Black Owned Businesses in New Jersey

New $45 Million Government Grant Program Prioritizes Black Owned Businesses in New Jersey

Good news for Black owned businesses in New Jersey. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) recently announced that applications for the expanded Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program will be available at 9:00 a.m. on June 9, 2020.

Only 12% of minority-owned businesses received federal relief funding from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). To address this disparity, NJEDA is reserving $15 million for businesses in Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts and launching an aggressive and targeted outreach campaign so that businesses in historically underserved communities have increased access and priority for relief.

A sample application that small business owners can use to prepare is available at

The NJEDA received $50 million from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund established under the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to support small businesses.

In Phase 1 of the NJEDA’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, the agency provided more than $8 million in grants to date to nearly 2,500 businesses across all 21 counties.

The NJEDA will now provide an additional $5 million to fund businesses that were waitlisted during Phase 1 and will use $45 million to fund Phase 2.

The new round will provide grants up to $10,000 to qualified applicants and aims to support a wider variety of companies, including home-based businesses and sole proprietorships. The funding is also open to churches and nonprofit organizations.

Eligibility changes for Phase 2 increase the employee cap for businesses from 10 full-time employees (FTEs) to 25 FTEs and remove the NAICS code restrictions that were in place for Phase 1 to allow almost all businesses as well as 501(c)(3), 501 (c)(4), and 501(c)(7) nonprofit organizations to qualify for funding.

Applications for Phase 2 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program will be available on June 9, 2020. NJEDA staff will process the applications on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be no application fee.

As part of the application, the business’s Chief Executive Officer or equivalent officer must certify that the company was in operation on February 15, 2020, has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, and will make a best effort not to furlough or lay off any employees.

To comply with duplication of benefits provisions within the Stafford Act, all applicants will also be required to fill out an affidavit identifying all funding previously received related to COVID-19, including Small Business Administration loans and grants, forgivable portions of Payroll Protection loans, and Economic Injury Disaster grants.

To learn more about NJEDA resources for businesses call NJEDA Customer Care at 609-858-6767 or visit and follow @NewJerseyEDA on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.


-Tony O. Lawson

Related: 24 Black Owned New Jersey Businesses

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Feature image: (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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