction, Curbside Pickup at Non-Essential Retail Businesses, and Gatherings in Cars
Summary of Non-Essential Construction
https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/pdf/EO-142.pdf

Outdoor Dining Protocols and Process to Expand Premises for Liquor License Holders
New Jersey Department of Health Outdoor Dining Executive Order  
Checklist Guidance for Outdoor Dining Establishments
Summary of Key Points Outdoor Dining
https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/pdf/EO-150.pdf

Youth Camps:
New Jersey Health Department Youth Camps/Day Care Guidance
Summary of Key Points Youth Camps/Day Cares
https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/pdf/EO-149.pdf

Swimming Pools/Recreational Bathing
Public Health Guidance from State Health Department 
Summary of Governor’s Order Key Points Swimming Pools and Recreational Bathing
CDC Guidance on Swimming Pools and Recreational Bathing

Child Care Centers
Public Health Guidance from State Health Department

Tanning and Body Art Establishments
Summary of Governor’s Order Tanning and Body Art Establishment

PPE Discounts for Small Businesses – EXTENDED Thru Dec. 17th

Small businesses  — organizations with 100 or fewer employees may purchase PPE at a 65% discount through the State’s PPE Access Program.

Discounts available through the PPE Access Program have been extended.  Small business owners can now apply and purchase PPE items until December 17th at 11:59 pm. If you have previously been approved, your retailer portal will automatically be updated with the December 17th expiration date. 

With the winter season approaching, NJEDA has expanded their discount program. Small business discounts have increased to nearly 70%, and discount caps have doubled in value. In addition, all discounts will now be valid until December 17th.  See below to learn more about the program expansion.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY COVID INFORMATION HUB

 

Source: New Jersey Economic Development Agency

12-9: Cases Rise by 22; Free Flu Clinic; Rent Relief Available; Gifts for Families in Need; Food Pantry Raises Funds; Holiday Farmer’s Market; Detailed COVID Case Report

TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE SUMMARY

There have been twenty-two (22) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report on Monday, 12-7-20. See full case report at the end of this ebulletin.



FREE FLU CLINIC DECEMBER 14

The Montgomery Health Department is sponsoring a FREE flu clinic on Monday, December 14, from 4-7pm at Otto Kaufman Community Center. Vaccinations available for ages 4 and up, by appointment only.  Appointments can be made on our website: https://health.montgomery.nj.us/flu.



APPLY NOW FOR RENT RELIEF

In response to the financial hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, Somerset County has established a rent relief program using Federal grant monies. Over $400,000 in rent relief is still available to county residents, including in Montgomery, who have suffered COVID-related income loss, subject to income limitations.

Additional information, and an easy-to-use online application are available here. Paper application forms are available by calling 908-541-5756.


 

HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR MONTY FAMILIES IN NEED

The Montgomery Township Food Pantry is seeking donations of holiday gift cards from local retailers to distribute to 50+ families who are currently relying on the pantry for food assistance.

“Our families enjoy the ability to personally select the gifts they purchase and, this year, feel more comfortable receiving gift cards rather than the gifts themselves because of COVID,” said resident Lisa Youngberg, who helps organize the annual holiday giving program for families in need, modified this year for the COVID era. “We also wanted to lend a hand to our local retailers with a ‘Shop Local’ emphasis.”

Two types of gift cards are requested in denominations of $25:

  1. Montgomery retailer gift cards, including salons, gift shops, confectioners, shoe stores, hardware, health & fitness, restaurants, etc.
  2. Nearby toy and warm clothing retailers, such as Kohl’s, Target, and Walmart.

Gift cards should be dropped off or mailed by December 22nd to the Montgomery Food Pantry, 356 Skillman Road, Skillman, NJ 08558. Email Montgomery Community Resource Manager Denise Crowley at MontyFoodPantry@gmail.com with any questions.


HOLIDAY FOOD DRIVE HAVING IMPACT

“Kidsgiving” organizers delivered donations to the Montgomery Food Pantry. They are (l-r) Hetal Soni, Ankita Patel, Rupal Shah, Deputy Mayor Marvin Schuldiner, MJ Narula, Jai Narula, Raina Rauf, and Kiran Rauf.

