A key federal program that proved to be a lifeline for small businesses has ended. The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program is now closed to new loan applications. The PPP program provided nearly $800 billion to small businesses and nonprofits across the U.S. beginning at the height of the pandemic. In New Jersey, the program paid out nearly $26 billion to the state’s businesses and nonprofits. In the latest round of funding, the SBA approved more than 153,000 loans in the state, with businesses receiving on average about $55,000.
While the PPP loan program is closed, the state continues to roll out its own programs to help boost the economy. The latest offering is from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, which this week reopened a program that provides incentives for developers seeking to build housing. The incentives are higher for projects in some of the state’s more distressed communities. Tim Sullivan, CEO of the EDA, says that in addition to providing much-needed new housing, the program will help drive economic growth by creating construction jobs. A total of $50 million has been made available for this program.
New Jersey hospitals are paying it forward. When the state was one of the nation’s hot spots for COVID-19, hospitals received donations of equipment and supplies to help manage through those difficult months. Now, those same hospitals are donating equipment and cash to hospitals in India, which is struggling to deal with a severe outbreak of COVID-19 cases. About 30 hospitals and health systems are making donations, according to the New Jersey Hospital Association. The association worked with state Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth) to gather the supplies.