Public iNFORMATION

NJEDA ENABLING ACT

New Jersey Economic Development Authority Act,” N.J.S.A. 34:1B-1 et seq (Updated)


NJEDA RULES

New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Administrative Rules, Title 19, Chapter 30 (Updated July 2023)

New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Authority Assistance Programs, Title 19, Chapter 31 (Updated June 2023)


NJEDA BY-LAWS

Amended and Restated By-Laws of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority


NEW RULES / AMENDMENTS

Adopted New Rules/Amendments

Proposed New Rules/Amendments

DRAFT PROPOSED AMENDMENTS AVAILABLE FOR FEEDBACK

Notice(s) of Funding Availability

NJEDA Online Posting of Notices of Funding Availability for Grant Programs, Challenges, and Other Opportunities_06/05/2023

CSIT Online Posting of Notices of Funding Availability for Grant Programs, Challenges, and Other Opportunities_06/05/2023


Historic Property Survey Grant (Published July 10, 2024)

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will begin accepting applications for the competitive Historic Property Survey Grant program at 10:00 a.m. EST July 19th, 2024.The application can be accessed at https://www.njeda.com/historic-property-survey-grant-program/. Applications will be accepted on a first come, first basis served starting on July 19th, 2024, until grant funding is exhausted.  

The Historic Property Survey Grant program has been allocated $400,000. Grants of up to $125,000 per entity will be awarded to eligible municipal and county government entities, and non-profit organizations for the preparation of Historic Property Surveys throughout the State.

Purpose

Historic Property Surveys provide a full assessment of an area’s existing historic resources and are a fundamental part of historic preservation planning.  The Program seeks to increase the overall understanding of existing historic resources throughout the State (many of which may be identified as “distressed assets”).  These surveys will also serve as a planning tool to be used as part of future comprehensive economic development planning within the State.

The Historic Property Surveys include within the defined scope properties that are located within a Government Restricted Municipality or that would be considered distress asset/s. Projects considered would include historic survey of properties/resources based on association by location (municipal surveys), or thematically.  

Background 

On July 7, 2021, Governor Murphy signed P.L. 2021 c.160 amending the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act (“ERA”) (P.L. 2020, c.156). In addition to the 15+ economic development programs specifically created or modified by the Act, the ERA also established the sum of $5,000,000 “to be used to award competitive grants for zoning and economic planning services in government-restricted municipalities or economic redevelopment plans for distressed assets in other municipalities.” These funds are used to create the Historic Property Survey Grant Program that will focus on preparation of Historic Property Surveys throughout the State.

Historic property surveys provide an inventory of the built environment by systematically documenting historic properties by geographic location (e.g., entire village, specific neighborhood, municipality, or county) or theme (properties associated with specific time period/event, or a specific group). They can be tailored to fit goals based on the type of resources they are looking to identify and document, as well as potential future use for investigation (local zoning and planning, creation or support of historic preservation ordinance). They provide assistance to state and local officials in making informed decisions regarding project planning, as well as policy decisions and development.

On April 13, 2022, the NJEDA Board approved the creation of the competitive Historic Property Survey Grant Program. The Program will award grants of up to $125,000 to further the knowledge and understanding of existing historic resources throughout the State.

Funding Source for the Program

Funding for the Program will come from the New Jersey Economic Recovery Fund, which was appropriated in the Economic Recovery Act, as amended.  Entities that meet the necessary criteria may apply for grant funding of up to $125,000 per entity.  The potential award amount is based upon current information about funding availability; NJEDA reserves the right to increase that amount and number of awards should additional funds become available.

Eligibility

Eligibility under the competitive Historic Property Survey Grant Program will be limited to municipal and county government entities, and non-profit organizations working on behalf of, in coordination with, or with the support and endorsement of a municipal or county government entities.

Non-profit applicants will be required to provide documentation showing close co-operation with a government entity located within the geographical area covered by the proposed project boundary. Additionally, they will be required to certify that the government entity will be provided full copies of the survey (including a hard copy and digital copy in native format) and rights to the utilization of the entirety of the survey and all data collected as part of the investigation.

Additionally, applicants must be in good standing with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of the Treasury, or provide documentation showing that they have entered into an agreement with the respective department that includes a practical corrective action plan, as applicable. Furthermore, the eligible entity will be required to provide, prior to execution of a grant agreement, a valid tax clearance certificate from the NJ Division of Taxation within the NJ Department of Treasury.

Eligible Uses

All work conducted for the authorized project will be completed by a professional or consultant meeting professional qualifications for either “Historian”, or “Architectural Historian” as outlined in the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation, 48 Fed. Reg. 44716, as updated/revised by the National Park Service, and which were previously published in 36 CFR Part 61.

To qualify for the Program, the scope of work must include surveying of properties that are located within a Government Restricted Municipality (GRM); or include the surveying of properties that fit the Program’s definition of “distressed assets” (see below) based on the type of survey proposed, as follows:

  • Municipal Survey – Scope of work for the survey must include the surveying of properties associated by location and located within a specific municipality. Such municipalities must be a GRM.
  • Thematic Survey – Scope of work for survey must include the surveying of properties closely associated by a theme such as a historic event/time period, industry, architectural type/style, or group of individuals (race, ethnicity, LGBTQ+, etc.). Geographic boundary for investigation may be regional (municipal or county) or statewide. Unless all properties to be surveyed are located within a GRM, the applicant must demonstrate that at least 10% of properties expected to be surveyed fit the program’s definition of “distressed asset” by providing a site map showing proposed survey boundaries and location of identified “distressed assets” with accompanying photographs of buildings to demonstrate condition.

A “distressed asset” shall be defined as a building that is fully or partially vacant, or that due to deteriorated appearance of its exterior (because of deferred maintenance such as deteriorated paint or overgrown vegetation, boarded up door and/or windows), could be seen as a deterrent to economic growth to the surrounding area. 

Program Requirements

Applicants will be required to contribute a minimum of 10% of the total cost of the project, and the applicant will be required to provide proper documentation to demonstrate that funds equaling at least 10% of the total cost of the investigation, as identified within the submitted proposal, will be available at time of approval.

Once approved, the grantee must comply with the following project specific requirements:

  • Projects submitted for consideration must, at a minimum, document all potential resources included within a distinctly defined area/community, municipality and/or county;
  • For thematic surveys, applicant must show larger areas of study (such as county or statewide) that will allow for a better understanding of theme
  • Projects must include detailed written historic background and context information that addresses all resources included
  • Survey must be completed following NJDEP’s Historic Preservation Office’s (HPO) Guidelines for Architectural Survey. Survey forms and guidelines can be found on HPO’s website at: https://www.nj.gov/dep/hpo/1identify/survarcht.htm.

Deliverable requirements:

  • Scope of work for all projects submitted for consideration with the Program application shall require submission of one hard copy of the final survey (including all survey forms) to be submitted to HPO, and a corresponding electronic version (also inclusive of all forms) in pdf format.
  • Final deliverables must include GIS data consistent with the NJDEP’s Historic Preservation Office’s approved formats, and minimum requirements as specified in NJDEP’s Mapping and Digital Data Standards.

All non-profit applicants must include a certification stating that in addition to the deliverable requirements outlined above, the government entity with whom the applicant has a co-operation agreement will:

  • Receive, at a minimum, one hard copy of the entire, completed and approved survey, and an electronic copy of the completed survey and all data collected as part of the investigation. Hard copy must be a high-quality print (not a photocopy) will all text clearly legible and clear photographs.
  • Have full authorized use of the final survey completed and all data collected as part of the investigation.

Application Submission and Review Process

Applicants will be asked to complete an online grant application that will include:

• Narrative proposal detailing project description and approach to conducting the investigation; and,

• Detailed geographic boundary description and map. For proposed thematic surveys, a general description of desired investigation area with justification as to the appropriateness of defined study area will be required in lieu of a detailed geographic boundary.

Additionally, applicants will be required to submit a full and current proposal (dated no earlier than 1 month prior to application submission) to conduct the proposed investigation that is prepared by a professional or consultant meeting professional qualifications for either “Historian” or “Architectural Historian.”

Grant applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until all grant funds are committed. NJEDA staff will review applications in the order they are received for completeness and eligibility. Applicants with incomplete applications will be notified and given 15 business days to respond (the “Cure Period”). The Cure Period may run concurrently with any clarification request(s). If at the end of the Cure Period, the applicant has not supplied the missing information or supplied information that does not constitute a complete application and still has an incomplete application, the application will be deemed administratively withdrawn and the applicant may file a new application for consideration of eligibility. 

At the sole discretion of the Authority, NJEDA staff may also request clarifications regarding a completed application, including, but not limited to, responses, documentation, and attachments. Applicants will be given 15 business days, as notified via email, to fulfill any such requests. If the applicant fails to respond to such a request, the application will be declined.

To apply, an applicant must register, or log into the online application portal, complete all required application questions fully, and upload all required PDF document attachments.

Each application is required to contain the following documents:

  1. Required Application Information
  2. A fully completed online application
  3. New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate
  4. Religious Activities questionnaire (if applicable)
  5. Certification of Non-Involvement in Prohibited Activities in Russia or Belarus
  6. Signed Letter of Approval from the chief executive of the entity holding ownership of the subject property or asset must be digitally attached with the application
  7. Completed Legal Questionnaire
  8. Application Fee or fee waiver request (unless waived).
  9. Required Proposal Components of Application        
  10. Survey Description
  11. Project Details, including:

a. Survey type

b. Expected number of properties to be surveyed, including number of “distressed assets”

c. Resume of Historian or Architectural Historian who will be in charge of conducting the survey

d. Total cost of survey and Grant amount requested

e. Proof of at least 10% minimum contribution of project costs

Following a completeness check, as determined by NJEDA staff, applications will be reviewed by a scoring committee, with the process detailed below under “Scoring” section.  Once funds are depleted, applications will be closed.

Additional information relevant to the Historic Property Survey Grant scoring criteria documentation, as applicable, may include:

  1. Information regarding need and benefit to community
  2. Documentation showing community support
  3. MRI ranking information
  4. Documentation to validate any claim of survey focus on the identification of resources representing underrepresented groups or periods of history
  5. Applicant background and experience showing ability to manage proposed survey to completion

Scoring

All applicants must achieve a minimum score of 20 points, out of a maximum possible score of 30 to receive a grant award. Awards will be given out on a first-come-first-served basis to applications achieving an acceptable score until such time as funds are depleted. Applications deemed complete will be scored by a committee of EDA staff. Applications that meet a minimum score of 20 points will be approved via delegation of authority by the NJEDA Chief Executive Officer.

Applications will be evaluated and scored based on:

1. Need & Benefit to the community will be based on the following:

  • There is no existing survey for proposed survey area or survey theme (for thematic surveys), or existing survey is over 20 years old. (10 points)
  • At least one municipality or County Government within the proposed survey area has provided letter of support indicating that survey will be a tool that is desired and will be used by the government entity for future planning purposes. Existence and/or date of prior survey will be confirmed using New Jersey’s Historic Preservation Office’s Cultural Resources Geographic Information System “LUCY”, which can be accessed from their website at: https://nj.gov/dep/hpo/1identify/gis.htm. (5 Points)

2.  Community support for project: to be demonstrated with at least one letter of support from a community organization located within a geographic area to be included within the proposed survey project. (5 Points)

3.  Additional points will be given to projects that meet the following parameters:

  • Will include survey within a NJ municipality that is ranked among the top 50 municipalities under the 2020 Municipal Revitalization Index (MRI) as established by DCA. (5 Points)
  • Will include in its focus the identification of resources representing underrepresented groups or periods of history (such as minority groups and communities, LGBTQ, women history, or the civil rights movement). Applicant will need to submit a justification on the claim, which will be reviewed by the New Jersey Historic Trust.  The Trust will provide NJEDA the final validation of whether parameters for the underrepresented history have been met. (5 Points)

Grant Disbursements and Grant Agreement

The maximum grant amount is $125,000. Upon approval of a grant award by the Authority, 50% of the grant amount will be disbursed upon execution of the Grant Agreement.  Final disbursement of the remaining 50% will occur after the NJEDA has confirmed approval of final product by the NJ Historic Preservation Office (NJHPO).

If the Grantee fails to comply with the Grant Agreement, the Authority may choose to terminate the Grant Agreement.  Further, the Authority may require the Grantee to repay the disbursed grant funding, in whole or in part. 

Progress Reports 

Six months after execution of grant agreement, the Grantee will be required to provide a progress report outlining progress of the investigation. The required progress report must include, but will not be limited to, the following information: number of structures surveyed/documented to date, draft copy of report, draft samples of survey forms completed. Additionally, the progress report must include a project schedule showing, at a minimum, dates for completion of all fieldwork, projected dates for submission of complete draft report, and final project completion.

A draft historic survey report with all survey forms and necessary attachments must be completed and submitted within 1 year from the execution of the grant agreement, except that if the grantee has requested, and been granted a time extension, then such report will be due no later than 18 months following the execution of the grant agreement. Any request for a time extension (of no longer than six months beyond the original one year) must be submitted in writing to the Authority.

The draft report will be reviewed by the NJEDA and/or HPO. NJEDA, in coordination with the HPO, will issue comments as needed to address any deficiencies of draft report, forms and any attachments. Once comments are issued, the grantee will have 60 calendar days to address comments and submit a final historic survey report (including all survey forms and necessary attachments) to HPO for final acceptance. HPO will confirm acceptance of final report to NJEDA. 

Fees

A $1,000 application fee is required at the time of application.

An application fee waiver may be requested via email prior to application submission or at the time of application for proposals led by municipalities or municipal authorities, boards, commissions or other municipal entities ranked in the top 10 percent of the Municipal Revitalization Index (MRI).  Applicants will self-identify in the application as a municipality or municipal government entity requesting a waiver. Staff will determine if the entity meets the criteria for a waiver. Eligible entities will be granted a waiver for the program. Ineligible entities will be notified, and fee payment will be required to complete the application. If fee was not paid by application submission and the applicant is deemed ineligible for a fee payment waiver, the application fee must be submitted during the 15-business day Cure Period.

Additional Information

Comprehensive information about the Historic Property Survey Grant Program is available at https://www.njeda.com/historic-property-survey-grant-program/.

Questions concerning this Program’s Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted to historicgrant@njeda.gov.

The NJEDA is subject to State and Federal statutes including, but not limited to, the following, which may impact applicants or their affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; Compliance with the list of “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” promulgated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov; N.J.S.A. 24:6I-49 which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives (a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions. 

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New Jersey Innovation Fellows Grant Program, Round 2 (Reposted on July 8, 2024, previously posted on April 24, 2024 with an amended scoring section and new application opening and closing dates, originally published on April 8, 2024)

Note: The only change being made for this reposted NOFA is to extend the application submission deadline to Monday, July 15, 2024. Additionally, please note that there is an updated Frequently Asked Questions document (dated Monday, July 8, 2024).  All other program requirements and information remain the same.

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will open an online application for the competitive New Jersey Innovation Fellows Program (“NJIF” or the “Program”) at 10:00 AM on Monday, May 6, 2024. The application will close on Monday, July 15, 2024, at 5PM. The application can be accessed at: https://www.njeda.com/new-jersey-innovation-fellows-program/.

Purpose and Program Overview

The NJIF competitive grant program is structured to ignite early-stage innovation and entrepreneurship across key sectors by supporting first time entrepreneurs with income replacement grants. The program is designed as a springboard for early-stage business ideas to grow into functioning businesses within NJ’s innovative ecosystem. Acknowledging the myriad of challenges that confront individuals embarking on their entrepreneurship journey, the NJIF program seeks to facilitate entry and progression within the competitive landscape of innovation. The initiative is expressly designed to reduce the barriers nascent entrepreneurs face.

The program’s focus on supporting first time entrepreneurs as “New Jersey Innovation Fellows” is intended to cultivate a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive environment. A “first-time entrepreneur” is defined an entrepreneur who has never been listed as a founder, co-founder, or owner of a business entity which operated in a targeted industry (see below) in the State of New Jersey, and has not received third-party, institutional funding for past entrepreneurial opportunities in a targeted industry. At least half (50%) of the entrepreneur leadership must certify as “first-time entrepreneurs.”

NJIF also includes a focused aim to provide income-replacement funding thereby facilitating economic growth and job creation in eligible municipalities (see below). By offering the security of income during the nascent stages of business development, entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to fully commit to their venture. Income-replacement capital is purposed to replace a stream of income an entrepreneur might forego in order to launch an early-stage business. With the assistance to replace an entrepreneur’s income, the NJIF program supports individuals who possess the potential and drive to contribute significantly to their fields but currently lack the structure and financial resources.

Approved teams are qualified to a receive income-replacement capital during a 2-year “incubation” period of their business. Fellows will be provided with a full suite of support and resources to assist with transforming nascent ideas into viable products or services, including access to other local founders, mentorship by selected innovators and entrepreneurs, advisory support, office space and investors though the Program.

Funding

P.L.2021, c.160 (C.34:1B-370 through 34:1B-373) establishes the NJIF program. The Program utilizes a

$10 million legislative appropriation to provide to 5-8 teams of new entrepreneurs with the security of initial income replacement while pursuing the opportunity to start unique ventures. The minimum grant funding available is $200,000 and the maximum amount, including bonus, is $400,000. Funds will be disbursed over eight quarters, upon demonstration of satisfactory compliance with milestones. Grant funds must be used for income replacement to the entrepreneur leaders.

Eligibility

Eligible applicants for the NJIF program are teams seeking to open and operate a business in a targeted industry, which is located in an eligible municipality. Existing and already registered startups are not eligible for the program. Teams interested in applying for the program need to ensure they have not legally established a business entity. This requirement highlights the program’s intent to support projects at the earliest possible stage.

To be eligible for the Program, the applicants must meet the following criteria:

Entrepreneur Criteria

  • Eligible teams must consist of no less than three (3) individual entrepreneur leaders
  • At least half of the entrepreneur leadership team must certify as “first-time” entrepreneurs
  • All entrepreneur leaders must have paid gross-income tax to New Jersey at the time of application or within 60 days leading up to application
  • Entrepreneur leadership team must commit to continuing to pay gross income tax to New Jersey during the program’s two-year period
  • All entrepreneur leaders must commit to working on the business venture on a full-time basis (35 Hours) for two years following receipt of the fellowship grant
  • All entrepreneur leaders must commit to participate in a mentorship program for the program’s two-year duration

Proposed Business Venture Criteria

  • Proposed business venture must include a complete and well-written business plan available in presentation or “pitch deck” format
  • Proposed business venture must operate within New Jersey’s “Targeted Industries
  • Proposed business venture must have an address located within an “Eligible Municipality” within New Jersey, which may include a commercial or residential address.
  • Entrepreneur Leaders must have majority equity interest (>50%) in the applicants’ proposed business venture

Other Eligibility Criteria

  • Proposed business venture must be registered with the State within 30 days of award notice in order to close on grant award, as evidenced by a valid business registration.
  • Current tax clearance certificate of the newly formed business
  • Grant funds must be used as income-replacement

Mentorship Program

All entrepreneur leaders will be required to participate in the mandatory mentorship program through the two-year duration of the fellowship program. The NJIF mentorship programming incorporates an integrated, multifaceted platform that fellows can leverage through live, synchronous online learning sessions on foundational topics, annual ecosystem engagement panel events, virtual open office hours with mentorship partners, mentor/mentee meetings with assigned mentors, and a number of in-person and virtual networking events they are able to attend.

The mentorship program is facilitated by New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) and Rowan Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RCIE). The general curriculum trains the entrepreneurs in the following subject matters:

  • Managerial Finance, Accounting, & Financial Statements preparations
  • Human Resources development & management
  • Marketing & Customer Development
  • Product design, development & management
  • Capital sourcing & raise
  • Vision Mapping
  • Buyer Personas
  • Business Model Design
  • Contracts & Business structures (Legal studies)

Award Size

Per program policy and in accordance with the legislation, 5-8 approved teams will be qualified to receive

$200,000 as a base award, and up to $200,000 in bonus awards, resulting in a potential total award size of up to $400,000.

Bonuses include a $50,000 award if one entrepreneur on the team verifies residency in a designated Opportunity Zone in New Jersey. Opportunity zone means a federal population census tract in New Jersey that was eligible to be designated as a qualified opportunity zone pursuant to 26 U.S.C. s.1400Z-1.

Teams may also be awarded an additional $50,000 in bonuses for each entrepreneur leader, who self- certifies as a “diverse entrepreneur” (as defined in section 2 of P.L.1997, c.349 (C.54:10A-5.29) OR is a “graduate of a New Jersey college or university” (including 2yr, and 4yr schools) in the State, as evidenced by corresponding degree or certification documents.

“Diverse entrepreneur” is defined in N.J.S.A. 54:10A-5.29 as individuals meeting the criteria for “minority business” or “female business”, as defined in N.J.S.A. 52:32-19 as either “persons who are black, Hispanic, Portuguese, Asian-American, American Indian or Alaskan natives” or a woman. – Thus, the Authority will accept an individual entrepreneur’s minority self-certification, if the individual identifies as one of the ethnic and racial categories recognized for minority-owned businesses for the purposes of State certification or identifies as a woman.

Application and Review Process

Applications for the NJIF competitive grant program will be accepted during distinct application rounds, where the application and any required supporting information will be made available on the NJEDA website. Each application period will be preceded by a 30-day open Q&A period, followed by a 60-day application period (approximately). NJEDA anticipates at least 4 application periods (average of 1 to 2 annually) until the grant funds are exhausted. The NJEDA may choose in its sole discretion to extend the application window.

All applications to the Program, must include the following documentation:

  • To apply, applicants must register and log into the online application portal, complete all required portions of the application questions fully, and upload all required PDF documents and attachments. The online application enables applicants to electronically upload signed PDF. All applicants must submit their applications by the deadline.
  • Applications must include an organizational chart and individual resumes of entrepreneur leadership team detailing education, professional and volunteer experiences, and any relevant skills, training, or certificates
  • All entrepreneur leaders must provide personal address documentation
  • All entrepreneur leaders must provide proof of NJ gross-income tax paid at the time of application or within 60 days leading up to application
  • A complete and well-written business plan available in presentation or “pitch deck” format for the proposed business venture. See sample pitch deck on the NJIF program page (https://www.njeda.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/IEF-Business-Plan-Template_First- Draft.pptx)

If approved, applicants are required to register their business with the State of New Jersey within thirty (30) days of notice of their award letter. Prior to the disbursement of funds and receipt of a grant agreement from the Authority, the applicants must submit the below documentation acceptable to the Authority in its sole discretion:

  • Formation and Business Registration Documents of Newly Formed Business
  • A Valid NJ Tax Clearance Certificate
  • Payroll Service Provider Contract (e.g., Bank payroll agreement & accounts, Payroll software subscription, Payroll service provider agreement)

The following steps detail the application submission and review process:

  • A document completeness and eligibility review will be done at the end the application period.
  • Applicants with missing required documentation will be declined. Only completed applications will be evaluated and move on to be scored. At the request of the Authority, applicants may provide clarifying information within 10 business days. If at the end of this 10-business day period, the applicant is non-responsive, the application will be deemed withdrawn. If certification or verification for any bonus category is not received by the application deadline, neither bonus points nor bonus awards will be applied.

Competitive Scoring

Following review of eligibility, complete applications will be evaluated and scored against other applications received during the application period. An evaluation committee comprised of New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA”) staff and subject matter experts (SMEs) on the Diversity Finance Advisory Board (DFAB) will facilitate the competitive review. The top 8 ranked applications will be submitted to the NJEDA Board of the Authority for final approval.

The evaluation committee will review applications on the basis of an applicant’s idea, operations, and management activities. Applicants may achieve a maximum of 29 possible points based on the following criteria:

  1. Business Plan Scoring: 0 – 5 points // These five (5) questions, each worth one point, will evaluate the clarity of the applicant plans identifying and analyzing its total addressable market (TAM), report on the competitive landscape, go-to-market plan, and a clearly articulated value proposition. A hypothetical score is filled-in below.
  2. Operations Scoring: 0 – 4 points // These four (4) questions, each worth one point, evaluates clear articulation of finance & accounting management plans, subject matter competencies amongst the applicants’ managing entrepreneurs, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion considerations, and clearly delineated roles and responsibilities amongst the managing entrepreneurs; and clear articulation of needed resources.
  3. Management Scoring: 4 – 20 points // These four (4) questions, each worth 5 points, evaluate years of management and/or general professional experience; years of relevant industry expertise; expertise and competency in sales, operations, product development and finance.

