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March 26, 2020

New Jersey to provide additional support to businesses, workers impacted by coronavirus

At least 3,000 businesses are expected to be assisted, Gov. Murphy says

Businesses Coronavirus
New Jersey business programs coronavirus Mike Pertucci/via Unsplash

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has approved several programs designed to benefit businesses and workers impacted by the coronavirus crisis, Gov. Phil Murphy announced.

A number of programs geared toward supporting New Jersey businesses and workers directly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak have been approved by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

An initial rollout of $75 million in financial support will help 3,000 to 5,000 small and midsize businesses that have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, Gov. Phil Murphy said. This includes businesses that have had to close their doors or slash their hours due to the state's social distancing guidelines. 

The funding is being provided from both the state and private sector. 

The support could grow to more than $100 million if additional resources from the private sector, as well as at the federal and state levels, become available. 

Among the programs approved: A grant program for small businesses, a zero-interest loan program for midsize companies, additional support for private-sector leaders, increased funding for entrepreneurs, and resources for providing more technical support and marketplace info.

The goal is for these programs to assist businesses and workers as quickly as possible, Murphy said.

“The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in New Jersey has sent us into uncharted territory, and the economic impacts will be significant and far-reaching, especially on Main Street,” Murphy said in a statement. “The scope and scale of this new challenge requires immediate action to support New Jersey workers and businesses. 

"The new NJEDA programs announced today are a critical step that will mitigate the economic impacts of this unprecedented challenge and help workers and businesses to weather the storm and come out stronger when things return to normal.”

Murphy ordered all non-essential businesses to close on Saturday. 

Grocery stores, food banks, pharmacies, medical marijuana dispensaries, gas stations, automobile repair shops, convenience stores, banks and financial institutions, hardware repair stores, laundromats, printing stores, pet stores, stores with children's supplies, mail and delivery stores, restaurants, bars and liquor stores providing takeout services have all been deemed essential businesses by the state.

As non-essential businesses have been forced to close down in order to mitigate the spread of the virus across the state, many workers have either lost their jobs or seen their hours cut. As a result, New Jersey saw 155,000 residents apply for unemployment compensation this past week, which was 16 times more than the week before, Murphy said.

New Jersey now has 6,876 confirmed coronavirus cases of coronavirus, including 81 deaths. Only New York has more. 

South Jersey has 194 positive cases of the virus. Camden County has 73 cases, Burlington County has 64 cases, Gloucester County has 33 cases, Atlantic County has 10 cases, Cape May County has six cases, Cumberland County has four cases, and Salem County has two cases.

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