Montgomery’s teachers, parents, and “kids” produced substantial donations to the Montgomery Food pantry in the last week.

On behalf of Montgomery Township School District teachers, Staci Anderson presented to the food pantry a $2,500 check, in addition to four shopping carts of donated food. The contribution was part of the NJEA Pride Grant program.

The Montgomery Charity Foundation’s third annual “Kidsgiving” enlisted local parents and children in an event last weekend that collected 500 food items for the Montgomery Food Pantry. They collaborated with MontyCares, Rotary, and Boy Scout Troop 850, churches, and over two dozen businesses in Montgomery and Hillsborough.

These generous efforts are part of the larger Montgomery Food Pantry holiday-season push to raise funds for grocery gift cards and to restock shelves for local families in need. Donations are accepted online or by check via the Montgomery Together website.


OUTDOOR HOLIDAY FARMER’S MARKET SATURDAY

Montgomery Mayor Sadaf Jaffer at a recent Farmer’s Market.

The Montgomery Friends of Open Space wraps up its 18th Farmer’s Market season this Saturday, 9am to noon, with an annual Holiday Market, held outdoors at Village Shopper near Mooyah.

Vendors include Christopher’s Soaps, The Granola Bar, and produce vendors Clifford Farm, Orchard Farm Organics, and Zell’s Farm.  The hoop houses are producing luscious fresh fall and winter vegetables.  Back for the Holiday Market will be Woods Edge Wool Farm, with alpaca wool clothing and gifts.

The market will have gift selections from stocking stuffers to farm fresh wreaths to shelf-stable organic soups and statement clothing. All sourced from our local farms!


TODAY’S COVID-19 FULL CASE REPORT

 

There have been twenty-two (22) new cases in Montgomery and Rocky Hill since our last report, Monday, 12-7-20.

 

As of 9AM today, December 9

Montgomery cases: 454

Montgomery deaths: 7

Rocky Hill cases:  12

Rocky Hill deaths: 0

 

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

107      <20

73      20-29

45      30-39

67      40-49

78      50-59

53      60-69

12      70-79

31      80+

 

466 confirmed and probable cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill in total, of which:

–  401presumed recovered a

–  58 currently ill

– 7 fatalities

 

a “Presumed recovered” means cases that have met the criteria for discontinuation of isolation. A minimum of 10 days from diagnosis, or three days after symptoms resolve, whichever is longer. This definition represents a change from earlier in the pandemic before the CDC provided a definition.

For further statistics, go to the Health Dept.’s COVID-19 portal: https://health.montgomery.nj.us/covid19/,  State of NJ DOH’s COVID-19 Case Chart , and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Testing Site info found at: https://health.montgomery.nj.us/covid-testing/

Restaurants – Winter Tenting Guidance

Last Wednesday, the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) released the below linked guidance for the use of outdoor space by restaurants and other businesses.  Please make note of the important and timely deadlines, which in part, include “an establishment must file the UCC permit application and request for a variation, if applicable, by November 30, 2020. In order to provide sufficient time for the processing of permit and variation applications, municipalities may grant establishments a two-week extension from the November 30th deadline to remove the tent, provided that the establishment has filed with the permit application a snow plan that will be put into effect in the event of a forecasted weather event occurring in the time period of the extension.” 

NJ Dept. of Community Affairs – Restaurants Outdoor Space Utilization During Winter Months (Winter Tenting Guidance)

This and previous guidance for Outdoor Dining and UCC/UFC can be found at:

https://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/codes/alerts/covid19.html

11-30-20

 

How to Track New Jersey’s Covid-19 Executive/Admin. Orders

The following link will take you to a State of New Jersey webpage which lists all standing covid-19 related executive orders by Governor Murphy:

https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/approved/eo_archive.html

The following link will take you to a State of New Jersey webpage which lists all covid-19 related Administrative Orders issued by the NJ State Police Office of Emergency Management:

https://nj.gov/governor/news/ao/approved/ao_archive.shtml

 

 

 

NJ Reopening News & Montgomery Case Count

NJ GYMS CAN REOPEN TOMORROW, INDOOR DINING & MOVIES FRIDAY: ALL AT 25% CAPACITY

New Jersey has now reached the latter part of Stage Two reopening, which will soon include the reopening of gyms and restaurants. In Stage Two, moderate-risk activities restart, based on transmission rates and other evaluations of risk. (Statewide Covid-19 Activity Level Chart, NJ Dept. of Health, 8-22-20)

Exec. Order #181 reopens gyms/health clubs/fitness centers, as well as amusement and water parks at 6 AM on Tuesday, September 1st.

