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The Stronger NJ Business Grant Program is giving out grants to help small businesses that were damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The deadline to submit an application for a grant is Dec. 31.
Grants for up to $50,000 are available. If the business has multiple locations that were impacted by the storm, up to $250,000 may be awarded.
Eligible costs for reimbursement under the program may include working capital (operating expenses), inventory, equipment, machinery, furnishings and prospective construction.
There are minimum requirements to be eligible for the grants. Businesses must have been already existing on the date of Sandy and have a location in New Jersey. Businesses must be registered for business in the state and in good standing with state taxes. Businesses need to have less than $1 million in liquid assets. They must be small businesses. Yearly revenues must be between $25,000 and $5 million. Damage from Sandy must be a minimum of $5,000. Damage may include damage to the property and non-perishable and non-consumer inventory. The businesses need to be registered with Dun and Bradstreet and have a DUNS number.
Documents that are required when applying for the grant are the most recent tax return and three most recent bank statements for the business, documentation of the damage caused by Sandy and a lease or mortgage that was in place on Oct. 29, 2012, as well as insurance policies that were in effect on Oct. 29, 2013 even if there was no claim filed.
As for non-profit businesses, non-profits may be eligible if they provide a public service that furthers economic development. Those businesses may only apply for construction funds. Examples of these include fisheries co-operative, business incubator or charity with a retail shop. Religious-affiliated non-profits may use funding for renovation or new construction only. This is only if the structure has non-sectarian uses and is used for economic development activity.
One hundred eighty four grants, totaling about $8.7 million, have been approved for the program to date.
There is also a Stronger NJ Business Loan Program that businesses can apply for. This program offers up to $5 million to businesses with no interest or principal payments for up to 24 months. Businesses impacted by the storm can apply for these loans, as well as businesses looking to expand within the communities that were impacted by the storm. For more information on the loan program, visit the loan program portion of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority website.
To apply for the Stronger NJ Business Grants by the Dec. 31 deadline, visit the grant program portion of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority website.