TRENTON – In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy today signed legislation (A3845) that authorizes the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to make grants during a state of emergency or a public health emergency declared by the Governor. The EDA will also be authorized to grant certain business documentation submission deadline extensions.
“Businesses small and large throughout our state are in uncharted waters during this time of national crisis,” said Governor Murphy. “Working with our partners in the Legislature, we are ensuring that businesses in New Jersey have access to EDA grants and have an extended period of time to submit required documents.”
“The Legislature’s quick action allows the NJEDA to move forward with new resources that will help sustain businesses across the State that are struggling to handle the disruption and uncertainty the COVID-19 outbreak has caused,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). “It also provides us latitude to adjust existing program timelines to ensure we are able to continue supporting companies if they face unanticipated cash flow challenges. We are working closely with Governor Phil Murphy’s office, our partners across State government, and the business community, and will soon be announcing programs to help employers weather this challenging time.”
A3845 gives the EDA authority to provide grants during periods of emergency and for the duration of economic disruptions due to an emergency. The EDA will be able to offer grants for the planning, designing, acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, improving, equipping, and furnishing of a project, including grants for working capital and meeting payroll requirements. The legislation further allows the chief executive officer of the EDA to extend business document submission deadlines during a period of emergency.
Primary sponsors of A3845 include Assemblymembers Roy Freiman, Louis D. Greenwald, Ronald S. Dancer, and Senators Nilsa Cruz-Perez, and Brian Stack.
“As we work to protect residents from the Covid19 virus influence on our state, we have to think about the small business community, who rely on their customers to frequent their stores,” said Assemblymembers Freiman, Greenwald, and Dancer in a joint statement. “These businesses will be adversely affected by the need for many to stay indoors and potential quarantines. Providing access to loans will give small businesses an additional resource they can use to maintain their operations and pay their employees as we get through the days ahead.”
“This is a very trying time for the businesses in our state and they need to know that New Jersey has their backs,” said Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez. “We will do everything we can to support them and this law instills confidence into the future of businesses and our economy as we work through this situation.”
“During these uncertain times, we need to make sure small businesses can weather the economic impact of having to stay closed for an extended period of time,” said Senator Brian Stack. “Small businesses are the life blood of New Jersey’s economy, and we need to assist them during the potential economic downtown in order to also save our local economies.”
“In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus through the population, the State has enacted a series of hard restrictions that are already taking an incredible toll on business and workers who are losing hours and jobs,” said Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. “The ongoing public health crisis is also a very real financial crisis for many people across the state, and this measure will help businesses survive the devastating punch of mandatory closings and social distancing. It’s obvious many employers will continue to experience severe hardships as this virus disrupts life in this state, and across the globe.”
“In time this crisis will pass, and when it does, we want as many businesses as possible to be able to pick up where they left off before this virus disrupted every-day life,” said Senator Anthony M. Bucco. “As part of a package of almost three dozen bills to help New Jerseyans cope with the effects of the pandemic, our bipartisan bill addresses the very real economic threat to employers by providing access to emergency funding, especially those in the hospitality and service industries, and the jobs they provide for so many families across New Jersey.”