The State of New Jersey has announced this week that restaurants may reopen for indoor dining at 25% on Friday, Sept. 4th at 6 AM, just in time for the Labor Day weekend.  Additionally, movie theaters may reopen on September 4th at 25% capacity up to a maximum of 150 people and with additional restrictions promulgated by the DOH.  Finally, certain indoor gatherings may also increase to 25% capacity up to a maximum of 150 people. Check the New Jersey COVID Info Hub where the rules on restaurant and bar reopening and movie theater and other entertainment venues reopening may be found.

When leaving home, New Jerseyans should continue to wear a face covering and keep a social distance from others.

See below executive orders and guidance regarding gyms. At bottom is a Covid-19 Activity Level Chart from NJ Dept. of Health:

EO-181

DOWNLOAD ABOVE GOVERNOR’S EXEC. ORDER

ED28GYMS___1_

DOWNLOAD ABOVE DEPT. OF HEALTH ORDER

gym_fitness_FINALv2

DOWNLOAD ABOVE DEPT. OF HEALTH GUIDANCE

COVID_19_Report_Week_082220

DOWNLOAD ABOVE COVID ACTIVITY LEVEL CHART FROM DEPT. OF HEALTH, 8-22-20

Click here for EXPLANATION OF STAGES OF NJ’S REOPENING PLAN.

 


TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE REPORT

Note: There have been four (4) new cases in Montgomery/Rocky Hill since our last report Wednesday, 8-26-20. (There was no report last Friday.)

As of 9 am today, 8/31

NJ cases: 191,960
NJ deaths: 15,960
Somerset County cases: 5,420
Somerset County deaths: 567
Montgomery cases:  145
Montgomery deaths: 7
Rocky Hill cases: 7
Rocky Hill deaths: 0

152 confirmed and probably cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill in total, of which:

– 137 presumed recovereda

–     8 currently ill

–     7 fatalities

a “Presumed recovered” means 30 days have elapsed since individual’s diagnosis and the person is not hospitalized.

For further statistics, go to the Health Dept.’s COVID-19 portal: https://health.montgomery.nj.us/covid19/,  State of NJ DOH’s COVID-19 Case Chart , and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

*****DISCLAIMER***** Reported numbers on this page may not match the figures provided on the Somerset County page.  This is due to differences in reporting times.

Testing Site info found at: https://health.montgomery.nj.us/covid-testing/

 

 

 

 

SBA Announces New Reduced 504 Loan Debenture Rates

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced updated interest rates for its 504 Loan Program offered by Certified Development Companies (CDC), allowing small businesses to apply for the lowest interest rates since July 2018, by offering 20 and 25-year interest rates at 2.214% and 2.269%, respectively.

Small businesses looking for information on how to expand their business’s real estate or improve their working capital should visit: https://www.sba.gov/brand/assets/sba/sba-lenders/504-Loan-Fact-Sheet-Borrower-Version.pdf

The 504 Loan Program is an SBA business loan program authorized under Title V of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, 15 U.S.C. 695 et seq. The core mission of the 504 Loan Program is to provide long-term financing to small businesses for the purchase or improvement of land, buildings, and major equipment, to facilitate the creation or retention of jobs and to support local economic development. Under the 504 Loan Program, loans are made in conjunction with private sector lenders to small businesses by CDCs, which are certified and regulated by the SBA to promote economic development within their community.

8-14: Business PPE Program, School Supply Drive, Montgomery’s Michael Petrane in Concert, Case Report

Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program

The first phase of the New Jersey Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program has been announced, designed to ensure that the State’s small businesses and non-profits have access to the fairly priced personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to facilitate safe working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The phase was approved by the NJEDA’s Board today, advancing this initial step of a $15 million initiative to address ongoing demand for PPE.

