Business Report: Business grants, EDA program, Fed warning

Bergen County is trying to put cash in the hands of business owners in need

Bergen County officials have expanded a small-business grant program that provides eligible businesses with up to $10,000 in financial relief. The county will now start accepting applications from small businesses with up to 30 full-time employees. Previously only businesses with 19 or fewer full-time employees could apply. Additionally, the deadline to apply for the program has been extended to Oct. 30. Bergen County has already awarded more than $10 million to more than 1,400 small businesses.

At the state level, the Economic Development Authority has launched a program to provide free consulting services to help some small businesses deal with the challenges they are facing due to the pandemic. This program is open to those businesses with five or fewer workers that are located in one of the state’s opportunity zones. The state wants to eventually expand the program to more businesses.

Strong words on Tuesday on the need for Congress to get a stimulus deal done. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said without additional federal aid, he expects to see more layoffs and business bankruptcies.