Business Report: PPE discounts, clean energy, Amazon scam, student loans

Business owners are running out of time to save a ton of money on much-needed PPE to help keep their businesses open

Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday reminded small businesses in need of personal protective equipment of an important deadline this week. Businesses and nonprofits with 100 or fewer employees can apply for nearly 70% discounts on PPE purchases through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. But to get the discounts, they must apply by Thursday, Dec. 10.

PSEG recently announced that it would acquire a 25% stake in Ørsted’s offshore wind farm, which is being built off the coast of Atlantic City. But the interest in clean energy isn’t just limited to big companies. The Murphy administration is getting set to roll out programs next year that would benefit smaller startup companies focused on clean technology. The EDA is partnering with the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology on this effort. One of the new programs would provide clean tech entrepreneurs with grant money. Applications will be available early next year.

It’s the holiday season so that means scammers are in full force. Some people are receiving fake calls about their Amazon accounts. Recorded messages claim an order is lost, can’t be filled or there’s a suspicious purchase. The Federal Trade Commission says the scammers then try to get personal information from their victims by asking them to connect with customer service.

Student loan borrowers are getting a reprieve. The U.S. Education Department announced late last week that the freeze on student loan payments will be extended until the end of January. The freeze was supposed to end on Dec. 31.