For more information, go to covid19.nj.gov/ppe


NJ Legislature District 16
Back-to-School Virtual Drive

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker and Assemblyman Roy Freiman are conducting a Virtual School Supplies Drive. It is an easy, COVID safe, and personalized way to support the school district of your choice. All that is required is a small act of kindness on your part.

The assemblymen have teamed up with an online donations platform called YouGiveGoods. Just go to the donations webpage https://yougivegoods.com/njlegd16-bts, choose the school district you would like to support (Montgomery Township is included), and click on SHOP to purchase the goods you would like to donate. You will be emailed a tax receipt at the time of purchase. All goods ordered online will be shipped directly to each school district after the drive ends, and the district will distribute the items to the kids in need.

The legislators have announced an ambitious goal of collecting 2,000 items by August 31st. (At time of print, there were no donations to Montgomery schools yet, so let’s change that for families in need!) Help achieve the goal and put much needed smiles on the faces of many children during these unsettling times.


Piano Man brings Joy to Montgomery Neighborhood

16-year-old Michael Petrane of Skillman performs classic rock tunes on his neighborhood street for family and friends — from a safe social distance of course. With live entertainment virtually non-existent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a welcome diversion. NJ.com came for a visit to see a performance and meet Michael and his family.

See this video by Andre Malok | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com on the Community Showcase page of MontgomeryTogether.us at:

https://www.nj.com/togethernj/2020/08/sidewalk-classic-rock-concerts-bring-joy-to-nj-neighborhood-during-coronavirus-closures.html


TODAY’S COVID-19 CASE REPORT

Note: There have been zero (0) new cases in Montgomery/Rocky Hill since our last report Wednesday, 8-12-20.

The Montgomery Health Dept. is monitoring travelers from out-of-state ‘hot spots’ for self-quarantine.

As of 9 am today, 8/14

NJ cases: 186,594
NJ deaths: 15,893
Somerset County cases: 5,282
Somerset County deaths: 564
Montgomery cases:  136
Montgomery deaths: 7
Rocky Hill cases: 7
Rocky Hill deaths: 0

Age Ranges of Cases in Montgomery & Rocky Hill:

13           <20
18           20-29
19           30-39
22           40-49
26           50-59
19           60-69
6           70-79
20           80+

143 confirmed and probably cases for Montgomery and Rocky Hill in total, of which:

– 133 presumed recovered a

–     3 currently ill

–     7 fatalities

a “Presumed recovered” means 30 days have elapsed since individual’s diagnosis and the person is not hospitalized.

For further statistics, go to the Health Dept.’s COVID-19 portal: https://health.montgomery.nj.us/covid19/,  State of NJ DOH’s COVID-19 Case Chart , and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

*****DISCLAIMER***** Reported numbers on this page may not match the figures provided on the Somerset County page.  This is due to differences in reporting times.

Testing Site info found at: https://health.montgomery.nj.us/covid-testing/

 

Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program

The first phase of the New Jersey Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program has been announced, designed to ensure that the State’s small businesses and non-profits have access to the fairly priced personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to facilitate safe working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The phase was approved by the NJEDA’s Board today, advancing this initial step of a $15 million initiative to address ongoing demand for PPE.

In May 2020, Governor Murphy established the Restart and Recovery Commission and Restart and Recovery Council to guide New Jersey’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the Commission and the Council highlighted the need for readily available, reasonably priced, and equitably distributed PPE to accelerate a safe and robust economic recovery. The NJEDA also received input on the PPE Access Program from the Senate Fiscal Strategists Committee.

“Business owners and company leaders have enough on their plates as they navigate operating with new protocols in place to safeguard the health of their customers and staff,” said Governor Murphy. “We are taking this step to make finding and securing PPE and other safeguarding supplies easier for business owners, so they can focus on rebuilding their businesses and ensuring their future success.”

Under the Program’s first phase, the State will launch a new website that provides micro and small businesses with the information needed to make easier and better PPE sourcing decision.  The website will also offer a vetted list of online retailers that have agreed to verify the quality of the PPE they are selling and offer at least a 10% discount to businesses who enter through the State’s website.  Online retailers will be vetted on a first-come, first serve basis by the NJEDA, and must agree to certain performance standards for their site (e.g., transparent pricing, high-quality products, etc.).  Vetted online retailers will also be eligible to access an NJDEA grant pool of up to $3.5M to support the purchase of PPE that is manufactured in New Jersey or sourced from a small wholesaler based in a historically underserved community.

