IMPORTANT INFORMATION – PLEASE READ!
by Alyssa Kaye Dawson
(she works for Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi )
The last 48 hours have been chaotic to say the least. I have spoken to more business owners than I can count and have been doing everything I can to provide them with information and updates as they become available. It is times like this that I am grateful to have a job that allows me to help others and make a difference in a time of need and uncertainty unlike anything we have ever experienced. I am hoping that the following information provides some answers and hope for many of you who are small business owners or employees affected by COVID-19. After reading my notes below, if there are any further questions, feel free to call me on my cell, 201-574-3223. Also, I encourage you to follow my boss’ Facebook page for frequent updates:
Be patient with us — we are working around the clock to gather updates and get you answers! Stay safe, stay healthy, and be kind — that is all we can do right now!
1) The US Small Business Administration is in the process of opening the application process for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. To read more about this program, visit: SBA.gov/Disaster. Myself and our office will continue to provide updates as this process moves forward!
2) The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is also working on putting together an economic assistance package for businesses, but details are not available just yet. In the meantime, there is a ton of helpful information on their website at cv.business.nj.gov. There is an FAQ page, an option for live chat, as well as a hotline 1-800-JERSEY-7 between the hours of 8am-5pm. These resources will allow businesses to communicate with a member of the Business Action Center who can answer business-related coronavirus questions.
3) The White House is seeking a stimulus package worth anywhere from $850 billion to over $1 trillion as the Trump administration looks to battle the economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a source familiar with the matter. An administration official said the package could include: $500 billion to $550 in direct payments or tax cuts, $200 billion to $300 billion in small business assistance, $50 billion to $100 billion in airline and industry relief. Potentially $250 billion of the package could go toward making direct payments to Americans. Details will be forthcoming and I have been in direct contact with a member of Congressman Gottheimer’s team who will provide updates as they become available.
4) Facebook announced that it’s creating a $100 million grant program for small businesses. Applications aren’t open yet, but the company says this will include both ad credits and cash grants that can be spent on operational costs like paying workers and paying rent. It will be available to up to 30,000 businesses in the 30-plus countries where Facebook operates. Facebook has also created a Business Hub, https://www.facebook.com/business, with tips and resources for businesses trying to survive during the outbreak.
5) As a preventative health measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and as a way to speed service delivery, New Jersey Labor Commissioner announced that in-person Unemployment Insurance services are temporarily suspended at all New Jersey One-Stop Career Center offices effective immediately. Anticipated re-opening is in two weeks, on Monday, March 30. Customers needing to file for unemployment insurance are urged to apply online at myunemployment.nj.gov. Filing online is easy, and will ensure your claim is processed in the fastest way possible. If you are unable to access the internet, please call: North Jersey: 201-601-4100, Central Jersey: 732-761-2020, Southern Jersey: 856-507-2340.