Authority staff will recommend the top eight scoring (8) applications to the Authority’s board for the award, contingent on the outcome of any appeals. The scoring criteria is included in Appendix E of the board memo.

Grant Disbursement and Compliance Obligations:

The term of the grant is to be 24 months from the effective date of the grant agreement. Awarded grants will be disbursed equally over the course of eight (8) quarters following EDA Board approval. The first disbursement will be issued upon the effective date of the grant agreement. Subsequent disbursements will be made upon submission of quarterly deliverables due 45 business days following the end of each calendar quarter upon the NJEDA’s receipt review and satisfactory approval of the following quarterly compliance documents:

Quarterly

  • A Certified Organizational Chart
  • Quarterly management-prepared financial statements
  • Third-party verification of NJ gross income tax withheld and paid for all entrepreneur leaders (i.e., paystubs and NJWR30)
  • Quarterly Mentorship Engagement & Compliance Form evidencing regular attendance and engagement in mentorship program/curriculum sessions, signed by the program instructor/advisor.
  • Evidence that business remains located in an Eligible Municipality as demonstrated by the business registered address (P.O. boxes are not acceptable business addresses);
  • New Jersey Innovation Fellow Grant Program Disbursement Request & Certification form

Annual

  • Individual NJ income tax payment as evidenced by tax filings that demonstrate equitable pay to the management team
  • Annual accountant prepared financial statements for the business

The Authority reserves the right to request additional information not specifically listed to determine compliance with Program requirements.

Fees

There is a $250 application fee due at the time of application submission. Applications will not be considered complete without payment of the application fee. No fee waivers.

Additional Requirements and Information

A Program Guide can be found Here:

Questions concerning this Program’s Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted to NJInnovationFellows@njeda.gov.

The NJEDA is subject to State and Federal statutes including, but not limited to, the following, which may impact affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; Compliance with the list of “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” promulgated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov; N.J.S.A. 24:6I-49 which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives (a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions.

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Emerging Developers Grant Program (Published June 17, 2024)
Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“EDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications for the $20 million pilot Emerging Developers Grant Program (“Program”) on (Monday) June 24, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. EST. Applications will be accepted on a first come, first evaluated basis, or until grant funding is exhausted. The application can be accessed at https://www.njeda.gov/emerging-developers/.

The Program will provide grants to assist small-scale developers with pre-development soft costs, as outlined below.

Purpose and Background

The Emerging Developer’s Grant Program aims to support small-scale, emerging real estate developers in their pre-development phase. The program is designed to reinforce the principles of an inclusive and equitable economy by providing financial assistance for pre-development soft costs.

Consistent with EDA’s efforts since 2018 to implement Governor Murphy’s Economic Plan, the goal of this pilot Program is to assist communities in creating vibrant and inclusive cities and neighborhoods that build a stronger and fairer New Jersey.

The Program will meet one of the major economic development priorities adopted by the Authority’s Board in December 2021, and laid out in the Governor Murphy’s Economic Plan: “Investing in Communities”. Providing funding to assist emerging development entities as they cultivate their real estate portfolios will foster the vision of providing equitable opportunities in an inclusive economy. This grant should also set the stage for government agencies to understand the importance of supporting emerging developers as they enter a more prominent stage of real estate development and develop a relationship with state entities. This will allow these awardees to grow and eventually become experienced enough to build their portfolio to tap into other state incentives and resources, which may improve the quality of lives while building stronger communities.

Access to capital for small-scale developers in the real estate development industry continues to be a challenge. These barriers are due to predatory lending, excessive carrying costs, and predevelopment expenses a developer may encounter; these predevelopment costs are necessary for the developer to incur before they can seek short term construction financing. These deterrents in the development industry have created financial setbacks and limited portfolios for emerging development entities that do not have the capital to cover soft costs. Soft costs typically account for 30% of a real estate development budget based on the required administrative and executional aspect of the early-stage development process.

Funding Source

The FY2023 Budget appropriated a total of $65 million to real estate project funding, of which

$20 million was intended to bolster and grow small emerging developers and allows for the creation of the Emerging Developers Grant Program. The Program will utilize the $20 million appropriation, which will be deposited into Economic Recovery Fund (ERF)

The potential award amount is based upon current information about funding availability. NJEDA reserves the right to increase that amount and number of awards should additional funds become available.

Program Details

The Emerging Developers Program has been created to support emerging developers for soft costs during their pre-development phase of a project. This program will help emerging developers gain access to capital and build additional capacity to expand their existing portfolio that may otherwise cause a financial burden if it were not for the assistance of this grant.

Site control will be required at time of application, as it demonstrates an equity injection took place to acquire the asset. Following acquisition of the asset, administrative expenses classified as professional services and regulatory fees are necessary investments. Soft costs provide the blueprint to any real estate initiative and while intangible to the asset, they’re critically important in pre- development.

This grant Program will fund small-scale developers that have completed at least two, but no more than five commercial, residential and/or mixed-use properties of similar scope. The creation of this Program will help overcome various difficulties that continue to be a constant burden to emerging developers and therefore limit opportunities to expand their portfolios.

The intent of this program aims to:

  • Create a stronger and fairer economy
  • Drive economic growth and equity
  • Reduce the financial burden of predatory lending by providing additional capital to assist with soft costs
  • Attract developers who may take advantage of greater opportunities
  • Enhance the ability to seek favorable financing with less debt due to the assistance of the grant
  • Collaborate with other State agencies within the state to synergize this initiative to provide additional resources
  • Initiate and maintain relationships with banks that will work alongside the developer to increase their portfolio
  • Decrease the need for hard-debt lending
  • Create local jobs in communities throughout the State
  • Expand the developer’s capacity by introducing other State agencies that may assist with other initiatives that may or may not be related to the request of this grant

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the grant, applicants must meet the following criteria:

Applicant must demonstrate ownership of the property being developed (minimum 51%). Pre-development soft costs unrelated to construction are eligible for reimbursement.

Small developers with a record of completing at least two, but no more than five commercial, residential and/or mixed-use properties are eligible.

Provide a current tax clearance certificate to demonstrate the applicant is in good standing with the New Jersey Division of Taxation

Non-profit and for-profit entities are also eligible to apply for this grant.

Development Entities

Development Entities, which are the entities responsible for overseeing a real estate development project and coordinating the activities related to the project, including, but not limited to, project design, project financing, and permitting and local approvals shall be eligible applicants.

At the time of application, the Development Entity must identify a specific project and be at least 51% owner of the corresponding real estate or real estate special purpose entity. The largest equity owner of the Development Entity will be analyzed to the extent of their existing portfolio and prior work completed. Projects including the development of various residential properties inclusive of single family and multifamily units, mixed use properties, and commercial development will be considered as part of the Development Entity’s experience. A Development Entity with a purchase and sales agreement or a lease are not eligible. The Development Entity will be responsible with adhering to the terms and conditions listed in the grant agreement. The Development Entity identified at the time of application is the sole recipient of grant funds and responsible for all terms of the grant agreement. The Development Entity will serve as the primary point of contact with the Authority and submit requests for reimbursement of eligible soft costs. The Development Entity cannot have more than five

employees at time of application as per their last WR30 filed or any other payroll documentation to verify this information.

One award will be provided per Development Entity. Developer Entities that have common majority ownership are ineligible for more than one grant.

The Development Entity must provide an organizational chart at time of application of both the special purpose entity that owns the real estate of the identified project (if the Development Entity does not own the real estate directly) and the Developer Entity. Formation documents for both the Developer Entity and special purpose entity (if applicable) are required at time of application. The Developer Entity will be required to submit documents at time of application that consist of, but are not limited to, a project portfolio of past projects, resume of each key employee or officer, preliminary budget of estimated soft costs, and all other documentation required by the application to demonstrate eligibility.

All applicants, including, all Developer Entities must be in good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the EDA prior to approval.

A current tax clearance certificate is required prior to approval to demonstrate the applicant is in substantial good standing with the New Jersey Division of Taxation, unless the applicant is not required to register with the Division of Taxation.

Eligible and Ineligible Uses of Funding

Grant awards will reimburse up to 50% of eligible pre-development soft costs. Eligible Project Costs/Soft Costs may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Architectural and design fees
  • Construction drawings and specifications
  • Engineering fees and surveys
  • Municipal zoning and Inspection fees
  • Insurance costs
  • Professional fees
  • Legal fees
  • Accounting fees
  • Project management fees
  • Market/feasibility study
  • Appraisal
  • Phase I environmental review
  • Property taxes (no delinquent property taxes, must be current)
  • Loan interest (if applicable)
  • Utilities
  • Asbestos, mold, lead based evaluations (not including remediation)
  • Application fees for zoning and planning approvals

Ineligible Project Costs may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Costs associated with the purchase of the site/property are not eligible for reimbursement.
  • Construction costs are not eligible under this product, including remediations services, construction, equipment installation, or any other work done under a construction contract.
  • As construction cannot have commenced, and construction is not a condition of this program, the grant for eligible pre-development soft costs is not made in connection with any potential future construction.

Grant Awards and Agreement

Grant awards will be eligible for up to $200,000. The Program will offer a bonus for projects that are in a designated Opportunity Zones census tract in New Jersey or in a Government Restricted Municipality (GRM), which would increase the maximum amount of an award up to

$250,000.

There are 169 designated Opportunity Zones census tracts. The Economic Recovery Act of 2020 designated three cities as Government Restricted Municipalities; they consist of Trenton, Paterson, and Atlantic City. Additional funding towards supporting developers with projects located in these two designations will improve economic conditions in distressed communities and ensure opportunities for investments are equitable and inclusive.

One award is allowed per eligible Development Entity.

The grant agreement must be signed within 30 days of final approval.

Application Submission and Review Process

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis subject to the availability of funds. All applications will be reviewed for completeness. Complete applications will be evaluated in the order that they are received by the Authority. At the sole discretion of the Authority, staff may ask for any necessary clarifications of the information provided in the application including, but not limited to, responses, documentation, and attachments. Applicants will be given fifteen (15) business days to cure any deficiencies. If at the end of this cure period the application remains incomplete, the application will be deemed withdrawn.

Disbursement of Funding

The Authority will disburse grants to the Development Entity. The disbursements will be based on receipts/invoices that the Developer will submit. As the invoices and receipts are reviewed, 50% of each invoice/receipt for eligible work will be reimbursed. The Development Entity shall

be responsible for assuring the compliance of all terms and conditions of this grant and assumes the sole and absolute responsibility for any payments due to anyone else, including municipal, county, or business partners.

Grants will reimburse up to 50% of the grantee’s eligible pre-development soft costs once they have executed their grant agreement. Soft costs that are incurred up to one year prior to the grant application and until one year following the date of execution of the grant agreement will be eligible for reimbursement.

Fees and Administrative Expenses

A $1,000 non-refundable application fee is required at time of application submission and must be paid by credit card.

Additional Information

Full program details and additional information is available at Emerging Developers – NJEDA Questions concerning this Program’s Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted to emergingdevelopers@njeda.gov.

The NJEDA is subject to State and Federal statutes including, but not limited to, the following, which may impact affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; Compliance with the list of “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” promulgated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov; N.J.S.A. 24:6I-49 which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives (a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they own or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions.

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Maternal and Infant Health Research and Development (R&D) Grant Program, Round 2 (Published June 3, 2024)

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (“CSIT”) will launch an online application for the Maternal and Infant Health Research and Development (R&D) Grant Program, Round 2 (“Program”) at 9am on Monday, June 17, 2024 at www.njeda.com/csit. Applications will be accepted through Friday, July 26, 2024 at 5pm.

The Program has a total budget of $1,550,000 for 20 grant awards of up to $75,000 each. This is a competitive grant program. No application, transaction, or termination fees will be collected by CSIT for this program. This program is funded from CSIT FY24 budget. Decisions on this grant award are expected to be made by 4th quarter of 2024.

Purpose and Funding

This grant opportunity is issued by the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology. The goal of the Program is to support innovation from researchers and entrepreneurs focused on developing technology, therapeutics, and other solutions to address maternal and infant health challenges in New Jersey. The grant will engage early-stage innovation-based companies in New Jersey and help to accelerate research and development of technologies, transforming new discoveries from research stage into commercially viable products and services. The grant funds will support the research and development of technologies, products and services that enhance the quality of care for and service delivery activities to women, infants, and healthcare agencies from prenatal care through the postpartum period.

Total funding this Program will be $1,550,000 from the CSIT FY2024 Budget.

Program Overview

The Maternal and Infant Health R&D Grant Program is for companies conducting research and development or testing technologies related to maternal and infant health in the following target areas:

  • Life Sciences – (e.g., therapeutic drug development, medical devices);
  • Technology (e.g., digital and telehealth services and platform development, mental health services); and
  • Food and beverage (non-retail).

Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis, with awards going to the twenty highest scoring applicants, provided each of those highest scoring applicants has met the minimum score of 70, until program funds are expended.

Each approved grant will be valid for a period of twelve months from the date of the execution of the grant agreement. Any unused portion of the grant will be cancelled after the 12 months and must be returned to CSIT. An extension for up to an additional 3 months may be permitted at the sole discretion of CSIT.

Eligibility

Each applicant to the Program must meet the following eligibility criteria at the time of application and during the entire review and approval period to be eligible for an award:

  • Be authorized and in good standing to conduct business in NJ. Have a current valid NJ tax clearance certificate addressed to New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology. All certificates listing another state agency will be rejected.
  • Have no more than 50 full-time equivalent (“FTE”) workers (FTE is calculated on a 35-hour work week) at time of application.
  • Have a minimum of one full-time worker (35 hours per week basis). A founder can be counted as a worker, and a worker may be paid or unpaid.
  • Fifty percent or more of the cumulative hours worked by all workers, founders, and contractors must be conducted in NJ (as calculated on an FTE basis of 35 hours per week).
  • Have less than or equal to five million dollars ($5,000,000) in prior calendar year sales revenue (excluding grant revenue).
  • Applicants are limited to a single application.  Multiple applications from the same company will not be accepted.
  • Recipients of two or more active CSIT Seed and/or Demonstration Grants are ineligible for this Program.

Eligible and Ineligible Uses

The Maternal and Infant Health R&D Grant Program funding can be used to maintain project activities and cover general operating costs.

The following expense categories are ineligible for funding by this grant:

  • Direct counseling and clinical services,
  • Manufacturing of products for sale or commercial use,
  • Real estate rental expenses,
  • Patient clinical trial expenses,
  • Construction costs.

In addition, no more than 30% of the budget proposed for the applicant’s project, in the aggregate, may be spent on IP patent prosecution and licensing-related expenses.

Project Modification

Any intended changes to project scope of work or budget must be first requested in writing to CSIT prior to modification of project by submitting the request to: csitmaternal@njcsit.gov.

Disbursement of funds

Funds will be dispersed on a milestone basis. Each milestone will have deliverables, which must be submitted and approved before receiving the funding for that specific milestone.

  • First Milestone: Eighty percent (80%) of the grant will be disbursed upon execution of a grant agreement.
  • Second Milestone: Final twenty percent (20%) of the grant will be disbursed upon submission of an approved Economic Impact Report and Final Project Completion Report (approximately 12 months after execution of grant agreement).

Application Process

All applications to the Program must include the following documentation:

  1. Completed online application. Applicants can only submit one application for this grant. Multiple applications from the same company will NOT be accepted. Recipients of two or more active CSIT Seed or Demonstration Grants are ineligible for this Program.
  2. Evidence that proof of concept has been achieved for the project. Submit one or more of the following:
  3. Budget and Milestone Proposals (Excel template embedded within online application)
  4. Employee information as appropriate for applicable company structure and staffing -i.e., most recent NJ WR-30 (W2 employees) or 1099 (contractors), Shareholder Agreement or K- 1, or offer letters. Please note that if a Professional Employment Organization (PEO) is utilized, the applicant must submit confirmation of PEO-A form issued by the New Jersey Department of Labor (DOL). These confirmations are issued on an annual basis and are valid for a year. See https://www.nj.gov/labor/ea/employer-services/leasing-companies/ for additional information on PEOs.
  5. Summary of most recent Internal Payroll (Q4 2023 or Q1 2024) indicating each employee name and number of hours worked per week.
  6. Most recent Company tax filing; Federal 941 and either an NJ-CBT-100 (Schedule A), Form- 1065 or Form -1040 (Schedule C) or whichever is applicable to the organizational form of your business, showing the total Gross Receipts or Sales for the year.
  7. Current valid NJ tax clearance certificate listing CSIT as the agency, available at https://www16.state.nj.us/NJ_PREMIER_EBIZ/jsp/home.jsp. DUE No Later Than August 16, 2024, or application will be withdrawn. NJ certificates may not be immediately available; therefore, these should be applied for well before the August 16, 2024 due date.
  8. If applicable, copy of New Jersey certification for Woman, Minority, Veteran or LGBTQ+ owned business.
    Certification information available at https://www.njportal.com/DOR/SBERegistry/Default/
    DUE No Later Than August 16, 2024, or relevant bonus points will not be awarded.
  1. If applicable, a copy of Executed University License Agreement with University. DUE No Later Than August 16, 2024, or relevant bonus points will not be awarded.

j. Completed Application Certification

k. Completed CSIT Legal Debarment Questionnaire

l. For companies with a dba name (“doing business as”), CSIT requires proof of NJ registration reflecting the same.

The following steps detail the application submission and review process:

  • A document completeness review will be done as applications are received.
  • An evaluation committee comprised of CSIT and New Jersey Economic Development Authority staff will review and assign a score to each application, after receiving qualitative input from Subject Matter Experts (“SMEs”).

At the sole discretion of CSIT, staff may ask for clarification of the information included in the application, including, but not limited to, narrative responses, supporting documentation, and attachments. Applicants will have 10 business days to provide missing or incomplete documents. Applicants should submit the missing documentation electronically to csitmaternal@njcsit.gov with the email subject line “Maternal and Infant Health Program Round 2 – Missing Documentation Submission – [Company Name].”

Scoring

Applicants must achieve a minimum score of 70 points (out of a total 100 points) to be eligible for a grant. An evaluation committee comprised of CSIT and NJEDA staff will review and assign a score to each application, after receiving qualitative input from Subject Matter Experts. Scoring will be based on:

  • Innovation (up to 30 points)
  • Market Opportunity and Strategy (up to 20 points) (Referred to as “Go-to Market Strategy” and “Market Opportunity and Strategy” scoring criteria in prior rounds)
  • Implementation plan – budget and milestones (up to 20 points)
  • Economic and Broader impacts, such as social, health, education, housing, safety, infrastructure impacts (up to10 points)
  • Team (up to 20 points)

Applicants that achieve a minimum score of 70 points may also be eligible for the following bonus points:

  • NJ certified women-owned business (10 points)
  • NJ certified minority-owned business (10 points)
  • NJ certified veteran-owned business (10 points)
  • Company is using technology initially developed at a NJ university, under an executed license agreement with such university (15 points)
  • Primary place of business/research & development located within an opportunity zone eligible census tract or government restricted municipality (Trenton, Paterson, Atlantic City) (5 points)
  • Has not previously received a CSIT grant or voucher (10 points)

Board Approval

The CSIT Program Committee will review scored applications and make funding recommendations to the CSIT Board for applications that receive a minimum score of 70 points. The CSIT Board will make the final decision on grant awards and declination on or about 4th quarter 2024.

Fees

No application, transaction, or termination fees will be collected by CSIT for this program.

Additional Requirements and Information

Applicants must be in good standing with both the New Jersey Department of Labor (“DOL”) and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) to be eligible for a grant award.

For three years from the date of the grant agreement, workers and consultants for the company must conduct at least 50% of their work in a NJ location. Failure to comply will be a condition of default of the grant and may result in the full re-payment of the grant.

All grant awardees must provide an economic impact report to CSIT upon the completion of the project (up to 12 months) and then yearly for an additional two years (due on February 1st in subsequent years).

All grant awardees are encouraged to commit to participate in one check-in meeting (in-person or virtual) six months from the start of Project term with the CSIT team for update on project.

Confidentiality

Applications received will be reviewed only by staff of CSIT, NJEDA and SMEs. All applications submitted will be subject to requests for disclosure, including but not limited to, requests pursuant to the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”) N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. If an applicant believes that information contained in its proposal merits confidential treatment pursuant to OPRA, any such purportedly confidential information submitted to CSIT must be specifically identified and marked as “confidential” by the applicant.

Contact Information

All questions concerning this Notice of Funding Availability must be directed to CSIT by email to csitmaternal@njcsit.gov. All answers will be posted publicly in the form of a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document which will be posted on the CSIT website prior to the application deadline.

Website: https://www.njeda.gov/csit
Email:  csitmaternal@njcsit.gov

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Urban Investment Fund Grant Program (Published May 15, 2024)

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications for the pilot Urban Investment Fund Grant Program (“Program”) on May 22, 2024 at 10:00am EST. Applications must be submitted by September 23, 2024 at 5:00pm. The application can be accessed at: Urban Investment Fund Grant Program – NJEDA.

The Program will make available $38,198,148 to the six eligible municipalities (Camden, New Brunswick, Newark, Passaic, Paterson, and Trenton) to implement a revitalization strategy designed to increase foot traffic and commercial activity within a commercial corridor area by supporting, undertaking, and concentrating eligible real estate related projects within the identified area.  Only one application for funding within a municipality may be submitted.

Applications will be reviewed for completeness and eligibility on a rolling basis. There is no application fee for this program. 

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Purpose and Overview

The Program’s goals are to catalyze and support revitalization in key commercial corridor areas by investing in projects that transform commercial corridors into vibrant 24-hour commercial centers and respond to evolving market conditions, such as hybrid and remote work, by funding activations and development that will in turn increase residents, visitors, and/or office workers and to support investment within key commercial corridors and promote strong, resilient, and equitable economic recoveries. This Program will expand investment in communities by working to activate underutilized, distressed, or vacant buildings for projects to promote equitable economic growth and urban community development.  Recognizing that resources can be limited in distressed municipalities, this Program provides additional grant support for recovery from negative COVID-19 economic impacts to ensure the local community has the necessary resources to undertake revitalization projects and have long term success.

Eligible municipalities/applicants, as defined below, would identify the key commercial corridor area and develop a revitalization strategy approach designed to increase foot traffic and commercial activity for the identified Corridor.  The applicants would then identify a minimum of 2 interrelated projects to undertake, which are in alignment with their vision statement and are eligible project types/uses (see below).

Funding for the Program is provided by Governor Murphy’s Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Act (“Act”) through an allocation from the American Rescue Plan (“ARP”) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (“SLFRF”).  The Act allocated significant State funding to the Authority for numerous strategic economic development investments to support key industries, advance the innovation economy, continue to bolster recovery, and spur statewide growth. These strategic investments include $50 million appropriated for the “Urban Investment Fund”, of which $38,198,148 is to create the Urban Investment Fund Grant Program.  Upon receipt from the State, the Authority will deposit the funds into the Economic Recovery Fund.

Program Details

Identification of Commercial Corridor Area and Revitalization Strategy

Eligible municipalities will identify a key commercial corridor area (“Corridor”) for revitalization. These Corridors have experienced negative impacts from the COVID19 pandemic such as loss of foot traffic and decreased economic activity due to work-from-home trends and increased online retail spending. The Corridor would typically be in a downtown location and the Applicant will identify the borders of the Corridor. At a minimum, the Corridor should have active commercial activity and/or have zoning allowing for as-of-right commercial use on the ground floor of at least 50% of buildings in the identified Corridor.

Once the Corridor has been identified, eligible municipalities would develop their revitalization strategy for investing in that  Corridor to help mitigate the economic harms/losses resulting from the pandemic and stimulate recovery by promoting economic development projects to increase foot traffic and local spending in that area (“Revitalization Strategy”). The Revitalization Strategy would describe the public open process that the municipality undertook to identify and determine the projects from the eligible project types (see below) for which they would request Program Grant funding. The Revitalization Strategy should also indicate other projects that could be undertaken and/or additional partners and stakeholders involved in community or business activities in the identified key commercial Corridor area.

As discussed below, the applicants would then identify a minimum of 2 interrelated projects to undertake, which are in alignment with their vision statement and are eligible project types/uses (as described below).

