(Camden, NJ) – While COVID-19 continues to decimate the county’s small businesses, the Freeholder Board has announced a decision to dedicate an additional $5 million to the Camden County CARES Small Business Grant Program. These funds will be distributed to the 3,100 small businesses and nonprofits that have already received grant funding and provide a 20 percent increase over the initial grant amount.
“This program was a lifeline in the summer months and has benefited thousands of businesses and nonprofits countywide. As the second surge has continued into the holidays we knew there needed to be support to the small business owners getting crushed under the strain of the pandemic,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. “Unfortunately, the need in our community is still significant. This second disbursement of funding will allow us to provide assistance to the many businesses that we know are still struggling.”
The facilitation of the funds will be as follows, if a small business qualified for a $10,000 grant based on the criteria laid out in the program, they would receive an additional $2,000. If it qualified for $7,500 an additional $1,500 would be distributed, and down the scale depending based on the original grant sum.
The county launched the grant program to assist small businesses impacted by the pandemic on July 23, and originally dedicated $20 million of federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. With almost $25 million already distributed, the Board has added an additional $5 million to the program to assist struggling businesses bringing the total to $30 million.
“The strain on small businesses is unprecedented and this decision by the Board was a conventional way to get money back into the hands of principals and proprietors of these shops, restaurants and retailers,” Cappelli said. “We are hopeful there will be more funding coming from Washington for these merchants in the near future to ensure the vibrancy of the county’s number one employer- small businesses.”
To recap the grant awards were 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.