COVID-19 Resources for Business

Important Links & Resources

Bergen County CARES Small Business Grant Program

Reopening Resources

Federal CARES Act

American Rescue Act

State Emergency Assistance Programs and the SBA Disaster Loan Program

General Information

COVID-19 Child Care Tuition Assistance Program

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“Virtual Main Street” will be a robust business directory that encourages visitors to purchase goods, gift cards, services, and food through direct online links to our members’ websites, online stores, and delivery services. Fort Lee BDA members, sign up today!

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Current Updates

September 27, 2021

Governor Murphy Announces Return and Earn Incentive Program

NJDOL to provide $500 to new hires, cover 50% of wages during training as economy recovers from Covid-19 pandemic

Governor Phil Murphy today announced that the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) will begin implementation of the Return and Earn program. This new initiative will provide a $500 incentive for unemployed workers reentering the workforce and receiving job training from businesses with 100 or fewer employees.

July 20, 2021

Pre-Registration for NJEDA Emergency Assistance Loan Program Phase 2 Opens July 20

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced pre-registration for the Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program (Phase 2) will open at 9:00 a.m. EST on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The Emergency Assistance Loan Program provides up to $100,000 in financing to New Jersey small businesses and nonprofits. All applicants must pre-register to be eligible to apply. 

June 7, 2021

Ride United Transportation Access

Don’t let transportation challenges stop you (or your family and friends) from getting vaccinated. Ride United Transportation Access is now providing free or discounted rides to vaccination sites wherever Lyft services are available. This program is for everyone, including people who have collapsible wheelchairs and walkers. Personal aides welcome to ride along.

Dial 2-1-1 and schedule your ride today!
More information: EnglishSpanish | FAQ

June 3, 2021

NJEDA Grant Webinar June 7

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) is reopening applications for grants for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through Phase 4 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program

Please join for an informational webinar on the program with the NJEDA, The Adjutant General Colonel Lisa J. Hou, D.O.,  and Assemblywoman Cleopatra G. Tucker,  on Monday, June 7, 2021.

April 14, 2021

New NJEDA Grants for Small Businesses

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced $85 million in new grants for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through Phase 4 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. This round of funding will provide grants up to $20,000 to small and medium sized businesses and non-profits that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

March 3, 2021

Receive 65% Discount on PPE products from trusted retailers

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has reopened its New Jersey Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program. The program enables small and micro businesses, as well as nonprofits, to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) at discounts of nearly 70 percent. Small businesses and organizations interested in receiving these discounts must apply at Businesses that were approved prior to December 17, 2020 do not need to reapply.

February 24, 2021

SBA Announces Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Rules Changed to Reach the Smallest of Businesses

In order to reach the smallest businesses, SBA will offer PPP loans to businesses with 20 or less employees and sole proprietors only from Wednesday, February 24 through Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

President Biden has also announced additional program changes to make access to PPP loans more equitable.

To learn more click here.

February 5, 2021

NJEDA Defers Pre-Registration for Phase 2 of Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced that pre-registration for Phase 2 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program will be deferred. Pre-registration was scheduled to open on Wednesday, February 10, 2021. The Authority has not announced a new date for the program.

The NJEDA will share additional updates on the Emergency Assistance Loan Program and other COVID-19 relief resources as they become available. Information will also be shared on the COVID-19 Business Hub:

January 29, 2021

New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Announces $10 Million Second Phase of its Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program

New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association announced a new grant program, funded by DoorDash and administered by the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association. DoorDash is generously donating $500,000 to the NJRHA to award grants to restaurants to help them offset costs amidst cold weather and ongoing COVID-related challenges.
Restaurants will be able to apply for $2,500 or $5,000 in funding which can be used to pay rent, purchase cold-weather equipment, PPE, and more. This grant is part of DoorDash’s five-year $200 million dollar Main Street Strong Pledge, which includes $10M in grants for restaurants in cities and states around the country.

January 29, 2021

NJRHA and DoorDash Partner to Distribute $500,000 to New Jersey restaurants

NJEDA announced it will open pre-registration for Phase 2 of its Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program at 9:00 a.m. EST on Wednesday, February 10th. The $10 million program expansion will support New Jersey small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be capitalized by a United States Economic Development Administration (USEDA) Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act appropriation. Any business or entity that intends to apply for a loan must first pre-register during this pre-registration period, which will run from 9:00 a.m. EST on February 10th to 5:00 p.m. on February 22nd.