Eligibility

  • Eligible applicants are defined as municipalities that meet BOTH of the following criteria (Note: excluding Atlantic City which received its own FY 2024 State Budget Appropriation from ARP SLFRF): Top 5% of municipalities based on Commuter-Adjusted Population (2018-2022 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates)
    • This is “Daytime Population” which is the calculation of Total Resident Population + Total Workers Working in Area – Total Workers Living in Area.
  • Top 5% of municipalities within the 2023 Municipal Revitalization Index (MRI). The MRI serves as the State’s official measure and ranking of municipal distress. The MRI ranks New Jersey’s municipalities according to eight separate indicators that measure diverse aspects of social, economic, physical, and fiscal conditions in each locality. The MRI is used as a factor in distributing certain “need based” funds.

Based on the above criteria, the following 6 municipalities would be eligible to apply for funding: Camden, New Brunswick, Newark, Passaic, Paterson, and Trenton.

Only one (1) application per eligible municipality may be submitted as evidenced by a letter from the eligible municipality as described below. Eligible municipalities may designate a municipal entity, county entity, or a not-for-profit local economic and community development entity to be the applicant on behalf of the municipality. A  letter from the municipality designating such an entity is required  as part of the application (see below for more specific information).

Additional applicant requirements:

Must be in substantial good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection at the time of application to be eligible. A current tax clearance certificate must be provided prior to approval to demonstrate the applicant is in substantial good standing with the New Jersey Division of Taxation, unless the applicant is not required to register with the Division of Taxation.

Eligible Uses

The Program will allow for several types of projects and uses, as described below, (collectively referred to as “Projects”) to be funded within the Corridor as part of the municipal Revitalization Strategy. Applicants must include a minimum of two projects from the following list in their application:

  • Building Rehabilitation Projects – rehabilitation/renovation of a blighted, underutilized, partially vacant, or vacant building (could include substantial or minor rehabilitation, reactivating vacant space, addressing code violations, interior building reconfiguration/fit out) for use as a commercial or mixed-use building with a deed restriction to be required ensuring no change in the proposed project use for five (5) years; Maximum funding of $3.5 million per building; not for new construction.
  • Building Reuse Studies – such as building conversion analysis from office to commercial or mixed-use; or adaptive reuse study; or other building analysis; Funding cannot be used for physical improvements/construction work. Maximum funding of $200,000 per study and maximum of three (3) studies per applicant.
  • Public Space Use Investments – Funding may be provided for permanent or semi-permanent physical improvements for projects such as parklets, barrier structures, stages, active use equipment, pedestrian plazas, pocket parks; Funding cannot be used for programming/operational costs of the space; space/property must be either outdoor publicly owned space or outdoor space under agreement (operating agreement, lease, easement, etc.) with a public entity for public use that would function as one of the uses listed above; space/property must be predominantly accessible/open to the public for public use the majority of the time for a minimum five (5) years; Maximum funding of $1.5 million per project.

Per US Treasury deadlines and federal SLFRF requirements, all Program funds must be fully expended by December 31, 2026. In order to meet these timelines, it is anticipated that Projects included in any application for Program funding would be fully completed by September 30, 2026.  Applicants must confirm in the application that they are aware and agree that the real estate projects proposed in their application can be completed by December 31, 2026.

Projects that have started construction are not eligible. Construction, including demolition and remediation, cannot start until approval. All projects will be subject to compliance with New Jersey prevailing wage law and the Public Works Contractor Registration Act (N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.48 et seq.), which requires all contractors, subcontractors, or lower tier subcontractors (including subcontractors listed in bid proposal) who bid on or engage in the performance of any public work in New Jersey to register with the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Building Rehabilitation Projects that are 100% residential are not eligible but mixed-used development projects are eligible and (1) any residential portion must comply with the 20% reservation for low- and moderate-income households required by N.J.S.A. 52:27D-329(b); and (2) should have at least 20% of the total square footage or the entire ground level or entire floor of the building dedicated to a commercial/non-residential use. Building Rehabilitation Projects that are for governmental or educational uses are ineligible.

Program grant funding can only be used for the real estate project costs specifically approved based on the application, Authority review, and funding grant agreement. Project costs may include hard construction costs with a maximum 10% contingency; soft costs not exceeding 20% of total project costs; and developer fee not exceeding 10% of total project costs or as otherwise allowed by another State agency providing funding to a project. Acquisition funding is not eligible nor are operating costs. All Project costs and Grant funding are subject to federal Duplication of Benefits requirements and a cost reasonableness analysis will be undertaken by the Authority prior to Project approval.

Grant Amounts

The minimum grant funding is $1,000,000 per eligible municipality.  The maximum grant funding for eligible municipalities is based on the applicable commuter-adjusted population.:

  • A maximum grant of $7 million is available for municipalities with commuter-adjusted population over 100,000.
  • A maximum grant of $5,732,716  for municipalities with commuter-adjusted population under 100,000.

Program Grant funding may not exceed 80% of the total of all project costs within an approved application.

Note: Please see the Grant Agreement section outlining potential actions, including recapture or repayment of Grant funds, that the Authority may pursue if timelines for meeting project milestones are not met.  

Only one (1) application proposal may be submitted per eligible municipality.

The potential award amount is based upon current information about funding availability. NJEDA reserves the right to increase that amount and number of awards should additional funds become available.

Application Submission and Review Process

 The eligible municipalities identified above will be able to submit an online application seeking Program Grant funding up to the maximum amounts based on the commuter-adjusted population size category. This will be a rolling grant application process, not competitively scored. In order to meet federal funding expenditure timing requirements, eligible applicants will have up to four months to submit an application. The Authority, at its sole discretion, may extend the application submission deadline by up to 2 months.

As part of a Program application, applications for Program Grant funding must identify and describe the Corridor and demonstrate that there is an overall Revitalization Strategy for the Corridor in alignment with Program criteria. Applications would also request grant funding for specific eligible Projects. The online application must include, but is not limited to, the following information:

  • Narrative describing key commercial corridor area – define area as to streets/boundaries, must be a primarily commercial area; describe the neighborhood and surrounding area; explain why and how this commercial corridor area was selected (process and/or rationale); what are the current COVID-19 related negative economic impacts (existing conditions of vacancy, reduced traffic, etc.); how negative impacts can be addressed/ameliorated; benefits and long term impacts to the area and the community.
  • Description and details of the proposed strategy for the overall commercial corridor revitalization including what types of projects are needed; what stakeholders/partners are involved that will undertake projects or be part of overall approach to address decreased foot traffic and economic activity; describe benefits to the area and the community for implementing this strategy; process undertaken to identify and determine which projects would be included in the application for grant funding; include a narrative on how the proposed Revitalization Strategy and Projects will address the impacts of COVID-19; and why this capital expenditure is the most appropriate to address the economic harms caused by COVID-19.
  • Overall Application Budget Sources and Eligible Uses – this would include all Projects within the application, indicate the Grant funds being requested per Project, and identify other funding sources to provide minimum 20% of total costs of all projects within the application
  • Strategy Implementation Timeline –showskey milestones are reasonable for (1) start of Projects to be undertaken, (2) securing of required additional funding, (3) construction progress, and (4) evidence completion of each Project before September 30, 2026. (Note that in order to ensure that federal expenditure deadlines are met, it is anticipated that all Projects to be undertaken with Grant funding will be fully completed by September 30, 2026.)
  • Applicant’s experience and capacity to undertake and oversee the overall Revitalization Strategy and to monitor and ensure completion of the proposed Projects.
  • For each Project that is to be funded with Grant funds, provide project narrative including scope of work to be done/plan for rehabilitation if applicable; owner and developer information and experience including required disclosures and certifications; evidence of or path to site control; financial viability related information such as sources and uses budget, evidence of or ability to secure other funding, proforma if relevant; explanation of why these grant funds are needed; project development timeline.
  • If a municipality is designating a municipal entity, county entity, or a not-for-profit local economic and community development entity to apply on their behalf, a letter from the municipality (Mayor or their municipal employee designee) designating such entity is required.  The letter should also indicate approval of the application and the projects within the application.

Applications will first be reviewed for application completeness to ensure all necessary Application information and documents are submitted and complete. At the sole discretion of the Authority, staff may ask for clarification of the information included in the application, including but not limited to narrative responses, supporting documentation, and attachments. Additionally, applicants will be given ten (10) business days to cure any deficiencies.

All applications will be reviewed by Authority staff to confirm that sufficient information and details regarding the above required items have been satisfactorily included and are consistent with the Program’s Board Memo, as follows:

  • Key commercial corridor area has been designated and description of COVID-19 related negative economic impacts has been provided;
  • Overall Revitalization Strategy outlines plan to address the negative impacts and increase foot traffic and economic activity within the Corridor;
  • Proposed Projects to be undertaken with Grant Funds are eligible as outlined herein;
  • Applicant and/or Project developers have provided evidence of sufficient capacity and experience to undertake the revitalization strategy and Projects;
  • Financial information provided evidences reasonableness of proposed costs and ability to provide or secure minimum matching 20% of total costs of all projects within the application;
  • Timelines to undertake the strategy and complete the proposed Projects are reasonable and evidence completion before September 30, 2026.

A cost reasonableness analysis will be completed prior to any Project being approved. Additionally, the Authority will undertake project financial gap analysis to ensure reasonable profit/returns.

Following application submission and determination by staff of completeness, eligibility, and conformance with Program requirements per the above review factors for funding considerations, all applications will be presented to the Board for funding consideration. To ensure that federal expenditure deadlines are met, staff recommendations to the Board for approval of applications will include timelines and anticipated project development milestones to be met. Further, the Authority will state that if timelines for project milestones are not met, then the Authority may :

  • Allow for reallocation of the Grant funds to a different Project; and/or
  • Recapture or require repayment of Grant funds; and/or
  • Advise that the Applicant may no longer be eligible for any remaining unused Grant funds.

Following Board approval, the Authority will issue an Approval letter listing requirements and timelines for submission of required documents and information required to proceed to a Grant Agreement. Such required documentation may include, but is not limited to, the following: evidence of site control and site ownership for each Project; Project developer organizational documents and certifications; Project budgets; evidence of other financing; project development milestones and timelines; general contractor information; and evidence of required insurance.

Applicants will be given sixty (60) calendar days, which may be extended up to an additional sixty (60) calendar days by the Authority at its sole discretion, to submit required documentation. If an approved Applicant does not submit requested information within the given timeline, the Authority’s approval will  be withdrawn, and the Projects will  not proceed.

Grant Agreement

Following Board approval and upon satisfactory submission in a timely manner of Approval Letter documents and conditions, the Authority will enter into a Grant Agreement (“Grant Agreement”) with the Applicant municipality. The municipality shall be responsible for assuring the compliance with all terms and conditions of the application, Grant Agreement, and the Program funding requirements.  No construction can have started on any Project prior to execution of a Grant Agreement.

The Grant Agreement will include descriptions of the Corridor and the Revitalization Strategy, each separate Project to be funded with Grant funds, eligible Project costs, the amount of Grant funding, and all financial programmatic requirements including the amount of other funding as may be applicable.

The Grant Agreement will detail state and federal requirements . All Projects that are developed/redeveloped with the Urban Investment Fund Grant Program funding shall be subject to compliance with New Jersey prevailing wage law and compliance with other labor standards requirements, as well as other state requirements, which may be applicable depending on project details and funding amounts including New Jersey Executive Order 215 of 1989 regarding Environmental Assessments.

For Building Rehabilitation projects, the Authority will require that the applicant file a 5-year deed restriction on the property utilizing the Authority’s required restriction language. The deed restriction will be released by the Authority after five (5) years from final Project closeout.

The Grant Agreement will detail timelines and milestones to be met for the completion of each Project as part of the overall Grant funding. At the Authority’s sole discretion, the Authority may grant timeline or milestone extensions. The Grant Agreement will indicate that to comply with federal funding requirements, all Projects must be fully completed, and all funds fully expended by  December 31, 2026.

Should any Project not be able to meet key milestone dates, then the Municipality may request a modification in Project scope or request approval of an alternative Project. The Authority, at its sole discretion, will consider such a request and may approve a Project modification under delegated authority.

The Grant Agreement will also indicate that if timelines for meeting project milestones are not met, then the Authority may recapture or may require repayment of Grant funds and/or the Applicant may no longer be eligible for any remaining unused grant funds.

The Grant Agreement will detail the funding disbursement process.

Grant Funding Disbursements

Following the execution of the Grant Agreement, Grant funds will be disbursed either incrementally as eligible Project expenses are incurred and may be prorated with other funding sources, if applicable, with the Authority’s standard construction retainage withheld until project completion or grant funds may be disbursed in coordination with the other funder’s disbursement process. Funding disbursement requests must be evidenced by documentation supporting that the expenses were incurred, work has been performed in accordance with prevailing wage and labor standards compliance requirements, and work was done consistent with Grant approval and eligible uses of Program funding.

Applicants will be responsible for and required to ensure that all Grant Agreement requirements between the Authority and applicant are subsequently imposed on the Project developers through separate funding agreement(s) between the applicant and the Project developers.

Fees

Pursuant to EDA’s revised fee rules, no application fee will be charged.

Additional Requirements and Information

Comprehensive information about the Urban Investment Fund Grant Program is available at

Urban Investment Fund Grant Program – NJEDA

Questions concerning this Program’s Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted to realestateinfo@njeda.gov.

The NJEDA is subject to State and Federal statutes including but not limited to the following which may impact affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; Compliance with the list of “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” promulgated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC),

https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov; N.J.S.A. 24:6I-49 which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives (a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions. 

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New Jersey Re-Assigning In-State Employees Pilot Grant Program (Published May 8th, 2024)

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications for the pilot “New Jersey Re-Assigning In-State Employees” (NJRISE) Grant Program at 10:00 a.m. EST May 15, 2024. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funding is committed. The application can be accessed at https://www.njeda.gov/njrise.

Eligible businesses must submit a completed application online to the NJEDA on or before July 1, 2028.

Background and Purpose

On July 21, 2023, the New Jersey State Legislature passed, and Governor Phil Murphy approved P.L. 2023, c.125, which included a pilot grant program to be administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). On March 7, 2024, the NJEDA Board approved the creation of the “New Jersey Re-Assigning In-State Employees Program” (NJ RISE), which has been appropriated $35 million for the State’s Fiscal Year 2024.  Grant awards shall not exceed $500,000 per business applicant.

The NJ RISE Program will provide grants to eligible businesses that are principally located in another state to re-assign New Jersey-resident employees, who are assigned to work in another state that uses the “convenience of the employer income taxation” (see below discussion), to instead work at New Jersey locations.  It is anticipated that the effect of the re-assignment of New Jersey residents will help ensure that a resident’s income taxes stay in New Jersey and thereby lead to increased revenue from the New Jersey Gross Income Tax.

In Chapter 125, funds were appropriated from the General Fund to the NJEDA in the sum of $35,000,000 subject to the approval of the Director of Budget and Accounting in the Department of the Treasury. Approvals for grants in excess of the currently appropriated amount will be subject to future appropriations and availability of funds.

Convenience of the Employer Sourcing Taxation

States tax compensation in different ways. In some states, like New Jersey (with the exceptions noted below), the state taxes an employee’s compensation based on the location where the work was done, regardless of whether the location is at the convenience of the employee or the employer. For instance, an employee who is assigned by the employer to work at a location in New Jersey but chooses to work at home outside of the State three days a week, will be taxed by New Jersey only for the two days the employee works in the State. The exceptions in New Jersey are due to (1) the Reciprocal Agreement between New Jersey and Pennsylvania that subjects compensation by the residents of each state to the income tax of the state of residency and (2) other limited statutory exceptions.

Other states, such as Delaware, Nebraska, and New York, implement a “convenience of the employer income taxation”. Under this system, the state taxes a nonresident employee’s compensation based on (“sourced to”) the employer’s assigned location even if the employee is working from an out-of-state location (e.g., at home in their resident state) for the employee’s own convenience rather than for the necessity or convenience of the employer. For example, a New Jersey resident employee who is assigned by their employer to work at a location in a “convenience of the employer” state (“State A”), but whose employer requires them to work in New Jersey three days a week, will be taxed by State A for the compensation earned for the two days the employee is at the State A location and not for the three days the employee is in New Jersey, because the work in New Jersey is at the necessity or convenience of the employer. If, however, a New Jersey resident employee, who is assigned by their employer to work at a location in State A, instead chooses to work at home in New Jersey three days a week, State A will tax all five days of compensation as if the employee were working at the assigned State A location every day, because the decision to work in New Jersey was at the convenience of the employee.

Program Details and Restrictions

The grant award will be equal to the amount of New Jersey Gross Income Tax withholdings of the Re-assigned Employee New Jersey-resident employees during one tax year of the business, not to exceed $500,000 in the aggregate per business. The sum of all grants approved will not exceed $35 million in any State fiscal year. Additionally, the Authority will not approve more applications than the amount of the appropriation it has received from the Legislature. The current appropriation is $35 million.

Note: The grant award may not be based upon a New Jersey-resident employee for which the business applicant already has an active NJEDA incentive. 

Eligible business must submit a completed application to the NJEDA on or before July 1, 2028.

There are no restrictions on the business’ use of the NJ RISE Grant funds.

Eligibility

The following are Program eligibility requirements that must be met by Applicants:

  • The business has 25 or more U.S. Full-Time Employees.
  • The business is principally located in another state.
  • A business’s application is identified by EIN. Affiliates with different EIN numbers may not be included in the same application but can apply for separate grant awards.
  • The business must be in substantial good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
  • Re-assigned Employees are full-time employees and part-time employees, which includes employees leased through a New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL) approved professional employment organization, that are re-assigned by their employers from a place of work in a State with “Convenience of The Employer Income Taxation” to work at a location in New Jersey. Independent contractors or individuals working on a consulting basis for the business are not considered eligible employees.
  • A current tax clearance will need to be provided at time of application and maintained throughout the disbursement process to demonstrate that the applicant is properly registered to do business in New Jersey and in substantial good standing with the New Jersey Division of Taxation.
  • All construction contracts that the applicant enters into to meet the requirements of the Program and are equal to or greater than $2,000, will be subject to the NJEDA’s affirmative action requirements (N.J.S.A. 34:1B-5.4) and prevailing wage requirements (N.J.S.A. 34:1B-5.1)

Definitions

• “Business Principally Located in Another State” means a business that has a primary place of business outside of New Jersey, as determined by the Authority, in its sole discretion, which may consider factors such as revenue size, job count, customer base, square footage, and the location of the actual seat of management or control of the corporation.

• “Employee” means a person who is employed by a business in the United States for consideration. An “Employee” shall also include a person who is employed pursuant to an employer leasing agreement in accordance with N.J.S.A. 34:8-67 et seq. between a business and a professional employment organization. “Employee” shall not include any person who works as an independent contractor or on a consulting basis for the business.

• “Full-Time Employee” means an Employee who is employed for consideration for at least 35 hours a week.

• “Grant Award Cap” means the maximum amount of the award at approval and stated in the Grant Agreement.

• “Re-assigned Employee” means a Resident Employee that, before application, is assigned to a location in a “State with Convenience of The Employer Income Taxation” and after award approval is re-assigned to a location in New Jersey. “Re-assigned Employee” shall not include any Resident Employee assigned to a location in a “State with Convenience of The Employer Income Taxation” within three months prior to the date of the completed application, absent the Authority’s acceptance of satisfactory documentation submitted by the business applicant to demonstrate a bona fide assignment.

• “Resident Employee” means a Full-Time Employee or part-time Employee who is a New Jersey resident taxpayer.

• “State with Convenience of The Employer Income Taxation” means a State that imposes an income or compensation tax that requires employee compensation to be sourced to an employer’s location if the nonresident employee renders the personal services from an out-of-state location for the convenience of the nonresident employee and not due to the necessity of the employer, excluding any state with a reciprocal agreement with New Jersey concerning the taxation of income.

• “Withholdings” has the same meaning as that used in N.J.S.A. 54A:7-1 to -7 and N.J.A.C. 18:35-7.1 to -7.11 and, for purposes of this program, will be determined by the New Jersey Division of Taxation.

Grant Amounts

The NJ RISE Grant award will be equal to the amount of New Jersey Gross Income Tax withholdings of the Re-assigned Employees during one tax year of the business, not to exceed $500,000 in the aggregate per business. The sum of all grants approved will not exceed $35 million per State fiscal year. Please see below for required CPA Certification in order to receive the Grant award.

Application Submission and Review Process

  • Review of completed applications will be done on a rolling basis, with delegated authority for the NJEDA CEO to approve individual applications.  Each application will be reviewed independently and in the order they were received.
  • A business applicant may make changes to a completed application until approval, but no modifications may be made after approval, except as described in the fee section below.
  • A business may submit multiple applications, including within one tax year. Each application must be for New Jersey-resident employees not included in any other program award.
  • In the application, the business will select the tax year for reimbursement of withholdings, which shall be either the tax year of the application or the following tax year.
  • Approval will be made for a grant award amount based on the withholdings estimated by the business applicant of the proposed Re-assigned Employees, not to exceed $500,000 in the aggregate per business.
  • Withholdings of the Re-assigned Employees will be required to add up to at least one half of the approved award amount.
  • The business may replace previously proposed Re-assigned Employees if it submits the same information that was submitted at the time of application for the original Re-assigned Employees. Such replacement will not be considered a modification or an administrative change and shall be subject to the grant award.

Each application completed online must contain the following information and documents:

  1. Current New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate
  2. Formation Documents
  3. Certification of Non-Involvement in Activities in Russia or Belarus (see below)
  4. Religious Activities questionnaire (if applicable)
  5. CEO Certification verifying that all information provided is accurate

6. Employee Log Sheet of Resident Employees that are currently assigned to a location in a State With Convenience Of The Employer Income Taxation that the applicant proposes to be Re-assigned Employees, with estimated future New Jersey Withholdings

7. Evidence of the following:

• Applicant is a Business Principally Located in Another State.

• Applicant has 25 Full-Time Employees., e.g. Form 941.

8. W-3 form for the relevant fiscal year

Additional documents that will be required to be submitted during the approval process are:

  • Payroll report(s) from the business
  • Documents demonstrating viability of each Re-assigned Employee’s work location in New Jersey
  • Proof of the business’s Withholdings from the prior quarter to confirm that each proposed Re-assigned Employee is assigned to a location outside of New Jersey in a State With Convenience Of the Employer Income Taxation, e.g. document equivalent to New Jersey’s WR-30. If hired during that quarter, documentation to demonstrate bona fide assignment.

Selection by the business of the business’s tax year for reimbursement of Withholdings, which shall be either the tax year of application or the following tax year. The selected tax year will apply to all Re-assigned Employees associated with the Grant award.

Grant Agreement

Once an applicant is approved for funding, the NJEDA will enter into a Grant Agreement with the applicant detailing the amount of grant funding and all financial Program requirements.

The applicant will be responsible for submitting all required supporting documents and permitting an audit of the payroll records of the business and any other evidence and documentation supporting the reports required to demonstrate the Re-assigned Employees and estimated withholdings, as the NJEDA deems necessary.  The Grant Agreement will also include recapture provisions in the event of overpayment and an event of default and full repayment for any material misrepresentation.

The Grant Agreement will not require a compliance period. The Applicant is subject to all applicable New Jersey prevailing wage and affirmative action requirements, as stated above.

Other provisions in the Grant Agreement will include:

  • Payment under the Grant Agreement is subject to state appropriation and shall be made solely to the Grantee and not to any professional employment organization that may be co-employer of Re-assigned Employees;
  • The requirement that absent extenuating circumstances and the written approval of the NJEDA, CPA Certifications are due 120 days after the completion of the tax year the Grantee selected for reimbursement.  NJEDA will review the CPA Certification to determine acceptance and payment of 75% of the estimated withholdings;

A provision regarding the Division of Taxation certification of the amount of withholdings or the Re-assigned Employees Pursuant to the Grant Agreement, Grantees must provide the NJEDA with thirty (30) days prior written notice of any sale, assignment or other transfer of ownership of the business prior to the disbursement of the entire grant.  It is in the NJEDA’s sole discretion whether or not to allow the new owner(s) to take over the grant agreement and receive the grant funds.  

