Business Report: New small business grants, casino profits, NJ credit outlook

New Jersey’s credit outlook has been raised by Moody’s

Millions in new funds will soon be flowing to New Jersey’s small businesses. Gov. Phil Murphy traveled to a Princeton crepe shop Monday to sign legislation providing $15 million in grants to small businesses and nonprofits. The Economic Development Authority this week is setting up the grant process, and businesses will be able to apply later this month.

We knew the pandemic hit Atlantic City’s casinos hard, and the latest numbers show just how steep the revenue declines were last year. 2020 revenue of about $1.9 billion was the lowest total since 2015, according to Stockton University’s Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming Hospitality and Tourism. According to the institute, casino operating profits were down sharply, but seven out of the nine casinos still managed to turn a profit. Bally’s and Resorts were the two casinos that lost money last year.

New Jersey’s credit outlook has been raised by Moody’s. The ratings agency raised its outlook to stable, from negative, citing the state’s better than expected revenues as well as the fact that the additional revenue has provided budget flexibility such as a surplus, and an accelerated pension payment. Moody’s says the new outlook suggests no change in New Jersey’s credit rating for the next year or so.

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