Business Report: PPP loan forgiveness, CARES Act funding, e-commerce

Senate Republicans accuse Gov. Phil Murphy of hoarding $2.4 billion in federal CARES Act money

Small businesses that received federal PPP loans are getting a break. The Small Business Administration has now released a simpler loan forgiveness application geared toward businesses that received loans of $50,000 or less. The administration began processing applications for loan forgiveness earlier this month.

For months, Gov. Phil Murphy has been pleading for more federal money to help New Jersey’s economy. But now, Senate Republicans are accusing the governor of hoarding $2.4 billion in federal CARES Act money that the state has already received, as he waits to see if more aid is coming. They point to a report from the state auditor that found New Jersey has only spent 10% of the money it received as of Sept. 30. Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean says the governor should release additional funds.

A new report sheds some light on just how important e-commerce has become for New Jersey. Even in the midst of the pandemic, New Jersey’s industrial market broke several records during the just-completed third quarter, according to the commercial real estate company CBRE. Industrial leasing topped 7 million square feet, a jump of 40% over the same period last year. A big chunk of the space was leased to e-commerce companies.

This week, e-commerce giant Amazon holds its annual, much-hyped event known as Prime Day when it places a lot of its inventory on sale. Not to be outdone, other big retailers like Wal-Mart and Target are planning to offer discounts that they are comparing to Black Friday sales.