Applicants MUST pre-register in order to apply for the Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program. Pre-registration for the Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program will open at 9:00 a.m. on February 10th on the New Jersey COVID Business Information Portal and will remain open until 5:00 p.m. on February 22nd. Only entities that pre-register will then be able to access the program application beginning 9:00 a.m. February 24th. The order in which final applications are received may affect funding availability, as referenced above.

January 11, 2021

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open January 11, 2021

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. Initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on January 11th and Second Draw PPP Loans on January 13th.

This round of PPP will continue to prioritize Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021. It will also allow certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw of PPP loan. The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly after.

January 8, 2021

New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Brownfields Loan Program Open on January 14th, 2021

Loans will be awarded through a competitive application process, with projects receiving scores based on various details about the brownfield site and the proposed redevelopment project. Projects that provide beneficial end uses that promote environmental resiliency, public health, and community well-being will receive higher scores and may also qualify for interest rate reductions if approved for financing.

December 9, 2020

NJEDA Extends PPE Access Program Deadline to December 17, 2020

In response to significant demand for support through the program, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced that the deadline for companies to receive nearly 70 percent discounts on purchases of personal protective equipment (PPE) through the NJ Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program has been extended one week to Thursday, December 17th, 2020. To date, more than 7,500 businesses and organizations have been approved for more than $6.4 million in discounts through the program. More information is available at

November 11, 2020

Outdoor Dining Guidance

The New Jersey Department of Health has released new health and safety standards for outdoor dining compliant with Governor Murphy’s recent executive orders, which required food and beverage establishments to close indoor dining between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. each day, restricted the seating at bar areas and permitted the use of enclosed structures such as plastic domes for outdoor dining. Accordingly, establishments allowing outdoor dining are to adhere to revised protocols. These standards involve updates to former guidelines regarding masks, physical distancing, signage and demarcation, sanitation, elimination of self-service food options, paper menu alternatives, and physical barriers. To read the full protocols, visit here.

October 15, 2020

Murphy Announces $100M for COVID-19 Economic Recovery to Help Businesses, Families

Gov. Phil Murphy announced this week that $100 million in additional CARES Act funding will be provided to New Jersey small businesses and families affected by COVID-19. $70 million will be distributed to restaurants, microbusinesses, and other small businesses through Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program.

Recognizing the significant need for relief, the NJEDA anticipates Phase 3 of the Grant Program will be oversubscribed. To streamline the application process, the Authority is requiring all applicants to pre-register online.

October 6, 2020

Yesterday Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco announced that due to the success of the Bergen County CARES Small Business Grant Program, the County of Bergen will extend the deadline to apply for the program to October 30. The program will also begin accepting applications for small businesses with 30 or less full-time employees.

So far approximately $10,713,000 has been awarded to 1402 small businesses in Bergen County thus far with 1,400 applications still under review.
The new and final application deadline will be Friday, October 30, 2020 at 5p.m. To apply for the program and for more information, business owners can visit If you have already applied you need not re-apply.

September 1, 2020

Bergen County CARES Small Business Grant Program
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious financial impact on communities across the country, which prompted the passage of The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act by the federal government. The County of Bergen, under the leadership of County Executive Jim Tedesco and the Board of Chosen Freeholders, utilizing CARES Act relief funds, has launched the Bergen County CARES Small Business Grant Program. The Bergen County CARES Small Business Grant Program is an economic stability measure designed to provide financial relief to small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and to increase overall business confidence during recovery.

New Jersey Restaurants and Bars will be able to open their indoor dining sections beginning Friday, September 4, 2020 at 25% capacity with social distancing between tables. Restrictions on indoor dining: patrons required to wear masks unless they are eating, under the age of 2, or have a health issue; staff members required to wear masks; tables spaced at least 6 feet apart; enhanced sanitation; guests placing orders only at a table and staffers bringing food and beverages only to tables; patrons barred from walking around while eating; limiting seating to a maximum of 8 customers per table — unless from an immediate family or the same household; encouraging reservations for greater control of customer traffic; and requiring customers to provide a phone number if making a reservation to facilitate contact tracing.