Legal reviews and other compliance checks will be performed on the new entities and their owners/affiliates prior to approval.  If the Grantee fails to submit the required notice as stated above and does not receive prior written consent from the NJEDA, it may cure this default in accordance with the Grant Agreement.  As part of the cure process, the NJEDA will perform the above discussed checks on the new owner.  While the new owner is under review, the original Grantee is liable under the Grant Agreement.  If the new owner is deemed eligible, the NJEDA may accept the new owner as the substitute Grantee, at the discretion of the NJEDA.  If the new owner is not deemed eligible, the original Grantee will remain liable under the Grant Agreement and will be subject to any remedies made available to the NJEDA under same.

Disbursement of Funding

After the completion of the tax year selected by the business for the grant, the business must submit a CPA Certification within 120 days after the completion of the tax year. Upon NJEDA staff’s satisfactory review and acceptance of the CPA Certification, the business will be paid 75% of the estimated Withholdings as substantiated by the CPA Certification. Staff will submit information to the Division of Taxation, as required under Chapter 125, to certify the actual amount of Withholdings of the Re-assigned Employees. NJEDA will pay the 25% of the remaining estimated withholdings that will only be released after certification by the Division of Taxation, not to exceed the amount of the approved Grant Award.  The retainage is anticipated to allow for staff to make adjustments to the payment amount without requesting repayments.  As mentioned above, the Grant Agreement will require recapture in the unlikely event of overpayments.

Fees

The Application Fee for this Program is: $5,000.

An additional administrative fee of $1,000 will be charged for routine updates to customer files, such as company name changes and redesignations as a result of an internal reorganization and for extensions. Modifications that will not be accepted include, but are not limited to, mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, separations, and divestitures.

* All fees are non-refundable, unless funds are not available to support the application request.

Comprehensive information about the NJ RISE Program is available at: https://www.njeda.gov/njrise/

The NJEDA is subject to State and Federal statutes including, but not limited to, the following, which may impact affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32‐60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; Compliance with the list of “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” promulgated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov; N.J.S.A. 24:6I‐49 which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives (a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D‐12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions.

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Local Property Acquisition Grant Pilot Program (Revised on May 8, 2024, originally published on January 11, 2024)

Revision extends the application deadline from May 20, 2024 5PM to June 10, 2024 5PM.  Please note that all questions must be submitted to realestateinfo@njeda.gov by the prior deadline of May 20th, 2024 at 5pm.  No questions will be answered after that deadline.

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications for the pilot Local Property Acquisition Grant Program (“Program”) on January 18, 2024 at 10:00am EST. Applications must be submitted by June 10, 2024 at 5:00pm. The application can be accessed at: Local Property Acquisition Grant Program – NJEDA.

The Program will make available $24 million in grant funding through a competitive application process to eligible applicants for acquisition in order to facilitate and enable future redevelopment of properties and in support of local or regional economic development plans and priorities.

Applications will be reviewed on a competitive basis. A $1,000 application fee is required at the time of application. 

Overview

The Program is designed to address a significant barrier to undertaking and implementing local development and redevelopment projects.  Program Grants will be provided to municipalities, municipal entities, counties, county entities, and/or not-for-profit local economic and community development entities for the acquisition of a vacant site, building, facility, or collection of properties (“Project”).  The grant funding would help facilitate and enable the future redevelopment of the property(ies) within a defined time period and in support of local or regional economic development plans and priorities (referred to below as the “Supplemental Use”).

In order to provide grant funding to support projects in several municipalities, a maximum of one Project may be funded per product category, as described below (“Acquisitions for Strategic Public Use” or “Acquisitions for Future Development Projects”), that are located within a municipality.  However, a maximum of two Projects may be funded per product category that are located within either a Transitional Aid Community (as determined by the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs) or a Government Restricted Municipality (as defined in Sections 55 and 69 of the Economic Recovery Act of 2020) may be funded.

The Program has a budget of $24 million to support eligible local government entities and not-for-profit, local economic and community development entities with the acquisition of property(ies) to further redevelopment efforts. Funding for the program is provided by Governor Murphy’s Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations Act,  which allocates significant State funding for numerous strategic economic development investments to support key industries, advance the innovation economy, continue to bolster recovery, and spur statewide growth.

Program Description

The Program will support two types of products:

(1) Approximately $3 million will be available for Acquisitions for Strategic Public Use Projects, and

(2) Approximately $21 million will be available for Acquisitions for Future Development Projects.

1. Acquisitions for Strategic Public Use Projects Product

Property acquisition(s) for the the proposed subsequent Strategic Public Use project must foster or support existing, ongoing, or planned development as part of an overall plan for property improvements and increased public access in the area proximate to the property.

Eligible Supplemental Uses must be publicly accessible spaces for the community which may include pedestrian plazas, pocket-parks, community parks, community gardens, public walkway/access, public parking lots/garages, or other similar public spaces.

Ineligible types of Supplemental Uses include public infrastructure projects, such as for transportation, energy, communication, water, wastewater, or general public works.

The minimum grant funding request is $50,000 and the maximum requested amount is $1,000,000.

2. Acquisitions for Future Development Projects Product

Property acquisition(s) and the proposed subsequent Future Development Project must support planned development/redevelopment efforts in the area proximate to the Property to be acquired.

Eligible Supplemental Uses for Future Development Projects (substantial rehabilitation and/or new construction) are limited to:

  • Mixed-use developments; any residential portion must comply with the 20% reservation for low- and moderate-income households required by N.J.S.A. 52:27D-329.9(b)
  • Transit Oriented Development
  • Cultural, Arts, Performing Arts
  • Commercial (including office and/or supermarkets/grocery stores)
  • Manufacturing/Industrial
  • Research/Laboratory

Supplemental Uses for Future Development Projects consisting solely of warehouse, residential, or primarily for government/educational uses are ineligible for funding.

The minimum grant funding request is $50,000 and the maximum requested amount is $4,000,000.

Note: As part of the application process, applicants must describe in detail the Supplemental Use based on the parameters for the respective Strategic Public Use and/or the Future Development Projects product which they apply to. The restrictions and compliance monitoring with regard to the proposed use are described below.

The Program is intended to provide funding for acquisitions of properties that are then developed/redeveloped in connection with or in support of local planning efforts and cannot be used for land banking of properties.Therefore, property acquisitions are anticipated to occur within 18 months of the grant funding award  and the future Supplemental Use would typically be undertaken and completed within three years following the property acquisition. The required deadlines for the property acquisition and commencement and completion of the Supplemental Use project will be based on the applicant’s schedule.

Eligibility

Eligible applicants for the Program are municipalities, municipal entities, counties, county entities, and not-for-profit local economic and community development entities.

To be eligible for the Program, the applicant must:

  • Be in substantial good standing with the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection at the time of application.
  • Provide a current tax clearance certificate prior to approval to demonstrate  being in substantial good standing with the NJ Division of Taxation prior to approval, unless the applicant is not required to register with the NJ Division of Taxation.

Eligible Uses

Grant funding can only be used for prospective real estate acquisition and related closing costs of the Project specifically approved based on the application, Authority review, and the grant agreement. Grant funding can be used for closing costs that are typically included as part of a closing settlement statement and related transaction legal costs. Grant funding cannot be used for due diligence-related costs.

Properties already purchased or acquired are not eligible for reimbursement through this Program. Grant funding cannot be used for purchase of government-owned property.

Grant Amounts

The minimum grant funding is $50,000 per Project.  The maximum grant funding for acquisitions for Strategic Public Use projects is $1,000,000.

The maximum grant funding for acquisitions for Future Development projects is $4,000,000.

Grant funding may not exceed 80% of the property appraised value plus closing costs typically included as part of a settlement statement and related transaction legal costs.  However, for projects located within either a Transitional Aid Community or a Government Restricted Municipality, Grant funding may account for 100% of the property appraised value plus closing costs typically included as part of a settlement statement and related transaction legal costs.

No applicant may receive more than two grant awards.

Application Submission and Review Process (including Scoring)

Applications for the Program will not be accepted after the deadline of June 10, 2024 at 5:00pm. To apply, an applicant must register, or log into the online application portal, complete all required application questions fully, and upload all required PDF document attachments. NJEDA staff will review all applications for completeness.  At the sole discretion of the Authority, NJEDA staff may ask for any necessary clarifications to the application, including but not limited to responses, documentation, and attachments. The applicants will have 10 business days to respond to cure any deficiencies. If at the end of the cure period, the applicant is non-responsive, the application will not be advancing to be scored and will be deemed withdrawn.

Each application must contain the following:  

  • Evidence of site control or a path to site control (i.e. some level of right to acquire the property/ies) which may include  letter of intent, purchase offer with purchase terms, purchase and sale agreement contingent on funding award, any/all of which must be fully signed by both seller and purchaser/applicant; or in rare situations may include an accepted settlement agreement as part of approved eminent domain proceedings and/or other final decision of an administrative or judicial governmental process resulting in the transfer of title or possession
  • Municipal Letter of Support
  • Project overview – description of overall proposal for the acquisition and the proposed future Supplemental Use, describing the property/building(s) (i.e. vacant, abandoned, code violations, recent uses, any local, state, or federal historic designation/eligibility, brownfield site, location within designated redevelopment area, etc.); current or planned development/redevelopment efforts in the area proximate to the Property; need for and benefits of the proposal, anticipated economic and local impact, consistency with state and local economic development objectives, projected jobs creation, anticipated local impacts including possible projected increase in pedestrian traffic and public access; 
  • Project location – description of neighborhood and surrounding area, whether an incentive area, walkable area, brownfields or historic designation, other development occurring near/surrounding the proposed project;
  • Narrative (and documents as may be applicable) describing the viability/feasibility of the proposed acquisition and development including current zoning status, local supports, identification of possible complexities or challenges with proceeding, and a preliminary project budget and funding plan;
  • Project development timeline/implementation schedule indicating readiness to proceed for both the acquisition of the property/ies and for the future supplemental use;
  • Applicant’s organizational documentation and/or authorizing documentation;
  • Narrative and documentation of experience and capacity to undertake and complete the property acquisition and the proposed supplemental use;
  • Project Budget including property(ies) acquisition price(s) and closing costs and proposed source and status of other funding for the property acquisition.

Note: Project viability and readiness to proceed/timelines are scoring factors and considerations. Applicants should provide as much detail as possible regarding the steps involved and projected timeline for the initial property acquisition as well as for undertaking and completing the future Supplemental Use project, if Grant funds are awarded.

Applications deemed complete will be reviewed and scored by  an evaluation scoring committee that will be comprised of NJEDA staff. Applications will be scored on a scale of 0 – 100 points.  based on the following criteria:

  • Overall project concept for Property Acquisition and the proposed Supplemental Use of the property                                                                                                                                (up to 35 points)
  • Location and Local Impact                                                                                       (up to 20 points)
  • Experience & capacity of applicant                                                                     (up to 20 points)
  • Readiness to proceed with Property Acquisition                                         (up to 10 points)
  • Viability of the proposed Supplemental Use project and reasonableness of the proposed timeline for the Supplemental Use project                                                                (up to 15 points)

Applications that meet a minimum score of 65 will be eligible to be recommended to the NJEDA Board for grant funding approval, starting with the highest scored application until all program funding is awarded. If all program funds are not awarded during the initial application period, then applications will be reopened on a rolling basis and grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis to eligible applicants that meet the minimum score of 65 points.

All eligible applications will proceed to the Board for approvals, and all applications which will be declined for discretionary reasons will also proceed to the Board.   

Grant Agreement

Once a project is approved for funding, the Authority will enter into a grant agreement (“Grant Agreement”) with the applicant detailing the project to be funded, eligible Project costs, the amount of grant funding, and all financial programmatic requirements including the amount of other funding as may be applicable. The Grant Agreement will detail timelines for both the Project Property Acquisition and the proposed Supplemental Use Project based on the project schedule included in the application and the project approval. At the

Authority’s sole discretion, the Authority may grant up to two six-month extensions. The applicant will be responsible for assuring the compliance of the Project with all terms and conditions of the Grant Agreement and the Program funding requirements.                                                                   

All Strategic Public Use and Future Development Projects that are developed/redeveloped as a result of Local Property Acquisition Grant Program funding shall be subject to compliance with New Jersey prevailing wage law and compliance with other labor standards requirements, as well as other state requirements which may be applicable depending on project details and funding amounts including possibly New Jersey Executive Order 215 of 1989 regarding Environmental Assessments.

Property Sales/Transfers

The Grant Agreement will also detail the Authority’s rights for approval of any sale/transfer of the Property(ies) including reviewing the reasonableness of the proposed sales/pricing. The Grant Agreement will further indicate that prior to the sale of a property for a Future Development Project, the pplicant/grantee will submit to the Authority the proposed sales contract and the proposed Future Development Project financials for the Authority’s review and approval.

If the proposed sales price is equal to or greater than the fair market value (based on appraisal), then upon sale of a property for a Future Development Project, the Authority will allow an applicant/grantee to retain up to 15% of the Grant amount as an administrative fee. The applicant/grantee shall return to the Authority an amount equal to: the Authority’s proportionate share of the future sales price of the property/ies minus 15% of the EDA Grant amount attributable to the original property/ies acquisition.

If the proposed sales price is less than the fair market value (based on appraisal), the Authority will then review the project financials that the designated developer/redeveloper proposes against the Authority’s financial analysis hurdle rate model to ensure that the sales price and project financials are reasonable (at or below the hurdle rate). If project financials and estimated internal rate of return are at or below the hurdle rate, then upon sale of a property for a Future Development Project, the Authority will allow an applicant/grantee to retain up to 15% of the Grant amount as an administrative fee. The applicant/grantee shall return to the Authority an amount equal to: the Authority’s proportionate share of the future sales price of the property/ies minus 15% of the EDA Grant amount attributable to the original property/ies acquisition.

If the proposed sales price is less than the fair market value (based on appraisal) and the project financials and estimated internal rate of return are above the hurdle rate, the proposed future sales transaction would require Authority Board review.

Grant Funding Disbursements

The Authority will disburse grants only to the applicant.  The grant funds will be disbursed for the Project (the acquisition of the property/ies approved for funding) and upon documentation of acquisition and related closing costs. If other funding sources are part of the approved project, then the grant funds would be prorated per the approved project budget.

Fees

A $1,000 non-refundable application fee is required at the time of application submission.

Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 19:30-6.7, which permits fee waivers under certain conditions, the NJEDA will approve a fee waiver for municipal/municipal entity applicants of municipalities with 2020 Municipal Revitalization Index scores in the top 10% statewide. NJEDA staff will determine if the applicant entity meets the criteria to be granted a waiver for the Program. Ineligible entities will be notified and a cure in the form of fees payment will be requested to complete the application.

Additional Requirements and Information

Comprehensive information about the Local Property Acquisition Grant Program is available at Local Property Acquisition Grant Program – NJEDA.

Questions concerning this Program’s Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted to realestateinfo@njeda.gov.

The NJEDA is subject to State and Federal statutes including but not limited to the following which may impact affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; Compliance with the list of  “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” promulgated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov;  N.J.S.A. 24:6I-49 which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives (a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions. 

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Pilot Clean Tech Demonstration Grant Program, Round 2 (Published May 3rd, 2024)

Note: This Notice of Funding Availability was revised on May 28th, 2024 to correct the submission due date for certain application support materials and the OFAC reference.


Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (“CSIT”) will launch an online application for Pilot Clean Tech Demonstration Grant Program, Round 2 (“Program”) at 9am on June 3, 2024 at www.njeda.com/csit. Applications will be accepted through July 12, 2024 at 5pm.

The Program has a total budget of $3,750,000 for 15 grant awards of up to $250,000 each. This is a competitive grant program. No application, transaction, or termination fees will be collected by CSIT for this program. Decisions on this grant award are expected to be made by 4th quarter of 2024.

Purpose and Funding

This grant opportunity is issued by the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT). The goal of the Program is to help early-stage clean tech innovation-based companies in New Jersey (“NJ”) accelerate development of technologies to transform new discoveries from research stage into commercially viable products and services. The purpose of the grant is to enable recipients to make significant progress by demonstrating capabilities in a real-world setting, and to have a meaningful impact on commercialization outcomes. Companies must be developing or testing clean technologies intended to avoid emissions of, or recapture, of greenhouse gases and/or criteria pollutants, or to enable such avoidance or recapture.

Total funding for Round 2 of the Pilot Clean Tech Demonstration Grant Program (“Program”) will be

$3,750,000 from the 2023 BPU Funds provided to CSIT under the 4th Clean Energy and Clean Tech Innovation Memorandum of Understanding between NJEDA and NJCSIT executed (November 3, 2023).

Program Overview

The Program will fund pilot demonstration projects between Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 6 (Applied Research) through TRL 8 (Integrated Pilot System Demonstrated) intended to avoid emissions of, or recapture, greenhouse gases and/or criteria pollutants,

or to enable such avoidance or recapture. The following technology areas are eligible under the program:

  • Chemicals/Advance Materials
  • Energy Distribution/Storage
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Energy Generation
  • Green Buildings
  • Transportation
  • Waste Processing
  • Water and Agriculture

Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis, with awards going to the fifteen (15) highest scoring applicants, provided each of those highest scoring applicants has met the minimum score of 70.

Each approved grant will be valid for a period of twenty-four (24) months from the date of the execution of the grant agreement. Any unused portion of the grant will be cancelled after the 24 months and must be returned to CSIT. An extension for up to an additional three (3) months may be permitted at the sole discretion of CSIT.

Eligibility

Each applicant to the Program must meet the following eligibility criteria at the time of application and during the entire review and approval period to be eligible for an award:

  • Be authorized and in good standing to conduct business in NJ. Have a current valid NJ tax clearance certificate addressed to New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology. All certificates listing another state agency will be rejected.
  • Have no more than 50 full-time equivalent (“FTE”) workers (FTE is calculated on a 35-hour work week) at time of application.
  • Have a minimum of two full-time workers (35 hours per week basis). A founder can be counted as a worker, and a worker may be paid or unpaid.
  • Fifty percent or more of the cumulative hours worked by all workers, founders, and contractors must be conducted in NJ (as calculated on an FTE basis of 35 hours per week).
  • Have less than or equal to five million dollars ($5,000,000) in prior calendar year sales revenue (excluding grant revenue).
    • Applicants should have achieved a Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 6 (Applied Research) through TRL 8 (Integrated Pilot System Demonstrated) for their project proposed for funding.
  • The Pilot Demonstration Project must be conducted in New Jersey. The Pilot Demonstration Project is defined as the core project proposed by the Applicant.
    • Applicants must have a letter from one or more strategic partners confirming the strategic partner’s willingness to conduct the pilot demonstration project, subject to receipt of funding, and describing their role in the Pilot Demonstration Project (e.g. providing a location/facility, conducting testing or evaluation etc.)
    • Applicants are limited to a single application.
    • Recipients of two or more active CSIT Seed and/or Demonstration Grants are ineligible for this Program.

Eligible Uses

The grant funding can be utilized for project demonstration activities specified in the application including:

  • Labor costs related to the pilot demonstration
  • Materials, equipment, and supplies for the pilot demonstration
  • Travel expenses related to the pilot demonstration
  • Other operating costs incurred during the pilot demonstration.

NOTE: If the demonstration project will involve construction, reconstruction, demolition, custom fabrication, repair work, or maintenance work, including painting and decorating, with construction costs totaling $2,000 or more, and award of a construction contract, the project must comply with the NJ Department of Labor’s Public Works Contractor Registration Act, the NJEDA’s Prevailing Wage statutes and rules, and NJEDA’s Affirmative Action statutes and rules .

In addition, no more than 10% of the budget proposed for the applicant’s project, in the aggregate, may be spent on IP patent prosecution and licensing-related expenses.

Project Modification

Any intended changes to project scope of work or budget must be requested in writing to CSIT prior to modification of project (csitcleandemo@njcsit.gov)

Ineligible Uses

The following expense categories are ineligible for funding by this grant:

  • Direct services to individuals or organizations
  • Manufacturing of products for sale or commercial use
  • Real estate rental expenses
  • Patient clinical trial expenses
  • Marketing and customer discovery
  • Travel, entertainment, and other similar expenses
  • Allocations of general overhead expenses
  • Any expenditures incurred before the grant agreement is signed by both the

grantee and CSIT

  • Any expenses for equipment and materials that applicant does not use for the Project during the Project period
  • Fees related to conferences

Disbursement of funds

Funds will be dispersed on a milestone basis. Each milestone will have deliverables, which must be submitted and approved before receiving the funding for that specific milestone.

  • Sixty percent (60%) of the grant will be disbursed upon execution of a grant agreement.
  • Thirty percent (30%) will be disbursed when interim milestones stated in the proposal are reached, and with submission of an approved interim Project Completion Report (approximately 12-months after execution of grant agreement).
  • Final ten percent (10%) of the grant will be disbursed upon submission of an approved an Economic Impact Report and Final Project Completion Report (approximately 24-months after execution of grant agreement).

Application Process

All applications to the Program must include the following documentation:

  1. Completed online application
  • Evidence that proof of concept has been achieved for the project. Submit

one or more of the following:

  • Description of the proof-of-concept results
    • Published paper outlining results achieved
    • Successful completion of a federal SBIR/STTR grant or contract related to the project
    • Confirmation documentation from a university tech transfer office if the project relates to technology that has been developed at the same university
  • Budget and Milestone Proposals (Excel template embedded within online application)
  • Employee information as appropriate for applicable company structure and staffing -i.e., most recent NJ WR-30 (W2 employees) or 1099 (contractors), Shareholder Agreement or K- 1, or offer letters. Please note that if a Professional Employment Organization (PEO) is utilized, the

applicant must submit confirmation of PEO-A form issued by the New Jersey Department of Labor (DOL). These confirmations are issued on an annual basis and are valid for a year. See https://www.nj.gov/labor/ea/employer-services/leasing-companies/ for additional information on PEOs.

  • Summary of most recent Internal Payroll (Q4 2023 or Q1 2024) indicating each employee name and number of hours worked per week.
  • Most recent Company tax filing; Federal 941 and either an NJ-CBT-100 (Schedule A), Form- 1065 or Form -1040 (Schedule C) or whichever is applicable to the organizational form of your business, showing the total Gross Receipts or Sales for the year.
  • Current valid NJ tax clearance certificate listing CSIT as the agency, available at https://www16.state.nj.us/NJ_PREMIER_EBIZ/jsp/home.jsp. DUE No Later Than August 1, 2024 , or application will be withdrawn. NJ certificates may not be immediately available; therefore, these should be applied for well before the August 1, 2024 due date.
  • If applicable, copy of New Jersey certification for Woman, Minority, Veteran or LGBTQ+ owned business. Certification information available at https://www.njportal.com/DOR/SBERegistry/Default/

DUE No Later Than August 1, 2024 or relevant bonus points will not be awarded.

  1. If applicable, a copy of Executed University License Agreement with University. DUE No Later Than August 1, 2024, or relevant bonus points will not be awarded.
  • Completed Application Certification
  • Completed CSIT Legal Debarment Questionnaire
  • For companies with a dba name (“doing business as”), CSIT requires proof of NJ registration reflecting the same.
  • A letter from one or more strategic partners confirming the strategic partner’s willingness to conduct the pilot demonstration project and describing their role.

The following steps detail the application submission and review process:

  • A document completeness review will be done as applications are received.
  • An evaluation committee comprised of CSIT and New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA”) staff will review and assign a score to each application, after receiving qualitative input from subject matter experts (“SMEs”).

At the sole discretion of CSIT, staff may ask for clarification of the information included in the application, including, but not limited to, narrative responses, supporting documentation, and attachments. Applicants will have 10 business days thereafter to provide missing or incomplete documents. Applicants should submit the missing documentation electronically to csitcleandemo@njcsit.gov with the email subject line “Pilot Clean Tech Demonstration Grant Program Round 2 – Missing Documentation Submission – [Company Name].”

