To assist local small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, Middlesex County is introducing a Small Business Grant program using federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) CARES Act funding.
The county intends to award a total of $1,062,260 in grants for job retention and creation through the CDBG-CV funds for this special economic development program under HUD (United States Department of Housing and Urban Development) guidelines. This program will be administered by the Middlesex County Department of Community Services.
Those eligible to apply for grants can do so at the new Small Business Grants Portal at www.middlesexcountynj.gov/COVID19businessgrants
The primary purpose of the CDBG-CV program is to prepare, prevent and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to develop viable communities through the provision of housing, living environments, and the expansion of economic opportunities, according to information provided by the county. The program is designed to target assistance to those in low and moderate-income households. Grants of up to $30,000 may be available. The individual grant amount will be based on application review and the number of applicants.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the global, national and local economy, Middlesex County is committed to offering assistance where possible for the small businesses that are the fabric of our communities,” Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios said in the statement.
“We urge all those that are eligible to apply. This program will assist our local businesses during these challenging times and help them move forward as Middlesex County begins the process of recovery,” Freeholder Claribel Azcona-Barber, chair of the Community Services Committee, said in the statement.
All applicants must submit applications by June 17 and meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for grants:
- Independently or family-owned businesses with no more than 10 employees
- Businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19
- Businesses with a net annual business income of less than $100,000 based on their last federal tax return
- Businesses located and operating in Middlesex County, except in Edison, New Brunswick, Old Bridge, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, and Woodbridge (these municipalities received their own CDBG-CV allocation directly from HUD)
- Businesses that employ and will retain or will hire LMI (Low and Moderate Income) persons for jobs that don’t require specialized training or education beyond a high school diploma.
“The CDBG-CV program was created under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES act, in a response to the economic impact the COVID-19 virus has had on the nation,” Freeholder Deputy Director Kenneth Armwood, chair of the Business Innovation, Education and Opportunity Committee, said in the statement. “This is one of the beginning steps we are taking to help our local economy. Small businesses that are not funded under this opportunity may still be considered for later COVID-19 relief available to the county.”
The Department of Business Innovation, Education and Opportunity will be facilitating an outreach plan through the county’s community partners in service delivery with municipalities, local business districts, local banking institutions, improvement authorities, and other county business advocacy groups to identify local small businesses that meet the CDBG grant eligibility criteria.
For more resources related to COVID-19, visit www.middlesexcountynj.gov/covid19 .