Business Report: Funding for small businesses, hospitality jobs, Jersey City job training, rising gas prices

Small businesses and nonprofits in NJ are still eligible for funding on a first-come, first-served basis

More funding is available to some of New Jersey’s small businesses and nonprofits trying to rebuild after the pandemic. Eligible businesses can receive up to $100,000 in financing through the Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program. Pre-registration runs through July 30, after which applications will be approved on a first-come, first-served basis.

One of the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic was hospitality and a new report out Tuesday shows just how slow the recovery has been for its workers. The American Hotel & Lodging Association finds nearly 500,000 lodging jobs won’t return by the end of this year as hotel occupancy and revenues remain below pre-pandemic levels. In New Jersey, the group predicts nearly 23% of the industry’s jobs will be lost by the end of this year when compared with pre-pandemic job levels. The organization is lobbying Congress for more aid.

In Jersey City on Tuesday, officials launched what’s known as the Helmets to Hardhats job training program to help provide opportunities for women and minority veterans in the construction industry. The city is using a $300,000 state labor department grant to launch the first initiative in Jersey City, to support Hudson County veterans. Plans are for the program to expand to other northern counties.

New Jersey residents are getting no relief from rising gas prices. In the past month, prices have jumped more than 11 cents a gallon. Over the weekend, OPEC reached a deal to increase production in August. But with many people traveling this summer, demand for gas is strong. For that reason, AAA expects high gas prices to be the norm through summer.

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