NJEDA rolls out $10 million small business lease grant program

Small businesses and nonprofits can apply for recovery grants to pay for a portion of the lease payments.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has launched a program that will support small businesses and nonprofits by providing grant funding to cover a portion of lease payments.

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A total of $10 million from NJEDA’s Main Street Recovery Finance Program will be used to capitalize the Small Business Lease Grant.

“Small businesses and nonprofits are an essential component to our communities both locally and statewide,” said Camden County Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli Jr. “This program is a impactful resource that is aimed at establishing and growing these critically important small businesses while helping to fill vacant spaces and prevent future vacancies.”

Eligible applicants must:

  • Be a commercial business, nonprofit or operator of an incubator.
  • Meet SBA definition of a Small Business – determined by employee count and NAICS code.
  • Provide a current tax clearance certificate prior to approval.
  • Provide certification from the landlord showing they are current on lease payments.
  • Be in good standing with New Jersey Department of Labor and Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Certify at time of application that they are not in default of any other NJEDA or State assistance.
  • Certify at application that they will pay wages that are the greater of $15/hour or 120 percent of the minimum wage rate for the term of the grant agreement (five years). Tipped employees are required to be paid 120 percent of minimum wage rate.
  • Commit to remaining in the facility for at least five years.

Eligible leases must meet the following requirements:

  • 250 to 10,000-square feet of office, commercial or retail space. A lease of more than

10,000-square-feet is eligible, but the program will only provide grant funding to support 10,000-square-feet

  • Must be a new lease, lease amendment or lease extension. New or amended leases must be for space at least 250-square-feet larger than prior space.
  • Must include first-floor (street-level) space. Leases that include two floors are eligible but must include first-floor space.
  • Must be a minimum 5-year term.
  • Leases must be executed within 12 months of application.
  • Lease must be market-rate based on comparable commercial real estate

Exclusions to the program include:

  • Businesses currently operating under an existing Small Business Lease Assistance

Program grant agreement are not eligible to apply but may opt out of their existing grant agreement to pursue this grant.

  • Grantees that default on lease payments or leave the space during their grant term are no longer eligible for the incentive and must repay any funding they received from the NJEDA.
  • High Tech and Business Incubator members in Not-for-Profit facilities would not be eligible for independent lease incentives.
  • Landlord cannot have an ownership interest in the applicant.

To apply, visit www.njeda.com/small-business-lease-grant-program

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