Applications Open for $20 Million of Small Business Grants

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(Camden, NJ) – Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr., was joined today by Camden County’s business advocates, local officials, and business owners as applications went live for the Camden County CARES Small Business Grant Program. The county has received federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist struggling businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we navigate through this public health crisis, we know that merchants on Main Street are hurting and it is imperative to make every effort to get them additional financial assistance.


“We hope to process these applications and get money into the hands of Camden County’s small business owners quickly so that these funds can immediately be used to maintain and stabilize their operations,” Cappelli said. “Small business proprietors and principals who have not yet applied should head to to complete their application as soon as possible while funds are still available. We expect to see significant interest in this program due to the pandemic’s widespread impact on the local economy.”


Applicants can apply directly on or by calling (833) 487-0462. As of 10 a.m., just two hours after launch, 721 businesses had already submitted their applications. Applications will remain open until all funds have been awarded. Funding is available on a first come, first serve basis, and operations which have not received federal support will be prioritized.


In order to qualify for a Camden County CARES Small Business Grant, the applicant must meet the following criteria:


  • Business revenue has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • The business has been located in Camden County since January 1, 2019 or earlier;
  • The business employed 25 employees or full-time equivalents as of March 1, 2020; and
  • The business earned $5 million or less in total revenue during 2019.


The business must not operate in any of the following categories:     

  • Banks or other financial institutions;
  • E-Commerce;
  • Businesses where the primary products or services are oriented to specific ages (vaping, liquor stores, etc.); or
  • Franchises, except for those franchises which are completely locally owned and operated.


Congressman Donald Norcross has been working in partnership with the county governing body to get federal funds back into the community as quickly as possible.


“The CARES Act has delivered critical federal resources to local governments, and I applaud Camden County’s innovation in creating this grant program to help small businesses who need it most,” Norcross said. “These grants will provide vital funding to the small businesses that power our local economy and that need our support during the ongoing public health crisis.”


The President and Chief Executive Officer of the South Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Christina Renna said this funding will be critical for the small businesses in the region.


“We know that our members are going through one of the toughest times in the modern era when it comes to running and operating a small business,” Renna said. “That said, we are proud to partner with Camden County as they get much needed federal grant funds out to the business community during this time of significant need.”

The grant awards are built on businesses’ total 2019 revenue. Those that earned less than $25,000 could see grants up to $2,500 and those with revenue between $25,000 and $50,000 are eligible for grants up to $5,000. Businesses with revenue between $50,000 and $100,000 can receive up to $7,500. The maximum allocation for those that collected more than $100,000 in 2019 is $10,000. 


Vice president of the Camden Business Association, Nichelle Pace, talked about the importance of federal funds getting into the hands of principals representing minority and women-owned businesses.

“I want to thank Camden County for getting this money out to main street and ensuring that minority owned businesses will benefit from the funding during these tough times,” Pace said. “Small businesses are facing some of their largest challenges since the great depression, including a large disparity gap within the minority and women-owned business community. The Camden Business Association is proud to partner with the Board to get the word out to the Camden business community, so they can access these funds.”

Yolanda Deaver, owner of Prissy Chic Salon in Camden City, highlighted the impact this support will have on her business immediately.

“Big companies might be able to sustain a prolonged downturn, but small businesses like mine cannot. This grant has the potential to level the playing field for entrepreneurs like me,” Deaver said. “We’ve had to limit the number of customers we see in a day, and people are still afraid to go outside and get sick. This funding could be the difference between whether my business stays open or not. Thank you to Camden County for supporting small businesses, and especially businesses in the City of Camden where we are critical to our community’s health and prosperity.