Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) signed legislation yesterday that will provide $15 million in federal coronavirus disease (COVID-19) aid for New Jersey small businesses and nonprofit organizations statewide, according to a press release.
The new legislation, A-A5446, is 1 of 5 bills involved in a larger $100 million relief effort to help businesses that have struggled during the pandemic, according to the release. It is sponsored by Sens. Linda Greenstein (D-14) and Joseph Lagana (D-38) as well as Assembly members Joann Downey (D-11), Andrew Zwicker (D-16) and Sterley Stanley (D-18).
“New Jersey’s small businesses were particularly hard hit by the ravages of COVID-19, ” Murphy said, according to the release. “This legislation, along with three additional bills I signed last week and one I will sign in the near future, will go a long way toward helping hundreds of state businesses keep their doors open as we recover from this year-long ordeal.”
The aid will be provided by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, which has already issued more than $250 million to approximately 55,000 businesses statewide, according to the release. The announcement regarding applications for aid is forthcoming.
Murphy also signed legislation last week which included $25 million in aid for the restaurant industry and $15 million for arts and cultural venues, according to an article from NJ Advance Media. Despite this legislation and other efforts from the state, officials stated last week that approximately one-third of restaurants have permanently closed during the pandemic and approximately 90,000 people have been laid off throughout the state.
“Throughout the last year, COVID-19 has placed a serious strain on many of our local businesses and nonprofit organizations. Unfortunately, a number of beloved businesses in our communities were unable to weather this storm and sadly closed their doors for good,” Greenstein said, according to the release. “This $15 million in federal funding will provide a big sigh of relief to so many business owners and nonprofits throughout our state, as well as their employees and individuals that rely on their services."