Assuming the first phase of the program is successful, the NJEDA intends to expand the program with a $11M of support for micro and small businesses PPE purchases.  The intent is for this support to flow directly through the vetted online vendors, allowing users to access the grant funds at the time of their online checkout.  Through this innovative public-private approach, the State anticipates that it could support more than $45 million in PPE purchases and more than 50,000 small and micro businesses.

“The NJEDA’s top priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been helping the smallest of businesses face the unique challenges posed by this public health and economic crisis, including keeping their employees and customers safe,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Ensuring sufficient access to quality, affordable PPE is essential to allowing businesses of all sizes to reopen safely.”

During March and April, New Jersey saw an unprecedented spike in the demand for PPE, largely driven by the healthcare sector. Today the availability of PPE has improved, but as more parts of the economy reopen and other U.S. States face spikes in COVID-19 cases, demand for PPE to protect employees and customers has surged.  The resulting shortages and increased prices disproportionately effect small businesses and organizations and those in historically underserved communities.

“Dependable, convenient access to PPE supplies is a key determinant of our ability to manage the spread of COVID-19 and the viability of any plan to reopen the state’s small businesses,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “This proactive approach will help to alleviate the burden on business owners of finding reliable providers so they can focus on getting back to work.”

In June the NJEDA issued a Request for Information (RFI) to gather input and suggestions that could help to shape a possible program to ensure small businesses had sufficient access to PPE. Taking this feedback into account, the NJEDA crafted the NJ Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program to ensure access to affordable PPE, help business owners understand the specific safety equipment they need, and support the state’s manufacturing sector by encouraging PPE suppliers to manufacture products in New Jersey.

“The NJ Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program will help businesses identify and acquire the safety equipment they need while providing a much-needed boost for New Jersey’s manufacturers and smaller wholesalers,” said Tony Coscia, Partner and Executive Committee Member, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP. “The program will ensure increased efficiency and equity on both the distribution and procurement sides of the PPE equation.”

Coscia serves as Co-Chair of Governor Murphy’s Restart and Recovery Commission Economics and Fiscal Policy Working Group.

“While we have all faced daunting challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, small business owners and their employees have undoubtedly been hit the hardest. As we take steps toward recovery, it is important that we make sure these businesses are able to reopen and operate safely,” said Senator Paul Sarlo. “The PPE Access Program is an important tool that will help us achieve these goals by ensuring small businesses are able to get the protective equipment they need to get back to work while keeping their employees and customers safe.”

“Access to personal protective equipment, and the cost associated with it, has been one of my biggest concerns since the onset of this pandemic. Our smallest businesses are struggling as it is, and while they work to outfit their employees with PPE they’re all too often faced with shipping delays and exorbitant prices, compromising the safety of their employees and further stretching their already tight budgets,” said Senator Teresa Ruiz. “This marketplace will help to ensure access to masks and other protective equipment by offering quicker turn-around times and more reasonable prices, protecting our businesses, their employees, and their customers. I am glad the NJEDA worked with the legislature and implemented this initiative.”

“I applaud the NJEDA for working cooperatively with members of the Senate Fiscal Strategists Committee to help our small businesses and nonprofits secure discounted PPE,” said Senator Troy Singleton. “As we work to rebuild our economy, continued cooperation amongst all layers of government will be required to achieve the goal of getting New Jersey fully back to work. There is more that needs to be done, but today’s announcement is another important and key step towards turning that goal into a reality.”

“Small businesses on Main Streets across New Jersey need access to stable supplies of affordable personal protective equipment to ensure the health and safety of their customers and employees,” said Senator Steve Oroho. “This new program from the NJEDA will help our local mom-and-pop shops to purchase the PPE they need at discounted rates. This will help them to comply with safety protocols that align with CDC guidelines, providing the opportunity to compete and thrive during this unprecedented crisis.”