Scoring

Applicants must achieve a minimum score of 70 points (out of a total 100 points) to be eligible for a grant. Scoring will be based on:

  • Innovation (up to 30 points)
    • Market Opportunity and Strategy (up to 20 points)
    • Implementation plan: budget and milestones (up to 20 points)
    • Economic and Broader Impacts, such as environment, health, education, housing, safety, infrastructure impacts (up to10 points)
    • Team (up to 20 points)

Bonus Points – Applicants that achieve a minimum score of 70 points may also be eligible for the following bonus points:

  • Applicant is using technology initially developed at a NJ university, under an executed license agreement with such university (15 points)
    • Applicant is a NJ certified women-owned business (10 points)
    • Applicant is a NJ certified minority-owned business (10 points)
    • Applicant is a NJ certified veteran-owned business (10 points)
    • Applicant is a NJ certified LGBTQ+ owned business (10 points)
    • Applicant’s primary place of business/research & development located within an opportunity zone eligible census tract or government restricted municipality (5 points)
    • Applicant has not previously received a CSIT grant or voucher (10 points)

Board Approval

The CSIT Program Committee will review scored applications and make funding recommendations to the CSIT Board. The CSIT Board will make the final decision on grant awards and declination on or about 4th quarter 2024.

Fees

No application, transaction, or termination fees will be collected by CSIT for this program.

Additional Requirements and Information

Applicants must be in good standing with both New Jersey Department of Labor (“DOL”) and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) to be eligible for a grant award.

For five years from the date of the grant agreement, workers and consultants for the company must conduct at least 50% of their work in a NJ location. Failure to comply will be a condition of default of the grant and may result in the full re-payment of the grant.

All grant awardees must provide an economic impact report to CSIT upon the completion of the project (24 months) and then yearly for an additional three years on February 1.

All grant awardees are encouraged to commit to participate in one check-in meeting (in-person or virtual) six months from the start of Project term with the CSIT team for update on project.

Funding for this grant is subject to State and Federal statutes, including but not limited to the following, which may impact applicants and their affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; Compliance with the list of “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” promulgated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov; N.J.S.A. 24:6I-49 which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives:

(a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions.

Confidentiality

Applications received will be reviewed only by staff of CSIT, NJEDA and SMEs. All applications submitted will be subject to requests for disclosure, including but not limited to, requests pursuant to the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”) N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. If an applicant believes that information contained in its proposal

merits confidential treatment pursuant to OPRA, any such purportedly confidential information submitted to CSIT must be specifically identified and marked as “confidential” by the applicant.

Contact Information

All questions concerning this Notice of Funding Availability must be directed to CSIT by email to csitcleandemo@njcsit.gov. All answers will be posted publicly in the form of a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document which will be posted on the CSIT website prior to the application deadline.

Website: https://www.njeda.gov/csit. Email: csitcleandemo@njcsit.gov

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Government Restricted Municipality Planning Grants – Phase II (Published April 26th, 2024; Amended July 2nd, 2024)
Notice of Funding Availability

Note: The only change being made for this reposted NOFA is to extend the application submission deadline 45 calendar days to August 24th, 2024 at 5:00pm.  All other program requirements and information is the same as the initial posted NOFA.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications for the Government Restricted Municipalities (GRM) Strategic Planning Grant – Phase II beginning May 3rd , 2024 at 9:00 AM. Applications will be accepted only from qualified, eligible GRMs of Phase I no later than August 24th, at 5:00 PM. Applicants should review the application resources posted to the Authority’s webpage at https://www.njeda.gov/grmpgp/ for more information.

Overview

This funding opportunity is issued by the Authority as part of Governor Murphy’s campaign to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey and to facilitate recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic with substantive investments in New Jersey’s people, communities, Main Streets, and businesses. Using funding from the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020, the Government Restricted Municipality Planning Grants Program – Phase II will provide grants to qualified GRM applicants to finance gaps in technical planning that restrain projects from moving forward. The grants will enable GRMs to complete technical planning necessary for projects identified in Phase I strategic action plans.

Purpose

The technical planning funding is designed to bridge gaps in business analysis, civic engagement, engineering, architectural, environmental, scientific and media planning, research and analysis for projects identified in the Phase I strategic action plans that require technical planning work. Recipients of Phase II grants will be tasked with project selection through a project prioritization plan from actionable projects listed in the strategic action plan created using Phase I funding.  The project prioritization plan will detail the catalytic projects and the technical planning gaps in the projects.

At the conclusion of the technical planning work, GRMs will have a pipeline of shovel ready or near shovel ready projects ready for financing.

Eligible Applicants

The Authority is seeking applications directly only from Government Restricted Municipalities that had completed strategic action plans from Phase I. GRMs are defined in Sections 55 and 69 of the Economic Recovery Act.

Eligible Uses

The use of grant funds must be focused on technical planning for projects listed in the strategic action plans completed during Phase I. The technical planning funding is designed to bridge gaps in business analysis, civic engagement, engineering, architectural, environmental, scientific and media planning, research and analysis for projects identified in the strategic action plans that require technical planning work.

No awards will be made for construction hard costs, demolition, or property acquisition. No funding for project costs, other than technical planning, will be awarded or disbursed. No funding will be awarded for the administration or supervision of the grant and/or associated projects. Applicants must submit a prioritized project list with technical assistance gaps identified. The prioritized project list must include projects as listed in the strategic action plan. The applicant may choose the number, scope, type, and municipal prioritization of the projects.

Grant Amounts

Phase II grants will be awarded up to $750,000 per GRM.

The potential award amount is based upon current information about funding availability. NJEDA reserves the right to increase that amount and number of awards should additional funds become available.

Application Submission and Review Process (including Scoring)

The projects included in Phase II must be evaluated and will be selected by the GRM in a competitive fashion based on municipal goals for equitable community focused economic development. After competitive municipal evaluation, projects will be prioritized in funding order by the GRM. Projects included in the prioritization plan must be originated from the strategic action plan of Phase I. The GRM will select the number, type, scope, and municipal priority of projects to be included in the project prioritization plan. The projects will be funded based on the project prioritization plan and continue in descending order until grant funds are exhausted.

The Applicant shall describe its approach to undertaking a series of technical planning efforts in order to catalyze community supported projects listed in the Phase I strategic action plan by clearly explaining how the planning project will work to accomplish the goals of the Government Restricted Municipality Planning Grants Program. The GRM will submit one application in which it has multiple project plans derived from the Phase I strategic action plan. The project plans will be compiled in the project prioritization list, which will include a project priority rank as well as a project summary.

In line with these goals, the application must contain, at a minimum, the required information identified below (as applicable):

• Completed Application Information Form and any additional information related to the Scope of Work that the applicant feels is relevant.

• Completed Budget Estimate that demonstrates how the full project budget is being utilized. The budget must detail costs, which include, but are not limited to, labor costs, contract/technical services and support costs, and material costs. The budget must project out that the final deliverable will be met within six (6) months of grant execution. The budget will be outlined in a fee schedule.

• Completed municipal strategic action plan funded by Government Restricted Municipality planning grant, phase I

• Completed project prioritization list listing:

o projects as included from completed municipal strategic action plan and selected by the municipality in a competitive format

o technical planning gaps inherent in the projects

o projects must be listed in order of municipal funding priority

• Demonstration of an ability to contract for professional services for technical planning needs.

• Demonstration of a stakeholder engagement process and strategy in the selection of projects that will receive technical planning funding.

• Examples or information reflecting prior experience of applicant in oversight and monitoring of multiple technical planning projects of a similar size and scope.

Applications will be accepted until forty-five (45) calendar days after the Phase II opening. Applications will then be reviewed for completeness.

Applications deemed complete will be reviewed for eligibility and scored by an evaluation committee that is comprised of Authority staff and possibly other State agencies/Department Subject Matter Experts.  At the sole discretion of the Authority, NJEDA staff may ask for any clarifications to the application, including but not limited to responses, documentation, and attachments.

Only applications with scores that meet or exceed the minimum score of 50 will be recommended for review and approval to the NJEDA Board.

The evaluation scale is as follows:

  • 0 points – Absence of ability to meet the criteria
    • 1 – 7 points – Minimal ability to meet the criteria
    • 8 – 11 points – Satisfactory ability to meet the criteria
    • 12 – 17 points – Exceptional ability to meet the criteria
    • 18 – 20 points – Unique ability to meet the criteria

Scoring Criteria

1) Demonstration of the GRM’s ability to achieve the goals of bridging technical planning gaps for catalytic projects listed in the strategic action plan developed under Phase I.

2) Demonstration of the ability to contract technical planning experts in a range of planning and economic development disciplines.

3) Demonstration of the ability to conduct oversight and project management for subcontractors.

4) Demonstration of an ability to design a technical planning deployment strategy for multiple catalytic municipal projects.

5) Demonstration of a defined collaborative stakeholder engagement process and strategy.

Funding Disbursements

The grant recipient GRM will be awarded up to $750,000 in tranches of up to $250,000 per project that is identified in Phase 1. All tranches must be disbursed by the completion of the grant term.

Grant disbursements by the Authority will only be made to the applicant who shall be responsible for assuring the compliance of any sub-contractors with all terms and conditions of the program and who assumes the sole and absolute responsibility for any payments due to any sub-contractors pursuant to applicable laws.

Each disbursement must be accompanied by supporting documentation. Disbursements will only be made after the submission and approval by the Authority of the supporting documentation.

At a minimum, the supporting documentation referenced above should include:

• Summary of projects to be funded with this disbursement;

• Summary of funds to be expended;

• Summary of funds expended to date;

• Narrative detailing technical planning funding gap on each project proposed for funding

• Full and complete copies of any contracts for technical planning and

• Milestones achieved and overall progress toward completion of final plan.

Fees

Due to financial hardship and similar to Phase I, no fees will be collected by the Authority for this program.  

Additional Information

Additional Information on the Government Restricted Municipalities Planning Grants Phase II may be found on the NJEDA website at https://www.njeda.gov/grmpgp/.

The Authority will electronically accept written questions and inquiries from all potential Applicant(s) via the web at NJEDAGRM@njeda.com.

The subject line of the e-mail should state: “Questions – GRM Phase II”.  All questions received, and answers given in response to this application will be answered in the form of a “Frequently Asked Questions” document to be posted and continually updated on the Authority’s website, https://www.njeda.gov/grmpgp/, up until 20 days after publication of notice and release of application (whichever is sooner).  The Authority will also post any addenda on the same website. It is the responsibility of any potential applicants to review the website on a frequent basis to become aware of any answers and addenda.

The NJEDA is subject to State and Federal statutes including, but not limited to, the following, which may impact affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; Compliance with the list of  “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” promulgated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov; N.J.S.A. 24:6I-49 which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives (a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions.   

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Asset Activation Planning Grant Program (Reposted on April 29, 2024 with an amendments to the Application Submission and Review Process section, originally published on April 23, 2024)

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications for the New Jersey Asset Activation Planning Grant Program at 10:00 a.m. EST May 7, 2024. The application can be accessed at: https://www.njeda.com/asset-activation-planning-grant. Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis during a 90-day period ending at 11:59 p.m. EST August 5, 2024, or until grant funding is exhausted. The Program was allocated continued funding in 2023 for new grant awards, and the rolling grant award process has $300,000 in remaining funds. Grant awards may be up to $50,000 for individual qualifying applications.

Further detailed information is available in the Asset Activation Planning Grant Program specifications: https://www.njeda.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Asset-Activation-Planning-Grant-Program-Specifications.pdf

Overview
The shifting economic and development context in New Jersey has left an array of underutilized properties and infrastructure throughout the state in urban, suburban, and rural communities alike. Former assets which are now liabilities require innovative development to activate their potential and contribute to the State’s economy. In an effort to revitalize underutilized or unutilized public properties or distressed assets in New Jersey, the NJEDA created the Asset Activation Planning Grant Program (“Program”), which was approved as a pilot on March 9, 2022, by the NJEDA Board and was provided $400,000 of the Economic Recovery Fund to fund projects up to $50,000 in grant awards.

The Program provides grants for pre-development planning work that demonstrates viability and prepares implementation of projects that will activate public assets and contribute to the revitalization of local communities and the regional economy. This Program ‘invests in communities’ and ‘makes government work better’ – two major economic development priorities adopted by the NJEDA Board and laid out in Governor Murphy’s Economic Plan.

The NJEDA began accepting applications for the Asset Activation Grant in July 2022, and subsequently awarded grants to ten planning projects throughout the State. In April 2023, the NJEDA Board approved a new round of grants funded by utilizing $500,000 from the FY2023 State Budget appropriated to the Authority for the use of planning grants. Five more planning projects received awards in that round, and because of the rolling grant award process $300,000 of existing funds remain available, and the program will re-open for applications beginning May 7, 2024.

Eligibility
Qualified applicants for the Program include municipalities, counties, redevelopment agencies, independent authorities, non-profit entities, and private for-profit entities that meet additional criteria and hold a valid New Jersey tax clearance certificate.

Applicants may add strategic partners whose experience, knowledge, skills, and ability may augment the capabilities of the proposed planning project team.

An applicant in a lead role for a proposal is the entity that is the sole recipient of grant funds and responsible for all terms of the grant agreement. The lead role applicant will serve as the primary point of contact with the Authority, submit any requests for fund disbursement, and provide reports to the Authority.

The strategic partnership must be recognized by a signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) or a written agreement between the partner and the lead applicant. The MOU or written agreement must be included with the completed application.

An applicant may only submit one application in a lead role but may be included as a partner in additional applications where they play a non-lead role. Any named strategic partner or partners included in the proposal cannot be changed without the prior written consent of the Authority. An entity in a lead role that received prior Asset Activation grant funds may not apply again.

Applications must include a letter of approval from the executive of the public entities that hold ownership of the subject property or have the development oversight and authority to close the property. Assets owned by the State of New Jersey are not eligible. Assets owned by independent authorities, commissions, boards, or other entities of the State of New Jersey are eligible when accompanied by a letter of approval from the body’s executive with development oversight and authority, as discussed above.

A proposal on behalf of a county or independent authority does not preclude a municipality within that county; or municipality or county within the boundary of an independent authority; or independent authority whose boundaries overlap a municipality or county from submitting their own proposal.

An award of grant funding does not imply approval of planning, analysis, use, sale, or divestment of any assets or property.

Eligible Uses
Planning projects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Redevelopment Planning
  • Conceptual Design
  • Feasibility Study
  • Land-use Planning
  • Economic Analysis
  • Market Analysis
  • Legal Analysis

Projects should target deficient, under-utilized, or vacant land, buildings, or infrastructure owned by a county, municipality, district, public authority, public commission, public agency, or other political subdivision or public body.

Grant Amounts
The maximum grant amount is $50,000.

The potential award amount is based upon current information about funding availability; NJEDA reserves the right to increase that amount and number of awards should additional funds become available.

Application Submission and Review Process (including Scoring)
Applications for the New Jersey Asset Activation Planning Grant Program will be accepted during a 90-day window or until grant funding is exhausted. To apply, an applicant must register, or log into the online application portal, complete all required application questions fully, and upload all required PDF document attachments. NJEDA staff will review applications in the order they are received for completeness and eligibility. At the sole discretion of the Authority, NJEDA staff may ask for any necessary clarifications of the information provided in the application, including, but not limited to, responses, documentation, and attachments. Additionally, applicants will be given a 5 business day cure period. If at the end of this 5 day business period, the applicant is non-responsive, the application will be deemed withdrawn and the applicant will need to file a new application for consideration of eligibility.

Each application must contain the following documents:

A. Required Application Information:

  1. A fully completed online application
  2. New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate
  3. Religious Activities questionnaire (if applicable)
  4. Signed Letter of Approval from the chief executive of the entity holding ownership of the subject property or asset must be digitally attached with the application
  5. Completed Legal Questionnaire
  6. Application Fee (or fee waiver request if applicable)

B. Required Proposal Components of Application

  1. Public Asset Description
  2. Planning Project Details, including:
    a. Planning Activities
    b. Project Milestones and Deliverables
    c. Project Team Roles
    d. Public Engagement
    e. Project budget and Grant funding requirement
  3. Asset Activation Merits, including:
    a. Asset challenges and considerations
    b. Regional market constrains and considerations
    c. Future uses, development, or activities at the site
    d. Connection to the State’s economic and development objectives
  4. Background & Experience including examples of similar planning projects.
  5. Strategic Partners Memorandum of Understanding or written agreement (if applicable).

Note: Applications must include plans for specific deliverables that can be fully completed (with copies provided to EDA) by six months after execution of the grant agreement. Upon written request for an extension (up to two months) of the plan’s final delivery, the NJEDA has the sole discretion to authorize the extension.

Applications deemed complete will be reviewed and scored by an evaluation committee that will be comprised of NJEDA staff. Applications will be scored on a scale of 0 – 100 points. As further detailed in the Asset Activation Planning Grant Program specifications, applications will be evaluated and scored based on the following criteria:

  1. Their “Asset Impact,” which demonstrates the magnitude of improved utilization a project will have on a public asset, the local community, and regional economy. (0 – 40 points)
  2. The project’s “purpose and merits,” which address locality-specific needs and challenges that have precluded prior development of the asset, and a plan for long term viability of a project. (0 – 20 points)
  3. The demonstration of the applicant’s previous experience with similar planning projects. (0 – 20 points)
  4. Community Engagement aspects of the proposed planning work. (0 – 10 points)
  5. Municipal Revitalization Index Score, which ranks New Jersey’s municipalities according to eight separate indicators that measure diverse aspects of social, economic, physical, and fiscal conditions in each locality. (0 – 10 points)

Applications that meet a minimum score of 65 will be recommended to the Program Director for grant funding in the order in which applications were submitted.

Disbursements
Grant funds will only be disbursed to the lead role entity, who will also be responsible for:

(1) assuring that any strategic partners and/or subcontractors are in compliance with all terms and conditions of the grant agreement; and
(2) any payments due to any municipal, county, or strategic partners.

Grant disbursements will follow a uniform disbursement schedule. The lead entity will receive 50 percent of the grant amount upon execution of grant agreement, 25 percent upon submission of a mid-way progress report, and 25 percent upon completion and submission of a final plan and final progress report. At a minimum, the progress reports must include a summary of funds expended to date as well as a narrative detailing milestone achieved and overall progress toward completion of final plan. A monthly call with the Designated Authority Project Manager and the Grantee’s assigned Account Manager or Back-Up Account Manager will be held.

Fees
A $1000 fee is required at the time of application submission.

An application fee waiver may be requested at the time of application for proposals led by municipalities or municipal authorities, boards, commissions, or other municipal entities ranked in the top 10 percent of the 2020 Municipal Revitalization Index (MRI). Applicants will self-identify in the application as a municipality or municipal government entity requesting a waiver. Staff will determine if the entity meets the criteria for a waiver. Eligible entities will be granted a waiver for the program. Ineligible entities will be notified and a cure in the form of fees payment will be requested to complete the application.

Additional Information
Comprehensive information about the Asset Activation Grant Program is available at https://www.njeda.com/asset-activation-planning-grant

Questions concerning this Program and Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted NJAAP@njeda.gov.

The NJEDA is subject to State and Federal statutes including but not limited to the following which may impact affiliates:

N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; Compliance with the list of “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” promulgated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov; N.J.S.A. 24:6I-49
which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives (a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions.

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NJ COOL Program (Published April 15, 2024; Amended July 15, 2024)

Notice of Funding Availability

Amended NOFA (dated July 15, 2024): This reposted NOFA reflects a FAQ update to the NJ Cool Program regarding new fossil fuel-based systems (please see page 6 and https://www.njeda.gov/njcool/).  All other program requirements and information are the same as the initially posted NOFA.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications on a rolling, first-come first-served basis for the initially $15,000,000 funded pilot NJ Cool Program (“Program”) on Monday, April 22nd, 2024 at 10:00 AM. The application will remain open until all available funding is reserved or until three (3) years after date of application launch, whichever is sooner. The application can be accessed at www.njeda.gov/njcool.

The Program will provide grants to retrofit projects in existing commercial buildings that result in a reduction of operating greenhouse gas emissions. The Program will support projects located in the municipalities of the City of Newark (Newark), the Township of Edison (Edison), and the City of Atlantic City (Atlantic City).

Purpose and Overview

The goal of this Program is to reduce operating greenhouse gas emissions from the commercial building sector in the State by offsetting capital costs of related construction projects for existing buildings. The Program will also allow NJEDA to assess the effectiveness of funding levels and program design for potential future iterations. Overall, the Program intends to accelerate the adoption of building decarbonization systems, technologies, and construction practices within New Jersey.

On January 29, 2018, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 7 (EO 7), instructing state government agencies to return New Jersey to full participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) as quickly as possible. RGGI is a multi-state, market-based program that establishes a regional cap on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electric power generation sector and therefore allowing for auctioning of emissions rights. Launched in 2005, RGGI was the first mandatory greenhouse gas “cap-and-invest” program in the United States. States use the proceeds from the CO2 allowance auctions to invest in programs to help further reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas pollution, spur clean and renewable energy, and provide rate relief on energy bills.  Through its participation in RGGI auctions and fixed price allowance sales held between 2020 and 2022, New Jersey received funding that totaled approximately $372 million. In 2023, the first three quarterly RGGI auctions have thus far resulted in over $131 million in funding to the State.

Per the 2023 New Jersey’s RGGI Strategic Funding Plan, the State will deploy RGGI funds for 2023-2025 within four initiative categories:

1. Accelerate Healthy Homes and Building Decarbonization;

2. Catalyze Clean, Equitable Transportation;

3. Strengthen New Jersey’s Forests and Urban Forests; and,

4. Promote Blue Carbon in Coastal Habitats.

New Jersey’s RGGI funds allocation is governed by the Global Warming Solutions Fund Act (P.L. 2008, c. 340). By statute, proceeds from auctions are deposited into the Global Warming Solutions Fund. After administration fees are deducted from the pool, NJEDA receives 60% of the remaining funding for programming (focus area: commercial, institutional, and industrial entities). NJ Board of Public Utilities and NJ Department of Environmental Protection each receive 20% of the remaining funding for programming (focus areas, respectively: low income and moderate income residential; and local government, forests, and tidal marshes).

On November 16, 2023, the NJEDA’s Board approved the creation of this pilot NJ Cool Program, which will utilize an initial $15,000,000 funding from the NJEDA’s allocation of the 2023 RGGI auction proceeds. Funding may increase up to $30,000,000, based upon availability of RGGI funds, if application demand exceeds the initial funding allocation.

Per the 2023 RGI Funding Plan regarding Building Decarbonization:

According to the NJDEP’s New Jersey Greenhouse Gas Inventory, buildings currently are the second highest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state. These emissions are primarily associated with the combustion of fossil fuels in space and water heating. In addition, hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions from refrigeration and air conditioning account for 6% of the State’s greenhouse gas inventory. HFCs are considered a climate “super pollutant” because these greenhouse gases have hundreds to thousands of times the heat trapping power of carbon dioxide (CO2) and are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases both internationally and in New Jersey.

New Jersey aims to reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2006 levels by 50% and then 80%–by 2030 and 2050 respectively. Existing building stock will continue to be a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions without decisive action. It is estimated that 80% of buildings that will be around in 2050 already exist today. Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 316 sets clear near-term targets for building electrification in that by December 31, 2030, 400,000 additional dwelling units and 20,000 additional commercial spaces and/or public facilities statewide will be electrified, and an additional 10 percent of residential units serving households earning less than 80 percent of area median income will be made ready for electrification through the completion of necessary electrical system repairs and upgrades. On the longer term, New Jersey’s 2019 Energy Master Plan’s least cost scenario calls for converting at least 90% of residential and commercial buildings from natural gas to electric appliances by 2050. This past September, Governor Murphy signed New Jersey on to a 25-state coalition that aims to collectively reach 20 million heat pump installations across the coalition by 2030.

Per the 2023 RGI Funding Plan regarding Building Decarbonization:

Cost is a major barrier when upgrading homes and businesses to reduce carbon emissions and transition to low GWP commercial refrigeration systems or chillers. Funding the incremental costs to switch heating fuels and shift to new, low global warming potential (GWP) refrigeration systems is necessary to accelerate the installation of these systems. Since many new refrigeration appliances sold today utilize HFCs and will have an average product lifetime of about 15-20 years, New Jersey has a window of opportunity to incentivize the replacement and retrofit of older systems with those that use low and ultra-low- GWP refrigerants. Additional energy reduction benefits will be realized through this initiative because new refrigeration systems that use low-GWP refrigerants are more energy efficient than existing systems.

Program Details

In accordance with the Building Decarbonization initiative in the 2023 RGGI Funding Plan, the NJ Cool Program will support building decarbonization projects in existing commercial buildings in the state. Grants will be provided to reduce the costs of retrofit construction projects in existing commercial building spaces. Grant awards will cover 50% of eligible project costs up to a maximum award of $1,000,000 per project (with a minimum award amount of $50,000 per project).

