NJEDA Announces Grants to Lenders to Support Microenterprise Recovery

the New Jersey Economic Development Authority The Board approved the creation of the Main Street Lenders Grant at its February meeting.

Funded with $15 million from Main Street Recovery Programthe pilot program will provide loan grants of up to $1 million to be used by eligible microenterprise lenders to create new microenterprise lending products or complement existing ones.

Created under the Economic Recovery Act of 2020, which was signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy in January 2020, the Main Street Lenders Grant serves as a supplement to the direct funding provided under the Recovery Program. Main Street, a $100 million small business support program that funds several financial relief products aimed at supporting the growth and success of small businesses in New Jersey.

New Jersey-based community development financial institutions serving New Jersey micro and small businesses, minority deposit-taking institutions, and other qualifying lenders, as defined under the ERA, will be eligible to apply for the grant. main street lenders.

Eligibility

The lender should have at least 10 years of experience in small and micro business lending.

The lender may be based outside of New Jersey, but grants must be used for loan products and technical assistance for eligible New Jersey-based businesses only.

The lender must be a Community Development Financial Institution, Minority Depository Institutions or other eligible lender.

Full eligibility requirements for the loan products that will be offered can be found here.

Consistent with Murphy’s Equity Pledge, each Approved Entity must lend and disburse at least 40% of the Main Street Lenders’ Grant funding to businesses and nonprofits in eligible census tracts to the opportunity zone.

“Even before COVID-19, businesses in underserved communities faced challenges accessing capital, and NJEDA’s lending partners have long helped ensure that microenterprises, nonprofits, and other small businesses have access to the capital they need,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan. “Their role is more vital than ever as businesses continue their recovery from the pandemic. The Main Street Lenders Grant is a vital part of the comprehensive and intentional suite of small business solutions created by the Legislature and rolled out as part of the ERA under Governor Murphy’s leadership.

The Main Street Lenders Grant provides grants to eligible micro business lenders, which lenders can use to create new micro business loan products or complement existing micro business loan products. Lenders can also benefit from additional grants to provide technical assistance to microenterprises, to better prepare these businesses to qualify for loan products.

The maximum amount that any eligible entity can apply for under the Main Street Lenders Grant is $1.5 million ($1 million loan grant and $500,000 technical assistance grant).

“NJEDA is working with its lending partners to improve access to capital for smaller businesses, which often struggle to obtain the funds they need to build resilience and position themselves for growth,” said Christina Fuentes. , NJEDA’s Executive Director of Community Development. “As we emerge from the pandemic, this grant will expand NJEDA’s reach by expanding the ability of its lending partners to support more micro-enterprises by removing barriers to accessing capital.”

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