July 28, 2020

Governor Murphy Announces Additional $15 Million in CARES Act Funding to Recovery of Small Businesses
Governor Phil Murphy announced today that an additional $15 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding has been made available to New Jersey small businesses struggling with the pandemic. This funding is in addition to the $100 million the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) is currently administering through programs to COVID-19-impacted businesses.

June 16, 2020

Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco announces that the County of Bergen will launch a grant program to provide relief for municipalities straddled with expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic and small businesses financially impacted by the government ordered shutdown. The programs, which utilize CARES Act relief funds, will provide direct reimbursement to municipalities for costs associated with health officials, law enforcement, personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing improvements. “Non-essential” businesses that were forced to close as a measure to stop the spread of COVID-19 can receive up to $10,000 in financial relief to cover rent, property mortgage, and utilities expenses.

The County of Bergen intends to begin accepting applications for both programs by the end of the month. A subsequent announcement will be made regarding the small business grant application process.

June 10th, 2020

Governor Murphy has lifted the Stay-at-Home order that was issued in March. The Executive Order also increases the limit on indoor and outdoor gatherings. Outdoor gatherings can have up to 100 attendees, indoor gatherings are limited to 25% of capacity or 50 persons, whichever is less. Social Distancing and the use of face masks are still recommended.

June 9th, 2020

Boozy Burbs is putting together a list of outdoor dining restaurants to be featured on their website. The signup is quick and easy and the list is already live on the Boozy Burbs website and will be update in real time. Click here to be added to their master list they will be publishing on their website.

June 4th, 2020

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has announced that applications for the expanded Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program will be available at 9:00 a.m. on June 9, 2020. The $45 million program will provide grants up to $10,000 to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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. The NJEDA will provide an additional $5 million to fund businesses that were wait listed during Phase 1. The NJEDA will use $45 million to fund Phase 2, which will provide grants up to $10,000 to a significantly broader range of businesses than were previously eligible.

Click here learn more about the expanded eligibility requirements or to view the sample application.

June 2, 2020

Governor Murphy has announced that the State will move into Stage 2 on “The Road Back” to reopening the state’s economy. This stage allows for the loosening of restrictions and the reopening of several industries. As we begin the transition to Stage 2, the Governor has announced that the following industries can reopening in the coming weeks:

June 15th – Outdoor dining can begin
June 15th – Non-essential retail can reopen at 50% capacity
June 22nd – Personal care businesses such as salons and barbershops can begin reopening with restrictions

Gyms and health care clubs will follow.

Guidance and regulations on the safe reopening of these businesses will be provided from the State later this week and we will update you when this information is released.

June 1st, 2020

The Business District Alliance of Fort Lee has released the Fort Lee BDA Back to Work Guide to help business owners on their road back to reopening.

May 21st, 2020

The State is conducting a survey of businesses impacted by COVID-19 to better understand how to assist you in reopening and recovery. The State asks that you take 15 minutes to complete the official COVID-19 Reopening/Recovery Survey.

May 20th, 2020

The N.J. Chamber of Commerce Launches a “Buy NJ” Campaign to Raise the State’s Economic Curve
The Chamber launched this campaign to urge companies and consumers to purchase their goods and services from New Jersey based businesses, especially small businesses as the state reopens and recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

May 19th, 2020

Governor Murphy has released more details on “The Road Back” to restoring economic health in New Jersey. He elaborated on the types of businesses that will open in each stage. We are currently in Stage 1 and beginning to reopen the state’s economy.

May 18th, 2020

As the state begins the process of reopening, the New Jersey Business & Industry Associate just released guidance on best practices on preparing your workplace for employees return and protecting employees while in the office. The also offer specific guidance by industry on their website at

May 13th, 2020

Governor Murphy has signed Executive Order 142, which permits the resumption of non-essential construction, curbside pickup at non-essential retail businesses, and gatherings in cars. Social distancing and other precautionary measures must still be adhered to. Click here to read the full Executive Order.