Projects must include switching 75% or more of building space heating loads from existing fossil fuel-based combustion systems to non-combustion heating systems with low to zero direct operating emissions and/or replacing 75% or more of existing high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants used for cooling within the building with lower GWP alternatives. In addition, work that further reduces building operating emissions and/or improves energy efficiency of the building can also be considered eligible costs for partial reimbursement through the grant. However, this emissions reduction/energy efficiency work will not be eligible independently for a grant without fuel switching or refrigerant replacement also occurring as part of the overall project requesting a grant award.

Additional eligible emissions reduction/energy efficiency work are hard costs that include, but are not limited to:

  • Installing on-site renewable energy generation and/or storage systems
  • Replacing gas powered appliances (e.g.: hot water heaters, clothes dryers, kitchen equipment) with electric alternatives
  • Installing building management systems or energy load controls
  • Conducting weatherization or building envelope (e.g.: façade, doors, windows, insulation) upgrades
  • Installing heat recovery equipment
  • Replacing lighting with more efficient equipment and/or controls

If the Applicant is a tenant, the minimum 75% switching requirement for heating load or existing refrigerants will only apply to the portions of the building within the tenant’s lease or the building systems affecting the tenant’s space within the overall building.      

The Program is focused on three communities in the State: Newark, Edison, and Atlantic City. The three communities were selected for the pilot based on the prevalence of Overburdened Communities (OBCs) as defined by the New Jersey Environmental Justice Law, State geographic representation, and commercial electric and gas usage. Per the law, OBCs are Census block groups with at least 35 percent low-income households; or at least 40 percent of the residents identifying as minority or as members of a State recognized tribal community; or at least 40 percent of the households having limited English proficiency. Census block groups with zero population and located immediately adjacent to an OBC are labeled as “adjacent.” OBCs significantly overlap these three municipalities.

Newark, Edison, and Atlantic City also cover three different geographic regions of the state: North, Central, and South Jersey respectively. Per an analysis conducted with the support of NJDEP, the pilot communities are 3 of the top 4 municipalities in the State by commercial electric usage and are 3 of the top 15 municipalities by commercial natural gas usage. Edison and Newark are the top 2 municipalities in the State based on reported HFC facilities. Overall, the three communities have a significant number of commercial properties that will be potential applicants for the Program.

The total RGGI-funded program budget will be $15,000,000 for grant awards

  • $5,000,000 will be initially set aside for each of the three municipality’s projects.  

One year after application is open to the public, initial set asides will expire and all remaining program funding will be open to eligible building projects within the three pilot communities on a first come, first served basis.

Eligibility

1. Applicants may own or lease the building space that will be improved using the grant funding. If the space is leased, the Applicant must provide a certification from the landlord/ building owner, that the proposed project details have been reviewed and approved.

2. The Program is open to existing commercial spaces within the three designated pilot communities of Newark, Edison, and Atlantic City. NJEDA will utilize municipal boundaries for these communities in determining that an Applicant’s property address fits the project location criteria.

3. For purposes of the Program, commercial building spaces are classified per a list of select Occupancy Classes as defined in New Jersey Building Code, Chapter 3, as follows:

  • Mercantile Group M 
  • Assembly Group A-2 
  • Business Group B (excluding airport traffic control towers, buildings used for civic administration, educational purposes above the 12th grade, and post offices).

Note: The three Occupancy classes will provide a variety of commercial building uses to inform program design and operation, and to help inform community members of building decarbonization efforts and benefits. It also allows for mixed-use buildings to be included as Occupancy Class can be applied by code to only a portion of a building rather than the entire building.

4. Improvements (i.e., façade replacement, rooftop solar panel installations, or central HVAC equipment replacement, etc.) that result in emissions/energy reduction benefits to other building occupancy uses within a building, in addition to the primary targeted Group M, A-2, or B occupied spaces, are eligible for grant reimbursement.

5. To prevent duplication of benefits, participants in the NJ Clean Energy New Construction Program (Gut Rehab) or Large Energy Users Program are not eligible to participate in the pilot. In addition, the maximum potential grant award will be calculated from total eligible project costs net the amount of any expected incentive payments from state-run or utility energy efficiency programs.

6. Applicant must be in substantial good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to be eligible for the pilot NJ Cool Program. A current tax clearance certificate will need to be provided prior to application approval to demonstrate the Applicant is properly registered to do business in New Jersey and in substantial good standing with the NJ Division of Taxation. 

Eligible Projects

Project scope must include either, but can include both, of the following:

A. Switching 75% or more of building space heating loads from existing fossil fuel-based combustion systems to non-combustion-based heating systems with low to zero direct operating emissions.

 B. Replacing 75% or more of existing high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants with lower GWP alternatives.

Additional, optional, eligible work that further reduces operating emissions and/or improves energy efficiency of the building, includes but is not limited to:

  • Installing on-site renewable energy generation and/or storage systems 
  • Replacing gas powered appliances (e.g.: hot water heaters, clothes dryers, kitchen equipment) with electric alternatives 
  • Installing building management systems or energy load controls 
  • Conducting weatherization or building envelope (e.g.: façade, doors, windows, insulation) upgrades
  • Installing heat recovery equipment
  • Replacing lighting with more efficient equipment and/or controls

Eligible Uses of Funding

Eligible Project Costs: 

  • Materials, labor, and/or equipment provided by Public Work contractor that are directly related to emissions reductions/energy efficiency improvements or enabling work necessary for proposed emissions reducing/energy efficient building systems to be operational (e.g.: upgrading electric panels, structural improvements for rooftop solar or HVAC systems)
  • Equipment and/or materials procured directly by the Applicant that are directly related to emissions reductions/energy efficiency or enabling work necessary for proposed emissions reducing/energy efficient building systems to be operational

 Ineligible Project Costs:

  • Soft costs: including but not limited to energy audits, design professional services, 3rd party construction management costs, permitting fees, commissioning costs, inspection fees
  • Interior finish improvements and upgrades not related to operating energy/emissions reductions (e.g.: flooring, artwork)
  • Other building system upgrades that are not related to energy/emissions reductions (e.g.: fire sprinklers, security cameras), even if required for overall building code compliance
  • Furniture: non-permanent items (e.g.: desks, chairs, cabinets)
  • Prior energy efficiency/emissions reductions improvements begun or completed before time of application approval
  • New construction, including enlargements or additions to existing buildings that increase overall building square footage
  • Facility or site acquisition
  • Fines incurred because of code or zoning violations during construction project(s) associated with this grant 

NJ Cool grant funding will not reimburse applicants for costs of new fossil fuel-based systems. This includes, but is not limited to, new fossil fuel-based heating systems or new back-up power generation equipment. Applicants are free to install these systems as part of a larger project receiving NJ Cool grant funding, but they will not be considered eligible project costs in the review of the grant application or eligible expenses for grant reimbursement.

All work must be conducted in accordance with NJ prevailing wage and affirmative action requirements.

Grant Amounts

Grant awards will cover 50% of eligible project costs up to a maximum award of $1,000,000 per project (with a minimum award amount of $50,000 per project).

Grant awards will be calculated based on the quoted costs of the eligible project scope. The Program will not provide reimbursement for costs already incurred prior to application approval. 

The maximum potential grant award will be calculated from total eligible project costs net the amount of any expected incentive payments from State-run or utility energy efficiency programs. 

Application Submission and Review Process

Complete applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, first-come first-served.

Applicant submits application to NJEDA, which shall include, among other items:

  • Building address and property information (size, type, occupancy, etc.)
  • Proof of compliance with eligible building occupancy classes (use) including, but not limited to, an existing building permit, certificate of occupancy, or similar documentation 
  • Proof of ownership/proof of owner permission
  • If Applicant leases space, a copy of their lease and a certification from the landlord that they have reviewed and approved the proposed facility improvement(s).
  • If Applicant owns space, a deed, property tax statement, or current mortgage statement from the lender.
  • A description of the proposed project 
  • Photos of the existing building space
  • Valid New Jersey tax clearance certificate 
  • Cost estimate:
    • Quote(s) from contractor(s) that are registered with NJDOL as a Publics Works Registered Contractor with costs consistent with New Jersey State prevailing wage rates
    • Vendor quotes or similar retailer price information for any relevant items to be purchased directly by the Applicant 
  • Estimated project schedule 
  • Requested grant award amount
  • Expected utility/state energy efficiency incentive payments (if applicable)
  • Green building certification being pursued (if applicable) 
  • Projected operating greenhouse gas emissions savings as a result of the project (calculated by a qualified professional) with supporting information and additional documentation as required (historic energy bills, HVAC equipment information, etc.)
    • Qualified professionals include but are not limited to:

-Licensed engineer (NJ state professional engineer or other state’s equivalent)

-Licensed architect (NJ state registered architect or other state’s equivalent) 

-Certified Energy Auditor (CEA certification from the Association of Energy Engineers) 

-Certified Energy Manager (CEM certification from the Association of Energy Engineers)

-Energy Management Professional (EMP certification from the Energy Management Association)

-Building Energy Assessment Professional (BEAP certification from ASHRAE)

NJEDA staff will review all applications for completeness and eligibility. At the sole discretion of the Authority, NJEDA staff may ask for any necessary clarifications of the information provided in the application, including, but not limited to, responses, documentation, and attachments. Applicants will be given 10 business days to respond to the clarification requests. If at the end of this period, the applicant is non-responsive, the application will be deemed withdrawn.

Grant Agreement

NJEDA will provide an approval letter to the applicant with the maximum potential grant award available for the project. As a condition of accepting the award and before entering into a grant agreement with NJEDA, the Applicant must provide proof of funding for total estimated project costs plus an additional 15% of overall project costs as contingency to allow for potential cost overruns that may arise during construction. NJEDA grant awards will not be adjusted following notice of application approval and the Applicant will be responsible for any additional or unexpected project costs, even if relevant to the eligible project scope.

The Applicant will have two (2) months from notice of application approval with award amount by the Authority to submit proof of funding for the balance of project costs, with the possibility for additional two-month extension(s) at the discretion of the Authority. Proof of funding can include bank account statements, financing agreement, or similar indication of available working capital for the project costs.

Additional financing provided by NJEDA may be used to cover project costs not eligible under the program. Additional financing provided by NJEDA may also be used to cover project costs paid up front by the Applicant prior to submitting for NJ Cool grant reimbursement.    

Upon confirmation of acceptable proof of funding for the balance of project costs from the Applicant, NJEDA will execute a grant agreement with the Applicant for the project. Project construction activity must commence on site within six (6) months of grant agreement execution, or the applicant must demonstrate that permit applications (if required) are pending with relevant building authorities, with the possibility for six-month extension(s) for construction commencement at the discretion of the Authority.  

Applicants will have two (2) years from project construction commencement to achieve project completion, with the possibility for six-month extension(s) at the discretion of the Authority. 

Disbursement of Funding

Maximum eligible grant award will be determined at time of application approval. NJEDA will disburse funds via payments to the Applicant for reimbursement of eligible project costs at a 50% rate in two payment tranches. Up to one half of the maximum eligible grant award will be available for reimbursement when the applicant has paid 50% or more of estimated eligible project costs. The balance of the grant award will be available for disbursement at project completion when all eligible project work is completed and accepted by the Applicant. Reimbursement will be based on submitted proof of project expenses (receipts, contractor invoices, etc.), signed progress/completion documents, and project photos.

NJEDA reserves the right to conduct site visits during and following completion of construction activities to confirm that work is being completed in accordance with eligible uses for the Program and all prevailing wage and affirmative action requirements. Applicants will be responsible for repayment of all disbursed grant funding if they do not at a minimum complete the work required for either:

  • Switching 75% or more of building space heating loads from existing fossil fuel-based combustion systems to non-combustion heating systems with low to zero direct operating emissions; or
  • Replacing 75% or more of existing high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants used for cooling within the building with lower GWP alternatives.

Fees

A non-refundable $1,000 application fee is required at time of application submission, consistent with NJEDA ‘s fee rules, and may be paid by credit card only.

Additional Information

Additional information on the NJ Cool Program may be found at https://www.njeda.gov/njcool/

Questions concerning this Program’s Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted to njcool@njeda.gov The NJEDA is subject to State and Federal statutes including, but not limited to, the following, which may impact affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; Compliance with the list of  “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” promulgated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov; N.J.S.A. 24:6I-49 which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives (a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions. 

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Atlantic City Food Security Grants Pilot Program (Revised April 12, 2024, Published March 25, 2024)

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications for the Atlantic City Food Security Grants Pilot Program (“Program”) on April 2, 2024 at 10:00 AM ET. Applications must be submitted by May 14, 2024 at 5:00 PM. The application can be accessed at: Atlantic City Food Security Grants Pilot Program – NJEDA

The Program will make available up to $5.25 million in grant funding through a competitive application process to eligible applicants for projects that can have a positive impact for Atlantic City residents’ ability to access fresh, affordable, and healthy foods. There will be no application fee for the Program.

 español (Spanish)
ATENCIÓN: si habla español, los servicios de asistencia lingüística, gratuitos, están disponibles para usted enviando un correo electrónico a languagehelp@njeda.com.

اللغة (Arabic)
تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث  اللغة العربية، فإن خدمات المساعدة اللغوية مجانية متاحة لك عبر إرسال بريد إلكتروني إلى
languagehelp@njeda.com.

粵語 Traditional Chinese (Cantonese Chinese)
注意:如果您說粵語,可以透過傳送電子郵件至 languagehelp@njeda.com 免費獲取語言協助服務。

普通语 Simplified Chinese (Mandarin Chinese)
注意:如果您说普通语,可以通过发送电子邮件至 languagehelp@njeda.com 免费获取语言协助服务。

ગુજરાતી (Gujarati)
ધ્યાન આપો: જો તમે ગુજરાતી બોલતા હોય તો, તમારા માટે languagehelp@njeda.com પર ઈ-મેઈલ કરવાથી ભાષા સહાય સેવાઓ મફતામાં ઉપલબ્ધ છે. 

हिंदी (Hindi)
ध्यान दें: यदि आप हिंदी बोलते हैं, तो languagehelp@njpa.com पर ईमेल द्वारा, आप के लिए नि:शुल्क भाषा सहायता सेवाएं उपलब्ध हैं।

italiano (Italian)
ATTENZIONE: se parla italiano, può usufruire gratuitamente di servizi di assistenza linguistica scrivendo all’indirizzo languagehelp@njeda.com

한국어 (Korean)
알림: 한국어를 사용하시는 경우, 언어 지원 서비스가 무료로 이메일 languagehelp@njeda.com을 통해 제공됩니다.

po polsku (Polish)
UWAGA: Jeśli mówisz po polsku, możesz uzyskać pomoc tłumacza bezpłatnie wysyłając e-mail pod adres languagehelp@njeda.com.

português (Portuguese)
ATENÇÃO: se você falar português, oferecemos serviços de apoio de idioma gratuitos. Envie um e-mail para languagehelp@njeda.com.

Purpose and Overview

In January 2021, Governor Phil Murphy signed the Food Desert Relief Act (FDRA), which allocated to NJEDA a total of $240 million in tax credits over six years, and directed NJEDA to collaborate with the New Jersey Departments of Community Affairs and Agriculture to designate up to 50 Food Desert Communities (FDCs) across the state. These communities are home to more than 1.5 million residents and are in every county in New Jersey. The underlying data analysis allowed the FDCs to be ranked by a Composite Food Desert Factor Score, indicating the acuity or severity of their food desert status.  The Atlantic City/Ventnor FDC ranks second highest of all 50 FDCs in New Jersey, indicating an extremely significant need. More than 41,000 people reside within the boundaries of the Atlantic City/Ventnor FDC, which covers the entirety of Atlantic City and a portion of neighboring Ventnor.  In order to start initiatives to address FDCs and due to the immediate availability of SLFRF funds for Atlantic City, this pilot Program will focus on Atlantic City. 

On October 12, 2023, the NJEDA’s Board approved the creation of the Atlantic City Food Security Grants Pilot Program, a $5,250,000 program funded from the Economic Recovery Fund that will make grants for projects that will strengthen food access and food security in Atlantic City.

Program Details

The Program is designed to address the challenges faced by Atlantic City residents as it related to accessing fresh, affordable and healthy foods.  Given the immediate need for improved, reliable and consistent food access in Atlantic City, the Program aims to fund and support 1) entities connecting Atlantic City residents with emergency food programs, 2) creation of programs, services, capital expenditure, or other assistance to entities serving disproportionally impacted households, populations in Atlantic City. 

Program grants will be provided to government entities, not-for-profit entities, and for-profit entities that have been in existence for at least two years at the time of application and currently serve, in any manner, residents of the Atlantic City/Ventnor FDC. The grant funds will be awarded only to entities that indicate that they will use the grant funds to improve the quality of life in Atlantic City by increasing food access and/or food security in Atlantic City. Acquisition of land or buildings is not an eligible cost. All other costs that are incurred after the date of grant agreement execution are eligible, subject to the Authority’s approval of the project budget and supporting documentation

In order to provide grant funding to support all eligible projects, a maximum of one Project may be funded per eligible applicant. Grant funding will be allocated to the highest-scoring eligible applicants, proceeding in decreasing order of score until insufficient funds remain to fully fund the next eligible applicant. If funding still remains after approving all qualifying applicants from the initial application period, the application period may be re-opened for additional applications during an additional six-week application window.

Funding

Funding for the Program will come from a $5,250,000 program funded from the Economic Recovery Fund (ERF).  The funding is comprised of $4,000,000 in American Rescue Plan Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) appropriated for “Atlantic City Initiatives” in the FY2024 Appropriations Act (P.L. 2023, c. 74).  Additionally, ($1,250,000) will be reallocated from the Food Retail Innovation in Delivery Grant Program from an FY22 appropriation of State funds for Food and Agriculture Innovation.  

Eligibility

Grants will be awarded only to entities that meet the following criteria at the time of application:

  • Applicant is a for-profit, nonprofit, or government entity that has been in existence for at least two years at the time of application;
  • Applicant currently serves, in any manner, residents of the Atlantic City/Ventnor FDC;
  • Applicant can demonstrate existing programming or services related to food access and/or food security, including but not limited to: food distribution, nutrition education, local agriculture, and/or food retail (such programming may be different than the food security or food access activities proposed for the grant); and
  • All applicants must be in substantial good standing at the time of application with the following New Jersey Departments:
    • Department of Labor and Workforce Development (“NJDOL”)
    • Department of Environmental Protection
    • Division of Taxation, as evidenced by a Tax Clearance Certificate
  • Applicant is not subject to suspension or debarment in accordance with 2 CFR § 200.214 and its implementing regulations, including Executive Orders 12549 and 12689, 2 CFR part 180.

Eligible Uses

Grant funding can only be used for prospective costs of the Project specifically approved based on the application, Authority review, and the grant agreement. Grant funds will be awarded only to entities that indicate that they will use the grant funds to improve food access and/or food security in Atlantic City.

The proposed use(s) must be accomplished within two years of execution of the grant agreement, subject to two 6-month extensions by EDA staff if the grantee is diligently pursuing the use and the delay was unforeseeable and not in the grantee’s control, to the extent allowed under federal spending deadlines.

As required by law, construction, including use of trades in construction related to installation of equipment, will be subject to State affirmative action requirements for contractors.  Such work with a cost of $2,000 or more will be subject to New Jersey prevailing wage requirements and the Authority’s prevailing wage and affirmative action requirements. Additionally, grantees must utilize contractors registered as a New Jersey Public Works Contractor with the NJDOL for work, subject to Prevailing Wage.

Awards will be subject to federal Duplication of Benefits requirements and, if construction is included, to cost reasonableness analysis.

Grant funding cannot be used for the acquisition of land or buildings as an eligible cost. All other costs that are incurred after the date of grant agreement execution are eligible, subject to the Authority’s approval of the project budget and supporting documentation.  For example, eligible costs include construction, equipment, installation, salaries and fringe, and rent.

Grant Amounts

The minimum grant funding is $50,000 per project.  The maximum grant funding is $500,000 per project. Grant funds may cover up to 100 percent of the proposed project costs. If grant funds from EDA are not requested to cover 100 percent of the proposed project costs, additional funding sources must be described in the budget and budget narrative submitted for approval.

The potential award amount is based upon current information about funding availability. NJEDA reserves the right to increase that amount and number of awards should additional funds become available.

Application Submission and Review Process (including Scoring)

Applications for the Program will not be accepted after the deadline of May 14, 2024 at 5:00pm. To apply, an applicant must register, or log into the online application portal, complete all required application questions fully, and upload all required PDF documents.

NJEDA staff will review all applications for completeness and eligibility.  At the sole discretion of the Authority, NJEDA staff may ask for more information for the application, including, but not limited to, responses, documentation, and attachments. Applicants will be given 10 business days to respond to these requests. The Authority reserves the right to provide two additional 10 business day cure periods if necessary. Should another cure period be provided, it will be provided to all applicants.  If at the end of the cure period, or cure periods if two or three cure periods are provided, the applicant is non-responsive, the application will be deemed withdrawn.  No applications will be scored until the end of any and all cure periods.

Each application must provide information about their organization and their proposed project, including, but not limited to:

  • A detailed description of the proposed project, including its expected impact on FDC residents’ food access and/or food security in Atlantic City. This description must include, at minimum, the following:
    • Description of current food security and food access needs and challenges in Atlantic City;
    • Description of how the proposed project will address food access and food security in Atlantic City, particularly for SNAP and WIC recipients;
    • Identification of other key stakeholders and description of how the applicant will collaborate with them;
  • An implementation timeline and work plan. The work plan must include, at minimum:
    • Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Time-bound (SMART) objectives;
    • Description of each project activity;
    • A project timeline, including milestones and the length of time needed to implement each activity within the grant period;
    • Identification of appropriate staff responsible for each project activity;
  • A description of the organization’s capacity to undertake the proposed project, including current and past experience a) serving residents of the Atlantic City/Ventnor FDC and b) providing programming or services related to food access and food security in Atlantic City and/or other parts of New Jersey;
  • A description of community engagement efforts, which can include letters of support for the proposal; and
  • A line-item budget and budget narrative for the proposed project scope. The requested level of funding must be broken down by line item. Line items must be clearly explained in the budget narrative. The requested level of funding must be reasonable for proposed activities within the project timeline. If the total project cost exceeds the requested grant amount, the budget narrative must describe the sources for all other funds.

Note: Project viability and readiness to proceed/timelines are scoring factors and considerations. Applicants should provide as much detail as possible regarding the steps involved and projected timeline for the proposed project.

For projects involving Construction Cost and Construction Related Cost, the following requirements must be met:

  • NJDOL Public Works Registered Contractor/Subcontractor 
    All contractors used for any construction costs of $2,000 or more must be registered as a New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL) Public Works Contractor Registered Contractor and must abide by NJ prevailing wage and affirmative action requirements. Any quotes submitted from contractors/subcontractors that are not NJDOL Public Works Registered Contractors at the time of application will not be eligible to be used in your proposed project.  
  • Professional Services 
    All professional services, including, but not limited to, architectural, engineering, construction management services, must provide proof of a NJ Business Registration and a Verification of Professional Service form. 

