The state will provide grants of up to $5,000 for small businesses impacted by Tropical Storm Ida as part of a program that will include immediate rent and mortgage reimbursement for businesses and non-profits that suffered physical damage over the last three days.
“As with any emergency situation, our top priority is the health and safety of New Jerseyans, and we extend our deepest condolences to those families experiencing the loss or grave injury of a loved one,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “Now that the skies have cleared, we are eager to get to work on helping those who are waking up to harsh economic realities reclaim their livelihoods and mitigate Ida’s financial impacts to their businesses and the hardworking people they employ.”
Murphy made the announcement in Millburn on Friday morning after touring a heavily flooded downtown area.
“We needed to act quickly to assist small businesses impacted by Wednesday’s storm. With many businesses still on the brink of closure due to the financial impact of the pandemic, without assistance the storm damage could push them over the edge,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “These grants will provide a critical lifeline to small businesses and nonprofits around the state.”
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin said that small businesses have bene hit hard by the pandemic and now a major weather event.
“The $10 million being committed today will go to great lengths in helping rebuild and recapture what was so suddenly and tragically lost overnight,” Coughlin said. “As pillars of our communities and the foundation on which our economy rests, when our businesses thrive, we all thrive.”
The proposed program, which is expected to be approved at a special meeting of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority next Wednesday, applies to business with 50 employees or less.
“I applaud Governor Murphy for his immediate action to help the New Jersey businesses that suffered weather and flood damage after Tropical Storm Ida hit our state,” said Rep. Donald Payne, J I toured my district to see the flooding myself and know that this funding is needed desperately in my cities and across the state. These are small businesses that were struggling to keep doors open and lights on due to the pandemic already. These storms hurt their recovery even more. I commend Governor Murphy for assuring that businesses will get these grants quickly to help them during this incredibly difficult time.”
This story was updated at 6:32 PM with comment from Payne.