On October 20, 2021, the Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will open applications for the new Small Business Improvement Grant Lease Program.  This is the first of several programs that the NJEDA will be rolling out, as part of the Main Street Recovery Program.  $10 million dollars has been allocated to the Business Lease Program, with $4 Million or 40% of the total allocated to businesses that are located in Opportunity Zone eligible census tracts.  The grants are available for 20% of the total project cost, for the acquisition of building improvements, purchase of new furniture, fixtures, and equipment.

Applicants must:

  • Be a commercial business, nonprofit, or operator of an incubator
  • Meet the head count definitions of a Small Business.
  • Certify that that are not in default of any EDA or State Assistance, at the time of their application.
  • Certify that they are willing to pay at a minimum, $15 per hour or 120% of the minimum wage
  • Remain in the location for at least 2 years, for grants up to $25,000 and up to 4 years for all grant awards greater than $25,000.
  • Provide certification from the landlord that they are current on the lease payments.

Lease requirements:

  • Consist of 250 sq. ft. to 10,000 sq. ft. of commercial or retail space. Leases in excess of 10,000 sq. ft. will only qualify for the support up to 10,000 sq. ft.
  • Must be a new lease, lease amendment, or lease extension.
  • Must include street-level space. Leases that include multiple floors, must include street-level space of at least 250 sq. ft.
  • Must be for a minimum 5-year term.
  • Must be based on the market-rate of commercial real estate.

Businesses must be fully compliant with its tax obligations and a Tax Clearance Certificate, from the NJ Division of Taxation must be provided with the application.

For more information, please visit https://www.njeda.com/small-business-lease-grant-program/

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