Scoring

Applications that are incomplete, including those that do not provide responses to all required questions and those that do not meet the applicant eligibility criteria, will not proceed to scoring. Applications deemed complete will be reviewed and scored by an evaluation scoring committee that will be comprised of NJEDA staff.  Applications will be scored on a scale of 0 – 100 points. To be considered for grant funding, a minimum score of 50 out of 100 points is required. Applications will be scored based on the following criteria:

  • Criteria # 1: Project Description/Statement of Work (up to 30 points) – Factors considered include:
    • Applicant’s understanding of Atlantic City’s needs and challenges regarding food security and food access;
    • Potential impact of the proposed project on Atlantic City residents’ food access and/or food security;
    • Potential impact of the proposed project on food access for recipients of federal and state nutrition benefits, including SNAP and WIC;
    • Potential for project to be viable, sustainable, and adaptable to other Food Desert Communities;
  • Criteria # 2: Work Plan (up to 20 points) – Applications will be evaluated based on factors, including:
    • Feasibility of work plan, as proposed;
    • Level of detail and evidence of thorough planning;
  • Criteria # 3: Organizational Capacity (up to 20 points) – The applicant is equipped to successfully complete the proposed plan in a timely manner. Factors considered include:
    • Applicant’s experience providing programs or services related to food access and/or food security, including, but not limited to, food distribution, nutrition education, local agriculture, and/or food retail;
    • Applicant’s experience working effectively on collaborative, multi-stakeholder projects, as applicable for the proposed project;
    • Alignment of proposed project with applicant’s overall mission or primary line of business
  • Criteria #4: Community Engagement (up to 20 points) – Factors considered include:
    • Depth of experience serving residents of Atlantic City;
    • A track record of seeking and responding to feedback from stakeholders, such as community members, customers, or advocates;
    • Efforts to ensure programs or services promote social and economic equity;
    • Ability to consider and mitigate obstacles that have created challenges for food security and food access in the past;
  • Criteria #5: Budget and Budget Narrative (up to 10 points) – Applications will be evaluated based  on  level of detail, clarity of justification/explanation of  budget, budget narrative with a clear connection to project goals and reasonableness. 

Funding will be allocated first to the highest-scored applicant, proceeding in decreasing order of score to other applicants that meet the minimum score requirement of 50 out of 100 points, until insufficient funds remain to fully fund the next eligible application.  If funding still remains after approving all qualifying applicants from the initial application period, the application period may be re-opened for additional applications during an additional six-week application window.  Applications received during that window will be reviewed and scored following the same procedure.

Grant Agreement

Once a project is approved for funding, the Authority will enter into a grant agreement (“Grant Agreement”) with the applicant detailing the project to be funded, eligible Project costs, the amount of grant funding, and all financial programmatic requirements, including the amount of other funding as may be applicable. The Grant Agreement will detail timelines for both the Project and Project reporting. The proposed use(s) must be accomplished within two years of execution of the grant agreement, subject to two 6-month extensions, at the discretion of EDA staff, if the grantee is diligently pursuing the use and the delay was unforeseeable and not in the grantee’s control, to the extent allowed under federal spending deadlines. The applicant will be responsible for ensuring compliance of the Project with all terms and conditions of the Grant Agreement and the Program funding requirements.

Grant Funding Disbursements

The Authority will disburse grants only to the applicant for the eligible and approved scope of work. Funds will be disbursed according to the following schedule:

  • 50 percent of the grant will be disbursed upon execution of a grant agreement between NJEDA and the selected applicant;
  • 25 percent of the grant will be disbursed upon the applicant’s submission of the mid-program report, the exact timing to be determined based on the grantee’s implementation plan and reflected in the grant agreement; and
  • 25 percent of the grant amount will be disbursed upon the Authority’s review and approval of the applicant’s submission of a final report on completion of the proposed project, expected to be no later than two (2) years following the date of the grant agreement execution or September 30, 2026, whichever is earlier.

Post-Closing Compliance

Grantees will be required to report to NJEDA at least quarterly, including mid-program and final reports, starting at grant execution and extending through the end of the grant term. These reports must provide updates on grantees’ progress against their proposed project timeline, data and outcomes on the project’s impact (e.g. number of people served), and project costs, both cumulative and since the last report.

NJEDA shall recapture any grant funds used for (1) an ineligible purpose or (2) any purpose outside of any approved scope of work.

Fees    

No application fees will be charged for this program, per NJEDA’s fee rules.

Additional Requirements and Information

Comprehensive information about the Atlantic City Food Security Grants Pilot Program is available at Atlantic City Food Security Grants Pilot Program – NJEDA.

Questions concerning this Program’s Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted to FoodSecurityGrants@njeda.gov.

The NJEDA is subject to State and Federal statutes including, but not limited to, the following, which may impact affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; Compliance with the list of  “Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons” promulgated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov; N.J.S.A. 24:6I-49 which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives (a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions. 

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Food and Agriculture Research & Development Pilot Seed Program (Published April 5, 2024)

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (“CSIT”) will launch an online application for the Food and Agriculture Research & Development Pilot Seed Grant Program at 9 am on April 12, 2024 at www.njeda.gov/csit. Application will close on May 10, 2024 at 5 pm. The Food and Agriculture Research & Development Pilot Seed Grant Program has a total budget of $375,180 for an estimated 5 grant awards of up to $75,000 each. This is a competitive grant. No application, transaction, or termination fees will be collected by CSIT for this Program.

Purpose
The Food and Agriculture Research & Development Pilot Seed Grant Program (“Program”) supports innovation from researchers and entrepreneurs focused on developing technology and other solutions to addressing food insecurity in New Jersey (“NJ”). The Program will engage early stage innovation-based companies to accelerate research and development of technologies into commercially viable products and services that address food insecurity needs of communities across NJ. The Program seeks to identify and implement ways to increase access to nutritious
foods and develop new approaches to alleviate food deserts (referred to as an area with a lack of access to healthy, affordable food). Follow the link to see a list of current NJEDA New Jersey Food Deserts (Food Desert Communities Designation) The Program supports the development of
innovative technologies within the target areas listed below.

The Program is focused on companies conducting research and development or testing technologies in the following target areas:

Life Sciences (e.g., Next generation crop, soil health, indoor agriculture, and aquaculture)

  • Technology (e.g., Digital services and platform development for improved food access, digital services to reduce food waste, digital platform to access emergency food and other services necessary for food security)
  • Food and Beverage (Non-retail) (e.g., Improved connection between urban food systems and rural and urban communities to improve food access, increased capacity, and distribution of farm fresh products)
  • Transportation and Logistics (e.g., online platform designed to facilitate business-to business connections with local food systems to address disruptions to the local food supply, innovative food delivery models with reduced carbon footprint)

All applicants for the Program must provide proof of concept for their project proposed for funding.

Overview
The total funding of $750,000 for the Program comes from New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (“NJEDA”) Fiscal Year 2022 (“FY2022”) appropriations for “Food and Agriculture Innovation” via a Memorandum of Understanding between NJEDA and CSIT. The Program is
implemented by CSIT.

Of the total Program budget, $375,180 remains for the current round of grants. The Program will award grants of up to $75,000 to support an estimated five New Jersey early-stage innovation based companies that have the potential to impact food and agriculture outcomes. Decisions on
this grant award are expected to be made by the 3rd quarter of 2024.

Program Details
Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis, with awards going to the highest scoring applicants provided the minimum score of 70 points is met.

Applicants can only submit one application for this grant. Multiple applications from the same company will NOT be accepted. If an applicant submits two applications, they must select which application moves forward for review and scoring.

Each grant will be valid for a period of twelve months, effective from the date of the execution of the grant agreement. Any unused approved grant amounts will be cancelled after the twelve month period and returned to the CSIT program budget for future use. An extension of up to
three months may be permitted at the discretion of CSIT.

Please note that CSIT if CSIT notifies a grant applicant of a budget error they may adjust and resubmit grant budgets to address the following issues: if:

i. Submitted budget at the time of application exceeds the approved grant amount

ii. Submitted budget at the time of application includes ineligible budgetary items as stated in notice of funding

iii. Submitted budget at the time of application exceeds the 30% threshold, as stated in the notice of funding below under “Eligible Uses”

iv. Submitted budget at the time of application does not include printed name of preparer and date

Applications with incorrect budgets that are not revised by June 5, 2024 will be rejected.

Eligibility
Each applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria at the time of application and maintain eligibility during the entire review period in order to be eligible for an award:

  • Be authorized and in good standing to conduct business in NJ as evidenced by a current NJ tax clearance certificate addressed to CSIT. All certificates listing another state agency will be rejected.
  • Have no more than twenty-five full-time equivalent (“FTE”) workers (FTE calculated on a 35-hour work week) at the time of application.
  • Have a minimum of one full time worker. A worker may be the founder and may be paid or unpaid.
  • Conduct 50% or more of the cumulative hours worked by all workers, founders, and contractors in a New Jersey location (calculated on an FTE basis – 35 hrs. per week);
    and
  • Have less than or equal to $2,000,000 in 2023 calendar year sales revenue (excluding grant revenue).

Eligible Uses
The grant funding can be utilized for project research and development activities. In addition, the following expenses are eligible uses but cannot total more than 30% of the Project budget:

In addition, the following expenses are eligible uses but cannot total more than 30% of the Project budget:

  • Marketing and customer discovery specific to the innovation
  • IP Patent prosecution and licensing-related expenses
  • Conference registration fees

Ineligible Uses
The following expense categories are ineligible for funding by this grant:

  • Direct services to individuals or organizations
  • Manufacturing of products for sale or commercial use
  • Real estate rental expenses
  • Patient clinical trial expenses
  • Construction costs
  • Travel, entertainment, and other similar expenses
  • General overhead expenses
  • Expenditures incurred before the execution of the grant agreement
  • Expenditures for equipment and materials that applicant does not use for the project during the project period
  • Fees related to conferences not associated with the project

Disbursement of funds
First disbursement will equal 80% of grant award on the effective date of the grant agreement. Second disbursement of 20% of grant award will be after Final Report is submitted and approved by CSIT.

Application Submission and Review Process
All applications to the Program must include the following documentation:

a. Completed online application

b. Evidence that proof of concept has been achieved for the project. Submit one of the following:

  • Description of the proof-of-concept results
  • Published paper outlining results achieved
  • Successful completion of a federal SBIR/STTR grant or contract related to the
    project
  • Documentation from a university tech transfer office if the project relates to
    technology that has been developed at a university

c. Budget and Milestone Proposals (Excel template embedded within online application)

d. Employee information as appropriate for applicable company structure and staffing-i.e. most recent NJ WR-30 (W2 employees) or 1099 (contractors), Shareholder Agreement or K-1, or offer letters. Please note that if a Professional Employment Organization (“PEO”) is utilized,
the applicant must submit confirmation of PEO-A form issued by the NJ Department of Labor (“DOL”). These confirmations are issued on an annual basis and are valid for a year. See https://www.nj.gov/labor/ea/employer-services/leasing-companies/ for additional information
on PEOs.

e. Summary of most recent internal payroll (Q4 2023 or Q1 2024) indicating each employee name
and number of hours worked per week.

f. Most recent company tax filing: Federal 941 and either an NJ-CBT-100 (Schedule A), Form-1065 or Form -1040 (Schedule C) or whichever is applicable to the organizational form of the business, showing the total Gross Receipts or Sales for the year.

g. Current NJ tax clearance certificate addressed to CSIT Tax clearance must be dated March 8, 2024 or after. https://www16.state.nj.us/NJ_PREMIER_EBIZ/jsp/home.jsp DUE No Later Than June 5, 2024 or application will be rejected.

h. If applicable, copy of Women and/or Minority owned business NJ certification https://www.njportal.com/DOR/SBERegistry/Default/ DUE No Later Than June 5, 2024 or relevant bonus points will not be awarded.

i. If applicable, copy of Veteran owned business NJ certification DUE No Later Than June 5, 2024 or relevant bonus points will not be awarded.

j. If applicable, a copy of Executed University License Agreement with University. DUE No Later Than June 5, 2024 or relevant bonus points will not be awarded.

k. Complete Application Certification

l. Completed CSIT Legal Debarment Questionnaire

m. For companies with a d/b/a or “doing business as” name, we require proof of business
registration for the d/b/a name.

The following steps detail the application submission process:

  • A document completeness review will be done as applications are received.
  • Applicants with missing documentation will be notified and given 10 business days to submit missing documents. If the application remains incomplete by the resubmission deadline, it will be rejected.
  • Only complete applications will be evaluated and scored. Applicants must submit the NJ tax clearance certificate by June 5, 2024 otherwise, the application will be rejected. For any bonus points category, if the documentation is not received by the application scoring period, bonus points will not be applied.
  • Denied applications may appeal CSIT’s declination, provided they do so within the timeframe provided in CSIT’s declination letter. Appeals must be written and include an explanation as to how the applicant has met all the eligibility criteria.

Scoring
An evaluation committee comprised of CSIT and NJEDA staff will review and assign a score to each application, after receiving qualitative input from Subject Matter Experts (“SME”s). As part of the process, all applicants with complete applications will be invited, but are not required, to make a brief presentation about their project and submit it to the evaluation committee and SMEs.

All applicants must achieve a minimum score of 70 (out of 100 points) in the following criteria to be eligible for a grant.:

  • Innovation (up to 30 points)
  • Market opportunity (up to 10 points)
  • Implementation plan – budget and milestones (up to 20 points)
  • Go-to-market strategy (up to 10 points)
  • Economic and community impact (up to10 points)
  • Team (up to 20 points)

Bonus Points – Bonus points will be awarded to applicants that achieve the minimum score and are also:

  • A company using technology initially developed at a NJ university, under an executed
    license agreement with such university (15 points)
  • NJ certified women-owned business (10 points)
  • NJ certified minority-owned business (10 points)
  • NJ certified veteran-owned business (10 points)
  • Primary place of business/research & development located within an opportunity zone
    eligible census tract or government restricted municipality (5 points)
  • Has not previously received a CSIT grant or voucher (10 points)

Grants will be awarded to an estimated five applicants with the highest overall scores, provided the minimum score is met, until program funds are expended.

Board Approval
The CSIT Program Committee will review scored applications and make funding recommendations to the CSIT Board. The CSIT Board will make final decision on grant award winners and declination on or about 3rd quarter 2024.

Fees
No application, transaction, or termination fees will be collected by CSIT for this program.

Additional Information
For two years from the date of the grant agreement, workers and consultants who continue working
on the project must conduct at least 50% of their work in a New Jersey location. Failure to comply will trigger a requirement that the applicant make full re-payment of the grant award.

All grant awardees must report economic impact data to CSIT upon the completion of the project and for an additional two years after project completion by submitting an “Economic Impact Questionnaire” provided by CSIT.

All grant awardees are encouraged to host one in-person interim site visit from the CSIT/NJEDA team or a virtual meeting to provide an update on their project.

All grant awardees are encouraged to commit to participate in future CSIT/NJEDA alumni activities, such as serving as a panel member or being interviewed about their program experience.

Confidentiality
Applications received will be reviewed only by staff of CSIT and NJEDA and SMEs. All applications submitted may be subject to requests for public disclosure, including but not limited to requests pursuant to the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”), N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. If the applicant believes that information contained in its proposal merits confidential treatment pursuant to OPRA, any such purportedly confidential information submitted to CSIT must be specifically identified and marked by the applicant as such.

Contact Information
All questions concerning this Notice of Funding Availability must be directed to CSIT by email to csitfoodagr@njcsit.gov. All answers will be posted publicly in the form of a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document which will be posted on the CSIT website prior to the application
deadline. Website: https://www.njeda.gov/csit.
Email: csitfoodagr@njcsit.gov

The NJEDA is subject to State and Federal statutes including but not limited to the following which may impact affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses engaged in prohibited activities in
Belarus or Russia; N.J.S.A. 24:6I-49 which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives (a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a
certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions.

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Commuter and Transit Bus Private Carrier Relief and Jobs Program Phase 2 (Published February 26, 2024)

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will begin accepting applications for the non-competitive Commuter and Transit Bus Private Carrier Relief and Jobs Program – Phase 2 (“Program”) at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, March 5th, 2024. The deadline to apply is 3:00 PM on Thursday, March 28th, 2024. The application can be accessed at https://www.njeda.gov/busreliefphase2/

Purpose and Overview

On November 16th, 2023, the NJEDA’s Board approved the grant funding for Phase 2 of the Commuter and Transit Bus Private Carrier Relief and Jobs Program. Subsequently, on February 7th, 2024, the board approved an amendment to the award calculator.  Similar to Phase 1, Phase 2 offers a one-time grant to eligible commuter and transit bus private carrier companies in New Jersey. This Program continues to assist these companies in addressing ongoing revenue losses, which have not been addressed through any other funding sources (“unmet need”), due to the evolving economy and reduced ridership stemming from the shift towards remote work in a post-pandemic economy.  

 Supporting the State’s private carrier industry will contribute to the overall well-being of communities, help maintain essential transportation services, and foster economic resilience within the state.  Incorporating the policy of providing relief grants to private carrier companies facing reduced ridership due to remote work not only addresses their financial challenges, but also advances the State’s priority of investing in communities and infrastructure. By adapting to the evolving transportation landscape, these private carriers can continue to serve their communities effectively, contributing to the overall success of the State’s development goals.  Additionally, this Program aims to support job retention and creation, as well as benefit New Jersey residents who rely on the State’s commuter bus services and residents employed by the private carrier companies.

To receive funding, applicants must meet all eligibility criteria described below. The Program funds will be allocated on a predefined formula to ensure the Program can be efficiently administered.  The potential award amount is based upon current information about funding availability; NJEDA reserves the right to increase that amount and number of awards should additional funds become available.

Funding

This Program is funded by utilizing the $12 million that was appropriated to the Authority in the SFY2024 State Budget for Phase 2 of the Commuter and Transit Bus Private Carrier Relief and Jobs Program.

Eligibility

To streamline the program and ensure the Authority can efficiently deploy this funding, program eligibility will be based on certain non-discretionary criteria, and grant amounts will be calculated based on a predefined formula.  (See below.) To be eligible, an applicant must demonstrate the following in a manner acceptable to the Authority:

  • Have been in business prior to February 15, 2020;
  • Be a for-profit business (non-profits are excluded from the Program based on other required criteria).  Note: Public Agencies, authorities, governmental entities or the like are NOT eligible
  • Be registered to do business in and operating in the state of New Jersey, as evidenced by a current New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate;
  • Provide fixed route bus service (MB) or commuter bus (CB) service, as defined in the Federal Transit Administration’s December 22, 2021, National Transit Database (NTD) Glossary. Note: Other services, including, but not limited to, those provided by charter buses, school buses, municipal shuttles, vanpool, and on-demand bus services, are not eligible;
  • Have reported Vehicle Revenue Miles for fixed route bus service (MB) or commuter bus service (CB) greater than 0 in New Jersey directly to the NTD, as recorded in Annual Data Tables 2022 Service, or through NJ Transit as a private carrier in 2022;
  • Demonstrate systemic decrease in revenues (losses) in the state of New Jersey in 2022,due to the new realities in working habits (calculated as the difference between each applicant company’s 2022 NJ-generated revenues and 2019 NJ-generated revenues, as reported in the respective NJ CBT-100 or CBT-100S tax returns, Schedule J) that has not been fully addressed by other public or private relief funding sources;
  • Certify bus service, through peak vehicle requirements or notice of service changes, has not voluntarily reduced since 2021, from time of application, at milestone stages, and through the end of the grant compliance period;
  • Satisfy the Authority’s debarment/disqualification review, and not have any defaults or outstanding obligations to the Authority; and
  • Be in good standing with the following sister agencies: New Jersey Department of Labor, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Department of Taxation, and New Jersey Transit.

Eligible Uses:

Grant funding may be used for reimbursement of “unmet need”, as discussed below.

Grant Amounts

Grant amounts will allocate funds based on each eligible applicant’s proportional share of the total eligible applicant’s vehicle revenue miles (VRM) in New Jersey for 2022, Any leftover funds would be reallocated proportionally based on VRM. The basic formula is shown below.

Total grant pool = $11,400,000

Applicant VRM = Vehicle Revenue Miles submitted to NTD for NJ in 2022

Total VRM = Sum of Vehicle Revenue Miles submitted to NTD for NJ in 2022 for all eligible applicants

Total base awards = Sum of base awards for all applicants

The maximum award will not exceed the applicant’s unmet need. The unmet need is defined as 2022 New Jersey revenue losses (calculated as the difference between each applicant company’s 2022 revenues reported in New Jersey and 2019 revenues reported in New Jersey) less any other public or private funds that a company received for 2022.

Any funding that exceeds unmet need will be re-allocated to the pool proportionally based on vehicle revenue miles, to be disbursed to other eligible applicants.

Application Process

Upon closure of the application period, the Authority will review applications for completeness.  Applicants that submitted incomplete applications will be provided the opportunity to correct the applications to include the missing information within 10 business days.

At the sole discretion of the Authority, staff may ask for clarification of the information included in the application, including but not limited to narrative responses, supporting documentation, and attachments.  Applicants will have 10 business days thereafter to provide missing or incomplete documents.

Disbursement of Funding

In recognition of the ongoing commitment to sustain essential service providers and ensure that funding aligns with evolving service demands, Phase 2 of the Program will introduce a milestone-based disbursement process. As part of this approach, successful applicants will receive half of their awarded funds upon the completion and execution of the grant agreement.

The second disbursement of the remaining half of the award, will be contingent upon the outcome of the 2024 NJ Transit review of peak vehicle requirements, which will be available in Q3 2024.  Approved applicants will only receive their final disbursement once NJ Transit confirms no variances in peak vehicle requirements. In the event of that NJ Transit’s review of peak vehicle requirements confirms that there is less than amount confirmed at the time of application, or if there is a notice of decreased service, the awardee will forfeit the remaining reserved approved funds. 

In the event an awardee forfeits the remainder of their grant funds, the funds will be redistributed to the remaining eligible awardees and disbursed accordingly.

Fees

No application fees will be assessed, per the NJEDA’s revised fee rules.

Additional Information

Additional information on the Commuter and Transit Bus Pandemic Relief and Jobs Program may be found at https://www.njeda.gov/busreliefphase2/

The NJEDA is subject to State and Federal statutes including but not limited to the following which may impact affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; N.J.S.A. 24:6I-49 which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives (a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions.

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New Jersey Manufacturer’s Voucher Program Phase 2 (Published February 5, 2024)

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications for the pilot Phase 2 – New Jersey Manufacturer’s Voucher Program (“NJ MVP Phase 2” or “Program”) on February 12, 2024 at 10:00am EST. Applications will be accepted until all funds are fully awarded.

The pilot Phase 2 Program will make available $20 million in grant funding through a rolling application process to provide New Jersey manufacturers with access to essential equipment, which will enhance efficiency, productivity, and overall profitability in New Jersey.  

A fee of $1,000 is required at the time of application. The application can be accessed online at: https://www.njeda.gov/mvp2/

Purpose and Overview

The pilot NJ MVP Phase 2 Program will provide support to New Jersey priority sectors and manufacturers that purchase equipment that integrates advanced or innovative technologies, processes, and materials to improve the manufacturing of products. This pilot Program will continue to stimulate private sector investments to modernize New Jersey’s manufacturing industry, and to help keep pace with state-of-the art product development and manufacturing technology. Eligible applicants will receive a reimbursement of equipment costs sized at 30% – 50% of the cost of the eligible equipment (including installation) up to a maximum award amount of $250,000.

Note: The potential award amount is based upon current information about funding availability; NJEDA reserves the right to increase that amount and number of awards should additional funds become available.

Funding

On June 30, 2023, Governor Murphy allocated $20 million from the Fiscal Year 2024 State Budget NJEDA for deposit into the Economic Recovery Fund (ERF) for the New Jersey Manufacturer Voucher Program Phase 2. Of that allocation, up to $4,000,000 will be used to provide funding to eligible Phase 1 waitlist applicants. Pursuant to N.J.S.A § 34:1B-7.13(a)(12), ERF Funds can be utilized “to provide grants or competition prizes to funds initiative-based activities which stimulate growth in targeted industries as defined by the authority’s board or supports increasing diversity and inclusion within the State’s entrepreneurial economy.”  NJMVP, as a grant program stimulating growth in Advanced Manufacturing or manufacturing activities in any of the other “targeted industries”, is an eligible use of ERF funding.

Program Details

NJ MVP Phase 2 will provide reimbursement of equipment costs sized at 30% to 50% of the cost of the eligible equipment (including installation), up to a maximum grant award amount of $250,000. The pilot Program will support the purchase of manufacturing equipment for New Jersey manufacturers in “Targeted Industries” for their manufacturing process or equipment that meets the definition of “Advanced Manufacturing”. (See Targeted Industry List and definitions: https://www.njeda.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Appendix-C-Targeted-Industries-Definitions-12.6.22_v2.pdf) Examples of advanced manufacturing technologies include additive manufacturing technologies, computer-aided manufacturing, utilization of advanced sensors and robotics to improve production, development of advanced materials to support production, and digital twin development and utilization. This industry also includes firms that manufacture either finished or interim advanced technologies or components.   

