Launched on Valentine’s Day with a $5 million fund, the Morris County Small Business Grant Program was given an additional $5 million last night by the Morris County Board of County Commissioners, which voted unanimously to increase the program funding.
The Morris County program is providing grants of up to $15,000 to reimburse qualified small businesses, entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations for specific pandemic recovery expenses incurred on or after March 3, 2021 – a timeline established under the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which is the source of the funding.
This is an important program, and one we want to make especially successful. It is aimed at assisting the small businesses who make up the backbone of our economy, and it is intended to support the wide range of nonprofits that do everything from helping our most vulnerable communities to supporting the cultural arts, assisting veterans and preserving many aspects of our history and community,” said Commissioner Director Tayfun Selen.
Deputy Commissioner John Krickus noted that one component of the effort involves active outreach efforts by the Morris County Chamber of Commerce to introduce small businesses to the program.
“Since the program kick-off in Dover last week, outreach efforts have begun that include connecting with the many Hispanic-owned companies and other minority businesses in Morris County. We have a diverse business community, and it is important to reach everyone, particularly those who normally may not take advantage of or be aware of such government programs,” said Commissioner Krickus.
HELP IS AVAILABLE ON MONDAY IN LEARNING HOW TO APPLY
Small business owners and nonprofits are invited to a free “town hall” in Wharton, N.J. on Monday, Feb. 28, to learn about the Morris County Small Business Grant Program and find assistance in applying for grants.
The town hall is being held 10 a.m. at the La Casa Del Sabor restaurant at 19 North Main Street, Wharton and there is no cost to attend or participate. There will be a demonstration of the online grant application portal, and assistance will be provided to those who want to submit applications during the event.
Learn what you need available to successfully complete an application.
On Monday, small business owners will be greeted by Morris County Commissioners and the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, as well as representatives of Solix Consulting Solutions, which is operating the online grant portal under a contract with Morris County.
Several computers are being provided and staffed by members of Valley National Bank to assist in processing applications.
Program supporters are working to establish additional outreach efforts for businesses and nonprofits in the coming weeks, emphasizing there is NO COST associated with applying for the grants beyond an investment of time.
As of this morning, 370 small business owners and nonprofits had filed applications with the program citing nearly $13 million in claims. Not all claims will qualify, and each applicant will be capped at $15,000 if their claims are approved, but businesses are being urged to investigate the program.
The Small Business Grant Program eligibility requirements include, but are not limited to:
- Businesses with 25 or fewer full time employees (or equivalent)
- In operation since Jan. 1, 2019
- Located within Morris County
- Less than $5 million in sales/revenue
- Proof of a decline in sales/increased expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Federal guidelines covering the grant program determine what expenses may be covered, and grants are capped at $15,000 per applicant. However, business owners and nonprofits are encouraged to include in their applications all costs they believe may qualify, even if the total amount exceeds $15,000.
A final review may determine that some costs submitted for consideration are not covered under the program guidelines. However, by submitting all expenses that may qualify, applicants increase the possibility of getting the maximum amount of grant dollars possible.