Bloomfield Mayor Launches Task Force to Help Small Business Owners File for Federal Grants/Loans

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Mayor Michael Venezia has created a task force that will help small business owners in the township file for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans or federal grants. The task force will work with small businesses one on one via email and phone to assist them in receiving these emergency funds. If businesses are able to wait, federal grant money could become available that would not need to be repaid; however, businesses may not be eligible for a grant if they get the SBA loan.

“In Bloomfield our small businesses are the backbone of our community,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “We are committed to doing everything in our power to assist them during this tumultuous time. We are hopeful that the federal government will offer grant money to our small businesses that would not need to be repaid so if you are able to wait, I recommend you do so. If any of our small businesses need help navigating this process, I encourage them to reach out to us for assistance at 973-680-4077 and someone will be able to help them. I would like to thank our library, finance department, and administrator’s office for sharing their expertise and providing their assistance to the small business community.”

The SBA loans can be used to pay off debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid as a result of the disaster. These loans are designed to help small businesses get through the temporary loss of income until the crisis is over. At this time there remains uncertainty about what these federal grants will look like and if they will for certain be distributed. The township will share all available information with the small business community when more details are announced.

The interest rate on these loans is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for private nonprofit organizations. SBA offers loans with long term repayments of up to 30 years to small businesses that are unable to pay back the loans quickly. As new information about legislation from the state is made available, updates will be given to inform small businesses in the community.

Small businesses that wish to apply for the loans should visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. You may also call the SBA at 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. The deadline to file for a loan is December 18 with a waiting period of two to three weeks.

The New Jersey State Senate has additionally passed the following bills in order to help small businesses get through this difficult time:

Bill, A3845 / S2284, sponsored by Senators Cruz-Perez, Stack, Kean and Bucco, would authorize the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to provide grants during periods of emergency declared by the Governor, such as the coronavirus, and for the duration of the economic disruptions caused by the emergency.

Bill, A3846 / S2293, sponsored by Senators Madden and Lagana, would create the “Temporary Lost Wage Unemployment Program” to allow those affected by coronavirus to recoup wages lost and to assist employers who pay wages to workers under quarantine. The bill appropriates $20 million for the program.

Bill, A3848 / S2301, sponsored by Senator Weinberg, would prohibit an employer from terminating, or refusing to reinstate, an employee who takes time off from work at the recommendation of a medical professional due to an infectious disease.

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