May 2nd, 2020

Today the New Jersey Business Coalition proposed “The New Jersey Recovery and Reinvention Framework” which outlined the short-term and long-term needs of the business community. This framework is “meant to inform a state road map for re-opening the economy that is detailed, transparent, driven by health data and focused on business recovery.”

April 29th, 2020

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and NJBIA will be hosting a Virtual Town Hall featuring Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin to discuss issues affecting New Jersey businesses. A Q&A will take place after the main presentation. The Town Hall will take place on Wednesday May 6th at 9:00am. Click here to register for the event.

Today, Governor Murphy signed an Executive Order opening state parks, and allowing the opening of county parks and golf courses.

April 27th, 2020

Today Governor Murphy announced his plan for the “Road Back” to reopening the state’s economy. While no timelines were attached to his proposal, The Governor laid out six principles to restoring economic health in New Jersey including:

Sustained reductions in new #COVID19 cases and hospitalizations
Expand testing capacity
Implement robust contact tracing
Secure safe places for isolation
Responsible economic restart
Ensure New Jersey’s resiliency

Until these benchmarks begin to be met, the Governor reiterated that the state at home order he issued in March remains in effect in its entirety until further notice. Click here to learn more about New Jersey’s Road Back.

April 23, 2020

Congress has passed the “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act” which provides further relief to small businesses, hospitals, and health care facilities. This bill will send more money to programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other SBA programs. The bill is expected to be signed by President Trump. More guidance will be posted here as it becomes available.

April 14, 2020

New Jersey Business & Industry Association will be hosting a webinar on Friday, April 17 at 2:30 p.m. featuring U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker who will discuss the federal response to the health crisis and resources available to New Jersey business owners. NJBIA is asking participants to submit their questions in advance on their website. The questions portal will close at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 15. Click here to register for the webinar.

April 13, 2020

NJEDA Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan
UPDATE 9:28 A.M. 4/13/2020: Please be advised that based on applications already received, funding for this program is now oversubscribed. Applicants may continue to apply so that NJEDA has your information should additional funding become available, but further applicants should not expect a review or decision for this round of funding.

April 10, 2020

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order 122 placing stronger restrictions on retail businesses still operating.
Under this Executive Order, all essential retail must indefinitely limit the number of customers allowed in their stores to no more than 50% of their approved capacity. Additionally, customers and employees must wear face coverings. Stores must also provide special shopping hours for high-risk individuals, erect physical barriers between customers and cashiers and baggers where practicable, regularly sanitize areas used by their employees and more.

April 8, 2020

Governor Murphy Signs Executive Order 119 Extending the Public Health Emergency by another 30 days.

Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program Application portal is open and still accepting applications.
The portal will close on Friday April 10th, 2020 at 9:00 am. Applications will be considered on a rolling first-come first-serve basis.

Answers to your Questions – The NJ Business Action Center (NJBAC), in partnership with the NJEDA and the Office of Innovation, have set up a website with a live chat feature to answer business questions related to COVID-19. Click here to visit the site and get your questions answered.

April 2, 2020

Federal Funding Info – Applications can be submitted tomorrow, April 3, for funds from the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act. For information, click here.
State Funding InfoApplications can be submitted tomorrow, April 3, starting at 9 a.m. for funds from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s $5 million Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program.

April 1, 2020

The New Jersey state tax filing deadline will be extended from April 15 to July 15. The new date matches the new Federal tax deadline. Additionally, the state fiscal year (which ends on June 30) will be extended to Sept. 30.

The N.J. Economic Development Authority will begin accepting applications for small business emergency assistance grants starting this Friday, April 3, at 9 a.m. Applications for other NJEDA COVID-19 programs, including no/low interest loans, will be available in the coming weeks.

Critical Info on Federal Grants and Loans – Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s conference call on April 2, at 5:15 p.m. with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to discuss what the $2 trillion federal relief package means to your business.

  • Dial in to 833-420-0374
    It is recommended that you dial ten minutes before the scheduled start time.
  • Provide the operator with conference ID 1439028
  • Before joining the call, please download the presentation.

March 31, 2020

NJEDA – NJEDA Announces Application Launch Date for Grants for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will launch the application for its Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program on Friday, April 3, 2020 at 9:00 am. A link to the grant program application will be posted on the State’s COVID-19 Business Information Hub.

