The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has begun a program to help small businesses and NGOs by covering some of their lease costs through grants. Capital for the Small Business Lease Grant comes from NJEDA’s Main Street Recovery Finance Program in the amount of $10 million.
Louis Cappelli Jr., director of the Camden County commissioners, emphasized the importance of small companies and nonprofits.
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This program is an effective tool for filling vacancies and preventing future vacancies, as well as for starting and expanding vitally needed small enterprises.
Any Prospective Candidates Must Satisfy the Following Requirements:
- Work in the private sector, a non-profit, or run an incubator.
- Be classified as a small business by the SBA, based on the number of employees and the appropriate NAICS code.
- Obtaining approval depends on submitting a current tax clearance certificate.
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- Prove that you’re current on your rent by presenting verification from your landlord.
- Have a spotless record with the Labor Department and the Environmental Protection Agency in the Garden State of New Jersey.
- Attest that they are not now behind on any payments to the NJEDA or the State.
- Pay employees at least $15 per hour for the grant agreement’s duration, or 120 percent of the federal minimum wage, whichever is larger (five years).
- Staff members who receive tips must be compensated at a rate of 120% of the federal minimum wage.
- Put in at least five years of your time at the facility.
Leases that Qualify Must Meet the Following Conditions:
Commercial and retail spaces between 250 and 10,000 square feet. Although a lease of more than 10,000 square feet is technically within program guidelines, the maximum grant cash available will only cover the first 10,000 square feet.
Any lease renewal, lease modification, or lease extension must be in writing. Each lease extension or renewal must be for a space that is at least 250 square feet greater than the previous one.
A portion of the ground floor (or street level) must be included. Two-story leases are acceptable, but only if they include space on the first floor.
A term of at least five years is required.
A lease agreement must be signed within 12 months after the application date.
The lease rate must be competitive with other properties of a similar nature in the commercial real estate market.
This Program Does Not Apply To:
If your company is already participating in the Small Business Lease Assistance Program, you cannot apply for this grant at this time; however, you may terminate your present grant agreement in order to pursue this program.
If a grantee fails to make their lease payments or vacates the premises during the duration of the grant, they will lose their eligibility for the incentive and will be required to reimburse any money they received from the NJEDA.
Members of the High Tech and Business Incubator sectors located in non-profit buildings would not be eligible for separate lease incentives.
Applicants are not permitted if the landlord has any financial stake in them.