(The Center Square) – Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a pair of bills that send a combined $25 million to small businesses and child care providers in New Jersey.
Both measures are part of a five-bill, $100 million effort lawmakers pushed to hand out federal money. Murphy signed all five bills individually.
“New Jersey’s small businesses were particularly hard hit by the ravages of COVID-19,” Murphy said in a news release about A-A5446. The legislation “will go a long way toward helping hundreds of state businesses keep their doors open as we recover from this year-long ordeal.”
“Throughout the last year, COVID-19 has placed a serious strain on many of our local businesses and nonprofit organizations,” state Sen. Linda Greenstein, D-Mercer/Middlesex, said in a news release.
“Unfortunately, a number of beloved businesses in our communities were unable to weather this storm and sadly closed their doors for good,” Greenstein added. “This $15 million in federal funding will provide a big sigh of relief to so many business owners and nonprofits throughout our state, as well as their employees and individuals that rely on their services.”
The money is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Congress previously passed. The feds are sending another $10.2 billion to the state as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
“During the height of the pandemic, more than half of child care providers had to close their doors, hurting our families and our economy,” U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., said in a news release. “But now, thanks to the bipartisan CARES Act, federal resources are being delivered to support our families and child care providers, and to help them recover.”
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will administer the funds. According to a news release, the agency has handed out more than $250 million in aid to 55,000 businesses in the Garden State.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, supporting small businesses has been central to Governor Murphy’s response,” NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan said in a news release.
“These businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and ensuring they not only recover but come back stronger and better prepared for future challenges is critical to achieving a sustainable, equitable recovery,” Sullivan added. The funding “will provide much-needed support for businesses as they overcome the remaining pandemic-related challenges and set the stage for a stronger, fairer recovery.”