CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION AWARDS GRANTS TO SMALL BUSINESS LENDERS
Funds will Support Small Business Recovery and Rebuilding
Trenton, NJ (November 15, 2013) – Supporting Governor Christie’s commitment to the recovery of businesses and communities in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the Board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) today approved grants for $500,000 to each of four Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), as part of the Stronger NJ Business Neighborhood and Community Revitalization (NCR) program.
Up to $500,000 in grant funds per CDFI are being made available to fund loans to small businesses, utilizing their current lending programs. These grants represent the final approvals of the $2.5 million allocated for CDFIs under the NCR program, following the award on October 8, 2013, of $500,000 to The Intersect Fund Corporation (IFC), a non-profit CDFI and micro-lender which provides coaching and micro-loans to low-income, minority and women-owned businesses throughout New Jersey. The proceeds of the grant will be used to create a loan fund to offer disaster relief loans at reduced interest rates to small businesses within the nine counties most impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
“CDFIs have long been a valuable resource to small businesses in NJ, and since Superstorm Sandy, even more businesses are turning to them for competitive financing for recovery from the storm, as well as expansion of businesses in storm-damaged communities,” said Michele Brown, CEO, EDA. “We are proud to support these five organizations with the supplemental funding that will enable them to offer attractive financial programs to help with recovery.”
The grants approved today are for the following CDFIs:
- New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) is a not-for-profit formed in 1987 to provide innovative financing and technical assistance to organizations that support housing and sustainable community development ventures that increase jobs, improve education and strengthen neighborhoods. NJCC’s primary mission is to revitalize neighborhoods through flexible financing, technical assistance and consulting services. The grant proceeds will be used by NJCC to serve as an additional funding source to their existing disaster recovery program.
- Cooperative Business Assistance Corporation (CBAC) is a not-for-profit that was formed in 1987 to assist the small business community in the City of Camden and the six southern counties of NJ by providing loans and technical assistance. CBAC’s largest customer segment is micro lending and it currently manages a portfolio of loans totaling approximately $13 million. The proceeds of this grant will be used to increase the size of CBAC’s Superstorm Sandy Disaster Relief (SSDR). The grant from the NCR fund will target only businesses within the nine counties most impacted by the storm.
- Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC) is a not-for-profit formed in 2007 to provide credit to small businesses that are primarily located in economically and socially distressed areas in Northern NJ. GNEC’s primary mission is to provide resources for community redevelopment, which includes job creation, and financial services for low income residents of Northern NJ, which encompasses a seven county (Essex, Hudson, Union, Passaic, Bergen, Middlesex and Monmouth) area. To accomplish these goals, GNEC provides small business loans to companies that would not qualify for traditional bank financing. GNEC will use this grant to create a Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund.
- Union County Economic Development Corporation (UCEDC) is a not-for-profit formed in 1977. Its mission is to promote community economic development by providing businesses with access to start-up capital and other services such as loans, loan packaging, government procedure assistance, training in English and Spanish, and technical support. This grant will fund a Superstorm Sandy loan fund that will provide capital to small business owners located in the nine most impacted counties in NJ.
“We have enjoyed a long and supportive partnership with the EDA, and the grant they are providing will enable us to continue to provide resources to small businesses Sandy-impacted communities,” said Maureen Tinen, President, UCEDC.
The NCR grants build on a previous investment of $1 million in loans to NJCC and CBAC immediately following Superstorm Sandy.
According to Wayne Meyer, President, NJCC, “The grant support the EDA has offered, along with the contributions of our other supporters, will help us to expand our existing disaster recovery programs as our communities continue to rebuild. The effects of the storm on the local economy are still being felt, and we appreciate the confidence the EDA has demonstrated in our ability to help restore and revitalize neighborhoods by providing this grant.”
Following the approval of New Jersey’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery Action Plan, Governor Christie called on the EDA to administer $460 million of the state’s CDBG Disaster Recovery allocation to assist storm-impacted businesses. The May launch of the Stronger NJ Business Grant program and the subsequent Stronger NJ Business Loan program were the first two of these CDBG-funded business recovery initiatives which utilize $360 million of the allocation.
The NCR program is the third CDBG-funded business recovery initiative, utilizing $75 million of the allocation to provide financial assistance to support post-Sandy neighborhood and community revitalization. Of the $75 million allocated, $62.5 in grants and loans will support development and public improvement projects, catalytic and transformative neighborhood and commercial corridor projects, including mixed-use development; innovation projects involving technology business development; and, projects tied to recreational, cultural and park land amenities. $2.5 million will be awarded to CDFIs providing loans to small businesses; and $10 million will fund the main street or “Streetscape” revitalization component.
For more information on the Stronger NJ Business programs, including the complete list of eligibility and eligible uses of funds visit www.njeda.gov/strongernjbusiness or call the EDA’s Sandy hotline at 1-855-SANDY-BZ (1-855-726-3929).