The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has announced that it has directly helped more than 10,000 businesses impacted by COVID-19 through a variety of grants and loans programs.

NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said the Authority has provided more than $44.2 million in support to 10,624 businesses through grants, loans and partnerships with investors.

This week, Gov. Phil Murphy also announced an additional $15 million to support the grant program, which will allow to support 25,000 small businesses. That's on top of the $100 million the NJEDA is administering through programs to impacted businesses.

While each business is different, the average grant distributed to small businesses is $3,000, which means it's for businesses with an average of three employees.

Sullivan said the Authority is hopeful they'll get more federal funding from the USEDA to support another round of loan funding that would be administered through the NJEDA.

Many small businesses have been hit hard by this pandemic.

"Anyone on Main Street, anyone who's got retail as part of their business, anyone who's got food service as part of their business, is experiencing significant challenges," said Sullivan. He thinks they'll continue to see significant need from retail, restaurants, beauty parlors, salons and those on Main Street for some time.

The NJEDA's largest COVID-19 relief program is the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, launched in early April with $5 million of NJEDA funds. It's now $70 million that Murphy has committed to the program. The bulk of that money has been made available for businesses with up to 25 employees. That also includes sole proprietorships and home-based businesses. It's up to $1,000 per full-time equivalent, so up to $10,000 grants.

Sullivan also said that a third of that funding is reserved for small businesses located in what is called The Opportunity Zone — businesses in high poverty, high unemployment and low-income areas.

Going forward, the NJEDA will continue to process applications for the existing COVID-19 relief programs and award funding as appropriate.

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