“As co-chair of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, I believe that the creation of the NJ Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program is an essential project for the State of New Jersey. Ensuring reliable and affordable access to PPE for the state’s smallest businesses and non-profits will allow them to keep their workers and customers safe. The program will also support purchase of PPE from New Jersey-based manufacturers and from underserved communities,” said Senator Linda R. Greenstein, Chair of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus. “During the height of the pandemic, we became aware of the lack of access to PPE and the fact that many purchasers were going out of state to buy needed items, leaving New Jersey manufacturers without customers. This program will remedy many of these problems.”

“I applaud the NJEDA for taking the initiative to create a program to meet the need for PPE at this time,” said Senator Vin Gopal. “The NJ PPE Access Program will streamline the process to obtain PPE at fair prices and help businesses stay afloat. Any business that wants to function has to have personal protective equipment to protect not only the consumers but the staff as well. Thank you to the NJEDA for listening to the concerns of the businesses in our state.”

Applications for the online retailers to participate in the program are expected to launch as soon as possible. The public facing website, including small business decision-making tools and vetted discounted retailers will follow by early-to-mid December. More information can be found on the State’s COVID19.nj.gov website.

To support the expansion of local PPE manufacturing in New Jersey, the NJEDA will provide grant funding to subsidize up to 20% of the purchases of PPE that has been (i) manufactured or assembled in New Jersey or (ii) sources from a wholesaler with less than 25 employees and is located in a historically underserved community (Opportunity Zone Eligible census tracts). Throughout the pandemic, NJEDA has been working closely with the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP) to identify and support companies that make or have pivoted to make PPE, many of which could supply New Jersey-made goods to the Program’s vetted online vendors.

The NJEDA is setting aside an additional $0.5 million for program development, marketing, administration, and compliance.

EDA to Provide $15 M in new CARES Act Funding to Businesses

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced that its Board has approved the use of $15.3 million in Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Emergency Security (CARES) Act funding to provide grants through the Authority’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program to businesses located in 12 New Jersey counties that did not receive direct allocations of CARES Act funding from the federal government. The funds will be added to the more than $100 million the NJEDA is currently administering to support COVID-19-impacted businesses.

“Helping small businesses and their employees withstand the immediate economic impact of COVID-19 and prepare for a safe and strong recovery is central to the NJEDA’s pandemic response,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Using this additional CARES Act funding to expand our Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program will allow us to provide much-needed relief for business owners who have been struggling and employees whose jobs have been at risk. Focusing on counties that did not receive direct federal aid will also help to ensure resources are distributed fairly to businesses in all regions of the state.”

To date, more than 11,500 businesses have been approved for grants totaling more than $36.5 million through the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. Launched in early April with $10 million of NJEDA funds, the Program initially offered grants of up to $5,000 to a narrowly targeted set of small businesses that included restaurants and in-person retail establishments. In early June, the NJEDA used $50 million in CARES Act funds to expand Phase 1 of the grant program by $5 million and launch Phase 2 of the Grant Program with $45 million. Phase 2 expanded the Program to a significantly broader range of businesses and increased the maximum grant award to $10,000.

To ensure equitable distribution of funds, the NJEDA set aside one-third of the CARES Act funding to support qualified businesses located in one of the 715 census tracts that were eligible to be selected as a New Jersey Opportunity Zone. Targeting these census tracts will help to ensure funding goes to communities of color that have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

The additional $15.3 million approved for use today will go toward fulfilling eligible Phase 2 grant applications from businesses located in the 12 New Jersey counties that did not receive direct CARES Act funding allocations from the federal government: Atlantic, Burlington, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Mercer, Morris, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren.

The remaining nine counties previously received their own separate allocations of CARES Act funds. Essex, Ocean and Passaic counties contributed $10 million each to the NJEDA to allocate to businesses in those three counties through Phase 2 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. Bergen, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Passaic, and Union counties are spending the funds on other COVID-19 relief programs.

In addition to approving the use of the $15.3 million in new CARES Act funding to provide grants through the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, the NJEDA Board also today delegated authority to the NJEDA Chief Executive Officer to direct any other governmental funding or unrestricted gifts or grants that the Authority may accept for the Grant Program to be administered as grants to eligible businesses in the 12 counties that did not receive direct allocations of CARES Act funding.

Comprehensive information about New Jersey’s coronavirus response is available at https://cv.business.nj.gov.