March 30, 2020

Congress recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2+ trillion economic stimulus package intended to assist businesses and nonprofits with immediate financial needs.Click the link below to visit the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship website that will help provide a better understanding of the CARES Act.

Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

The New Jersey Business & Industry Association, the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce and the Commerce & Industry Association of New Jersey are co-hosting a webinar presented by the NJ EDA on March 31, 4:00pm that will provide valuable insight to recently announced initiatives meant to help businesses and nonprofits dealing with the impact of COVID-19. Details and registration can be found at the link below.

New Jersey Economic Development Authority Webinar

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board has approved a suite of new programs designed to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The package includes the following programs:

Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $5 million program that will provide grants up to $5,000 to small businesses in retail, arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food service, and other services – such as repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry services – to stabilize their operations and reduce the need for layoffs or furloughs.

The Best Loans or Grants for You – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority set up an electronic “Eligibility Wizard” designed to help businesses and nonprofits determine which state emergency financial assistance programs or federal SBA disaster loans best suits them.

Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program – A $10 million program that will provide working capital loans of up to $100,000 to businesses with less than $5 million in revenues. Loans made through the program will have ten-year terms with zero percent for the first five years, then resetting to the EDA’s prevailing floor rate (capped at 3.00%) for the remaining five years.

Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Emergency Loan Loss Reserve Fund – A $10 million capital reserve fund to take a first loss position on CDFI loans that provide low interest working capital to micro businesses. This will allow CDFIs to withstand loan defaults due to the outbreak, which will allow them to provide more loans at lower interest rates to microbusinesses affected by the outbreak.

CDFI Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $1.25 million program that will provide grants of up to $250,000 to CDFIs to scale operations or reduce interest rates for the duration of the outbreak.

NJ Entrepreneur Support Program – A $5 million program that will encourage continued capital flows to new companies, often in the innovation economy, and temporarily support a shaky market by providing 80 percent loan guarantees for working capital loans to entrepreneurs.

Small Business Emergency Assistance Guarantee Program – A $10 million program that will provide 50 percent guarantees on working capital loans and waive fees on loans made through institutions participating in the NJEDA’s existing Premier Lender or Premier CDFI programs.

Emergency Technical Assistance Program – A $150,000 program that will support technical assistance to New Jersey-based companies applying for assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The organizations contracted will be paid based on SBA application submissions supported by the technical assistance they provide.

Go to for more information.

March 26, 2020

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board today approved a suite of new programs designed to support businesses and workers facing economic hardship due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The package includes grants, zero-interest loans, and more support services for New Jersey’s small and mid-sized businesses. Go to for more information.

On March 22, 2020 Governor Murphy ordered residents to stay home and ordered closure of all “non-essential” retail businesses.

Only critical business may remain open including: Grocery stores, Food banks, Pharmacies, Medical supply stores, Gas stations, Banks, Pet supply stores, Restaurants and bars providing take-out and delivery only. For a complete list of businesses allowed to remain open, visit

Also considered essential businesses under the order are pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries; medical supply stores; gas stations; convenience stores; ancillary stores within healthcare facilities; hardware and home improvement stores; banks and other financial institutions; laundromats and dry-cleaning services; stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years old; pet stores; liquor stores; car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics; printing and office supply shops; and mail and delivery stores.

Businesses and nonprofits, when possible, must allow employees to work from home, under the order. In cases when remote work is not possible, best efforts should be made to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary to ensure that essential operations can continue, the order says.

New Jersey is now approved by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a declared disaster state for COVID-19. This means that small businesses can now start applying for disaster loans online. Business owners can go to to apply for disaster loans today.

The State of New Jersey has also set up a hotline and website for businesses affected by COVID-19 and the related closures. You can call (800) JERSEY-7 or visit There is also a chat box on that website, where individuals can ask questions and receive timely responses.

Facebook has created a “Business Resource Hub” where they are providing support in the form of advertising credits, small business grants, business resilience toolkit, and more. Facebook also provides information on how to stay in touch with your customers, ideas on how to host online events, and preparing a customer service plan. These resources can be valuable in helping you stay connected with your customers during this time.