The pilot Program will offer bonuses for Certified Woman, Minority, and Veteran Owned Businesses (WMVB); businesses located within opportunity zones; manufacturing equipment purchased from a New Jersey manufacturer or assembler, manufacturers with fifty (50) or less employees or Full Time Equivalent employees; as well as bonuses for companies that have a collective bargaining agreement in place. NJ MVP is also committed to supporting Small Businesses by awarding manufacturers with up to 100 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees with higher award percentages. Companies with 100 FTEs or less are capped at 50% of the award. Companies with employees over 100 FTE are capped at 40% of the award. Additional information about “small business” is available at MVP webpage: https://www.njeda.gov/mvp2/.

A “Small Business” means a business engaged primarily in one industry with 100 or fewer employees, as determined six months before application and at the time of application. An “Employee” of a small business shall include a person who is employed for consideration for at least 35 hours a week; who is employed pursuant to an employee leasing agreement for at least 35 hours a week; or who is a partner of a business who works for the partnership for at least 35 hours a week. An Employee of a small business shall also include any person who works as an independent contractor for the business or a contract worker who works at the business for at least 35 hours a week. For those persons who are employed by the business or who work for the business as independent contractors or contract workers for less than 35 hours, 35 hours of employment a week shall constitute one employee, regardless of whether the hours of work were performed by one or more persons. This is known as “Full Time Equivalents.” The Authority may determine a different number of hours a week or other standard of service generally accepted by custom or practice as full-time employment. For purposes of the number of employees, a small business shall include all of its affiliates, regardless of whether the affiliate may contribute full-time jobs or capital investment to the project.

Eligible Uses

Grant funding can only be used for the purchase and installation of (new and/or used) manufacturing equipment used in the manufacturing process. The equipment must be located and installed at a New Jersey facility location. If an applicant is eligible for multiple pieces of equipment, they must have all equipment delivered and installed before they submit for reimbursement. An Applicant does not have to acquire all eligible pieces of equipment in their approval letter and may submit for reimbursement only for what they decided to acquire.

Eligible manufacturing equipment includes technologically advanced equipment or production/operating systems, included by not limited to robotics, additive manufacturing equipment, hardware or software for digital twinning, advanced sensor or control systems, as well as interconnected sensors, instruments, and other devices networked together with industrial applications, and related security.

Eligibility

Eligible applicants for this pilot Program are for-profit or non-profit manufacturers who are located in a commercial or industrial zone in New Jersey. Home-based businesses are not eligible for this pilot Program. The acquisition of eligible equipment must have been executed at arm’s length. 

To be eligible for the pilot Program:

  • Applicant company must be either a manufacturer in a Targeted Industry or the equipment to be purchased by the applicant company must meet the Advanced Manufacturingdefinition. (See Targeted Industry List and definitions: https://www.njeda.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Appendix-C-Targeted-Industries-Definitions-12.6.22_v2.pdf
  • Applicant company must provide current NJ Tax Clearance Certificate by the time of approval.  This Certificate must be maintained through the closing/grant agreement process to demonstrate the Applicant is properly registered to do business in New Jersey and is in substantial good standing with the NJ Division of Taxation.
  • Applicant company must be in substantial good standing with the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD) and NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
  • Applicant must not be engaged in prohibited activities in order to be eligible for funding from NJEDA.
  • Applicant company must provide purchase quote, order proforma, equipment listing, and/or third-party cost validation.
  • Projects with executed contracts, a purchase order placed, or a deposit dated prior to submitting the application WILL NOT be considered for funding.
  • Applicant must operate their business in a commercial or industrial zone in NJ.
  • Equipment must be located and used in the manufacturing process in a NJ location.
  • Equipment must be used in the manufacturing process and a narrative must be provided how the requested equipment will be used. (Please see www.njeda.com/njmvp.)
  • Total aggregated project cost (equipment + installation) must be at least $25,000.00. 
  • Signer of the application must be an authorized signer (an owner, officer or otherwise have the legal authority to bind the business) of the business.

Note: All construction contracts equal or greater to $2,000 where equipment installation requires construction are subject to New Jersey’s prevailing wage law (N.J.S.A. 34:1B-5.1) and affirmative action requirements (N.J.S.A. 34:1B-5.4).

Bonuses

As a commitment and in support of the Authority’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts, the pilot Program supports projects that are in distressed areas and underrepresented ownership groups.  Manufacturers with fifty or fewer FTEs are eligible for award bonuses for each of the following areas:

Stackable 5% Bonuses are Available for each of the following:

  • Equipment located, installed, and used in an Opportunity Zone Eligible Census Tract
  • Certified Woman, Minority, and Veteran Owned Businesses (WMVB)
  • At least one Collective Bargaining Agreement in place.
  • Manufacturers with fifty (50) or less FTE’s

Stackable 10% Bonuses are Available for each of the following:

  • Purchase of equipment that is manufactured and/or assembled in New Jersey.

Application Submission and Review Process

Complete applications will be accepted on a rolling grant application basis.  Applicant companies may submit for multiple pieces of equipment on a single application. The application window will remain open until all funds are awarded/exhausted. 

The Authority will review applications as they are received. At the sole discretion of the Authority, staff may ask for clarification of the information included in the application, including but not limited to narrative responses, supporting documentation, and attachments.  Applicants will have 14 calendar days thereafter to provide missing or incomplete documents.

Delegation of authority to the NJEDA’s Chief Executive Officer to approve individual applications for the NJ MVP that fit the specific examples outlined in the approved Targeted Industry definitions, including examples in Advance Manufacturing. Any other applicant that staff considers eligible must go to the Board for approval.  As a pilot program, decisions based on non-discretionary reasons are subject to the existing delegated authority. Accordingly, NJEDA’s CEO will delegate to the appropriate staff on all decisions and appeal decisions for non-discretionary reasons.

Application Submission and Review Process

Complete applications will be accepted on a rolling grant application basis.  Applicant companies may submit for multiple pieces of equipment on a single application. The application window will remain open until all funds are awarded/exhausted. 

The Authority will review applications as they are received. At the sole discretion of the Authority, staff may ask for clarification of the information included in the application, including but not limited to narrative responses, supporting documentation, and attachments.  Applicants will have 14 calendar days thereafter to provide missing or incomplete documents.

Delegation of authority to the NJEDA’s Chief Executive Officer to approve individual applications for the NJ MVP that fit the specific examples outlined in the approved Targeted Industry definitions, including examples in Advance Manufacturing. Any other applicant that staff considers eligible must go to the Board for approval.  As a pilot program, decisions based on non-discretionary reasons are subject to the existing delegated authority. Accordingly, NJEDA’s CEO will delegate to the appropriate staff on all decisions and appeal decisions for non-discretionary reasons.

Grant Reimbursement Award and Agreement  

Minimum grant award will be $7,500 and maximum award amounts will be up to $250,000 per applicant. Grant awards will be 30% to 50% of eligible project cost (depending on stackable bonuses and number of employees). Small businesses with 100 or less Full Time Equivalent employees (FTE) will receive higher award percentages. Companies with 100 FTEs or less are capped at 50% of the award. Companies with employees over 100 FTE are capped at 40% of the award. Applicant companies submitting multiple project applications with the total aggregated project cost of at least $25,000 may not exceed an award amount of $250,000. 

Approved Applicants (Grantees) must order/purchase the specified equipment within thirty (30) days of the effective date of the Closing Agreement.  Following approval, Grantees will have 12 months from the effective date of the Closing Agreement to deliver and install the equipment. Grantees may apply for up to two 6-month extensions due to unforeseen delays.

The grant award will be issued as one single disbursement after proof of equipment delivery and installation is provided.  If an Applicant is eligible for multiple pieces of equipment, they must have all equipment delivered and installed before they submit for reimbursement. An Applicant does not have to acquire all eligible pieces of equipment in their approval letter and may submit for reimbursement only for what they decided to acquire.  All disbursements are subject to availability of funding.

An Applicant does not have to acquire all eligible pieces of equipment in their approval letter in order to be reimbursed. An Applicant may submit for reimbursement only for what they decided to acquire.

  • Changes to equipment: The pilot Program prohibits additions or changes to equipment that were not listed in the original application submission. However, changes to equipment of the same nature as that originally requested are permissible. For example, if the applicant applied for an Aaron Mixer 1.0 and want to purchase a White Mountain Mixer 2.0, that would be acceptable. However, if the applicant applied for a Mixer and now requests to purchase a Printer, that would not be acceptable.
  • Changes to vendors: The pilot Program allows Applicants to change the purchase vendor, including purchasing from a non-NJ manufacturer. Note: this may affect the loss of a bonus if the original purchase was from a New Jersey manufacturer.
  • Changes to award amount: The award amount will not be increased for any changes or price increases. However, the award may be adjusted downward based on the final amount paid.

Recapture Provision

If, in any tax period within the first 3 years of executed grant agreement, the company decides to leave the State or move the approved equipment out of the State, the Authority will impose a scaled recapture of the award based on the scale below:

  Moves out of State within   Recapture Percentage of the Face Value 
1 year of executed grant agreement 100% 
2 years of executed grant agreement 60% 
3 years of executed grant agreement 30% 

Fees

A $1,000 non-refundable application fee is required at the time of application submission. 

Additional Information

Comprehensive information about the pilot Phase 2 – New Jersey Manufacturing Vouchers Program is available at ­­­https://www.njeda.gov/MVP2.

Questions concerning this pilot Program’s Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted to njmvp@njeda.gov .

The NJEDA is subject to State and Federal statutes including but not limited to the following which may impact affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; N.J.S.A. 24:6I-49 which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives (a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions.

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Atlantic City Revitalization Fund (Published January 18, 2024)

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications for the pilot Atlantic City Revitalization Grant Program (“Program”) on January 31, 2024 at 10:00am ESTApplications will be accepted until all funds are fully awarded. The application can be accessed online at: Atlantic City Revitalization Grant Program – NJEDA

The pilot Program will make available $19.65 million in grant funding through a rolling application process to eligible for-profit and non-profit entities to fund capital real estate development projects that seek to revitalize the City of Atlantic City from the COVID-19 pandemic. A $1,000 application fee is required at the time of application.

español (Spanish)
ATENCIÓN: si habla español, los servicios de asistencia lingüística, gratuitos, están disponibles para usted enviando un correo electrónico a languagehelp@njeda.com.

اللغة  (Arabic)
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languagehelp@njeda.com.

粵語 Traditional Chinese (Cantonese Chinese)
注意:如果您說粵語,可以透過傳送電子郵件至 languagehelp@njeda.com 免費獲取語言協助服務。

普通语 Simplified Chinese (Mandarin Chinese)
注意:如果您说普通语,可以通过发送电子邮件至 languagehelp@njeda.com 免费获取语言协助服务。

ગુજરાતી (Gujarati)
ધ્યાન આપો: જો તમે ગુજરાતી બોલતા હોય તો, તમારા માટે languagehelp@njeda.com પર ઈ-મેઈલ કરવાથી ભાષા સહાય સેવાઓ મફતામાં ઉપલબ્ધ છે. 

हिंदी (Hindi)
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Purpose and Overview

As the New Jersey economy continues to rebound in the wake of COVID-19, catalytic investments into distressed cities remains essential for jumpstarting local economies and promoting strong, resilient, and equitable economic recovery efforts to advance place-based economic development initiatives.  Atlantic City continues to grapple with persistent economic challenges, including high unemployment rates, limited access to essential amenities such as quality food options, a shortage of class A office spaces, and an inability to access State incentives available to other municipalities. 

Governor Murphy’s economic plan, “The State of Innovation: Building a Stronger and Fairer Economy in New Jersey,” identifies several economic development priorities, including “investing in communities to build world-class cities, towns, and infrastructure statewide.” The Atlantic City Revitalization Grant Program will address the Administration’s “investing in communities” priority as the grant funding will help support real estate development, specifically capital projects, throughout Atlantic City. The Program furthers the Administration’s efforts to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy by making new, impactful, and strategic investments in historic hubs like Atlantic City and its neighborhoods. 

The Program will be focused on ensuring that communities are directly supported by ensuring the project addresses the negative impact of COVID-19 and contributes to Atlantic City’s revitalization. The Program is designed to invest in real estate development projects in Atlantic City that demonstrate an ability to cultivate the environment and neighborhoods necessary to attract and retain a local workforce, enable business creation and tourism, enhance downtown vitality through small business support efforts, support clean and safe initiatives, address food insecurity issues, and buttress social impact supports for the Atlantic City community at large.

Grant funding will improve investment in communities by working to activate underutilized, distressed, or vacant land for projects in order to promote equitable economic growth and community wealth building in Atlantic City.

Funding for the Program is provided by Governor Murphy’s Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Act (P.L. 2023, c.74) (discussed below) to support the revitalization of a distressed city like Atlantic City and to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy by making new, impactful, and strategic investments throughout the communities of Atlantic City .

Funding

Utilizing the funding provided through the from American Rescue Plan, Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (“SLFRF”), $30 million has been appropriated for “Atlantic City Initiatives” in the Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Act (P.L. 2023, c. 74) to support the revitalization of Atlantic City.  Of that allocation, $19.65 million has been deposited into the Economic Recovery Fund for the “Atlantic City Revitalization Grant Program”, which will be used to make grants to ensure long-term growth and opportunity for Atlantic City by supporting eligible projects that reinvigorate the local economy and revitalize local neighborhoods.

Program Details

The Program will be focused on ensuring that communities are directly supported by ensuring the project addresses the negative impact of COVID-19 and contributes to Atlantic City’s revitalization. The Program supports real estate development, specifically capital projects ( “Project”) in the form of grants, to support rehabilitation or new construction, as well as other associated development costs with a minimum grant award of $1 million and up to a maximum award of $10 million in grant funding to one Project. 

These capital projects must directly support Atlantic City neighborhoods and communities and may include either:

  • Public infrastructure improvements that support the completion of the project;
  • Capital construction projects that renovate or restore a vacant or partially vacant (at time of application and up to approval) building; or
  • New construction projects that aim to increase the downtown vitality, public space utilization, foot traffic, and overall economic prosperity in Atlantic City.

Eligibility

Eligible applicants (“Applicant”) for this Program are for-profit or non-profit entities who are responsible for overseeing a real estate development project and coordinating the activities related to the project, including, but not limited to, project design, project financing, and permitting and local approvals.

To be eligible for the Program, the Applicant must:

  • Be in substantial good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection prior to approval.
  • Provide a current tax clearance certificate prior to approval to demonstrate the applicant is in substantial good standing with the New Jersey Division of Taxation, unless the applicant is not required to register with the Division of Taxation.

Applying entities (per EIN) cannot have more than 100 full time jobs at time of application as per their last WR30 filed or any other documentation necessary to determine eligibility.

Eligible Uses

Grant funding may only be used for the following types of real estate projects located in Atlantic City:

  • New construction for a commercial end use that addresses a community need listed in the “Local impact considerations” described below (100% residential is not eligible but mixed-used construction is eligible; must have at least 20% of the total square footage of the building dedicated to a commercial use).
  • Renovation or restoration of a vacant or partially vacant building in need of repair (if the project consists of vacant space or partially vacant it would have to be at time of application and up to approval).
  • Projects that address at least one “Local impact consideration” as identified below and within Atlantic City.
  • Projects may include public infrastructure improvements that are necessary to complement or complete the Project.

This Program is not available for:

  • Any awardee of a Real Estate Grant under the NJEDA’s Activation Revitalization Transformation (ART) Program.
  • Projects that have started construction. Construction, including demolition and remediation, cannot start until approval by the Authority’s Board of Directors.  
  • Real estate holding companies or other special purpose entities that exist solely to own property or a real estate project.
  • Any city, State, or county entity and any state colleges or universities.

Additional Project Requirements and Restrictions:

  • All Project costs (soft and hard construction costs – no operating costs) can be included and may include predevelopment projects costs associated to the Project.
  • The developer fee cannot exceed 8% of total Project costs.
  • Contingencies of total Project costs cannot exceed 10% of hard Project costs and 5% of soft Project costs. The Grant amount shall not increase after approval due to contingencies.
  • All Projects must be fully completed by the end of calendar year 2026 (as per US Treasury deadlines). Grants will be subject to federal Duplication of Benefits requirements.
  • A cost reasonableness analysis will be completed prior to any Project being approved.
  • Funding shall be subject to compliance with New Jersey prevailing wage law and other labor standards requirements.  Other State requirements which may be applicable will depend on Project details and funding amounts, including New Jersey Executive Order 215 of 1989 regarding the requirement for environmental assessments.

Project Eligibility Considerations

As a federally funded Program meant to mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19, applicants must demonstrate how the Project will benefit the community.

All Applicants will need to certify to the following requirements at the time of application, as applicable:

  • COVID Impact: The Project is responsive to the negative public health and/or economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and complies with all the ARP program requirements.
  • Capacity: The Applicant has experience implementing at least three similar scope and size projects (similar in budget size and scope) and provide documentation.  Exceptions to this experience requirement is available only if the Applicant selects supporting “Small Business Efforts” or “Food Insecurity Efforts”  as their local impact consideration at time of application, in which case the experience requirement is waived.
  • Long-term Impacts: How the project will have a positive long-term impact in the community or neighborhood where the Project will be located in. 
  • Deed Restriction: If the property is owned by the applicant, they must agree to a 5-year deed restriction so that the project use cannot change after the later of their last disbursement or project closeout. If the property is leased, then the landlord must sign off on a certification and agree to the deed restriction.    
  • Financial Viability: The project will be financially viable and self-sustaining after construction. The applicant is able to operate for the necessary time period pursuant to the 5-year deed restriction.
  • Project Completion: Applicant agrees to meet the U.S. Department of Treasury’s project completion timeline requirement of 12/31/2026 .  In the event of failure for the construction project to timely complete by this US Treasury deadline, the Applicant further acknowledges that they may be held liable for the recapture of the grant funds they have drawn down or have received. 
  • Local Impact Considerations: The Project addresses at least one of the following community initiatives:
    • Small Business Support Efforts – Businesses that are engaged in the following are not eligible for funding: the conduct or purveyance of “adult” (i.e., pornographic, lewd, prurient, obscene or otherwise similarly disreputable) activities, services, products or materials (including nude or semi- nude performances or the sale of sexual aids or devices); any auction or bankruptcy or fire or “lost-our-lease” or “going-out-of- business” or similar sale; sales by transient merchants, Christmas tree sales or other outdoor storage; cannabis related businesses; casinos; or any activity constituting a nuisance.
    • Clean and Safe Efforts
    • Food Insecurity Efforts
    • Downtown Vitality Efforts (all projects must be located from Sunset Avenue, Fairmount Avenue, Baltic Avenue to the boardwalk throughout Atlantic City).
    • Job and Office Space Creation
  • U.S. Treasury Reporting: If requested by the Authority, the Applicant will cooperate to provide the U.S. Department of the Treasury with relevant information for reporting of all Project expenditures exceeding $1 million, as necessary.Specifically, all applications shall provide a narrative on how the Project will address the impacts of COVID-19 in Atlantic City, and why this capital expenditure is the most appropriate to address the economic harms caused by COVID-19.   

Application Submission and Review Process

The Program will be open to the public and applicants will be able to apply online.  The Program will operate on a rolling grant application basis, where Grants are awarded on a “first-come, first-served” basis as completed applications are submitted. The Authority will review applications as they are received. At the sole discretion of the Authority, staff may ask for clarification of the information included in the application, including but not limited to narrative responses, supporting documentation, and attachments.

The application window will remain open until all funds are awarded/exhausted. The Program will be available for three years from the date applications are made available to the public, or until the total funding pool is exhausted (whichever is sooner).

Applicants must register or log into the online application portal, complete all required application questions fully, and upload all required PDF document attachments including the following:

  1. Evidence of site control. Applicant (on its own or through a wholly owned special purpose entity) must provide a deed, executed purchase and sale agreement, executed lease (term must be 5 years beyond project completion), any/all of which must be fully signed by both seller and purchaser/applicant;
  2. Project description and overview of overall Project, related costs, and the proposed future use, describing the property/building(s) current and future state (i.e., vacant or partially vacant, abandoned, code violations, recent uses, any local, state, or federal historic designation/eligibility, brownfield site, location within designated redevelopment area, etc.); current or planned development/redevelopment efforts in the area proximate to the Project location;
  3. Specify which Local Impact Considerations the Project addresses and describe the need for this Project in the community and how the Project benefits Atlantic City as a whole, the anticipated economic and local impact to the community, the development objectives, the projected jobs creation, the anticipated local impacts including possible projected increase in pedestrian traffic and the public access;
  4. Explanation of how the Project is addressing a negative impact to Atlantic City as a result of COVID-19; 
  5. Provide a narrative (and documents as may be applicable) describing the viability/feasibility of the proposed project including current zoning status, local supports, identification of possible complexities or challenges with proceeding, and provide preliminary Project budget and funding plan, which shall include an Authority source and uses template;
  6. Project development timeline/implementation schedule indicating readiness to proceed on the project and for the future supplemental use. Must also demonstrate that the project will be completed prior to 12/31/26;
  7. Applicant’s formation and organizational documentation and/or authorizing documentation of the applicant;
  8. Narrative and documentation of previous project experience (if applicable) and capacity to undertake and complete the Project by providing a description and providing documentation of three similar projects (in scope and budget size) to the proposed Project; and
  9. Detailed project budget provided by a NJ certified and registered Public Works contractor, including all Project costs from pre-development and construction to close out and Certificate of Occupancy. All contracts of work, equipment installation must include NJ Prevailing Wage Rates.

Applicants must provide as much detail as possible regarding the Project steps involved, Project budget, community impact, and projected timeline for the Project from start to finish to show how the Grant funds will be used.

Applicants that demonstrate proof that the remaining amount of construction funding is secured at time of application will be approved before other completed applications that are still pending review. If the applicant hasn’t provided documentation to show they have fully secured the remaining funding, the applicant can proceed to an approval but won’t be able to execute their grant agreement until they provide this documentation.  Secured means the applicant has provided an executed grant agreement, closed loan documents or agreements, or bank/financial institution statement to verify funds are available. Awardees will only have 6 months from approval to provide this documentation or forfeit their grant award.  

All eligible applications will proceed to the Board for approvals, and all applications which will be declined for discretionary reasons will also proceed to the Board.

Grant Award and Agreement

Minimum grant awards will be $1 million and maximum award amounts will be up to $10 million.  There will be one award  per EIN and per eligible project location.  Grants will be up to 50% of total Project costs (hard and soft construction costs). 

The grant agreement will ensure that the funding shall be subject to compliance with New Jersey prevailing wage law and other labor standards requirements, as well as other State requirements that may be applicable depending on Project details and funding amounts, including, possibly, New Jersey Executive Order 215 of 1989 regarding the requirement for environmental assessments.

To ensure the grant is used properly and the community receives the benefit, the grant agreement will also include a provision that the Authority will ensure the end project use is maintained for at least 5 years after the project is completed. If the Applicant owns the property, a 5-year deed restriction on the property will be required to be filed utilizing the Authority’s required restriction language. The deed restriction will be released by the Authority after 5 years from final Project closeout. If the Applicant does not own the project their lease must demonstrate site control 5 years beyond project completion (including any renewal options). Awardees are also prohibited from selling all or a part of the Project, or terminate or reduce their lease, for up to 5 years after Project closeout or the Authority may require repayment of all of the Grant that has been disbursed.  If the Project is not completed, the Awardee will have to repay the amount of funds disbursed to them.

Grant Funding Disbursements

The Authority will disburse grants only to the applicant after the execution of the grant agreement. Disbursement of Grant funding will be based on applicant’s requested drawdowns, which is calculated based upon expected contract costs with documentation of uses (such as AIA documents, contract payments for services providing during construction, and paid invoices related to the Project).

The Authority will allow for progressive drawdowns on the grant funds to support progressive project costs ($150,000 minimum on all requests unless it’s the final request) and such requests do not need to be pro-rata reimbursements based on actual costs incurred. 

Staff will perform random site visits and will hold the final disbursement of 10% of the total award until the Project closeout is completed. Staff may also request any other support or documentation as needed for drawdowns.    

The applicant must submit a Project close out request prior to the last disbursement of 10% of the awarded grant. The Project close out request, must include, but is not be limited to, all necessary information to evidence completion of the project and, when applicable, a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. Once received, staff will perform a site visit to confirm and document the completed Project (including through photographs).

Fees

A $1,000 non-refundable application fee is required at time of application submission and may be paid by credit card only. 

Additional Information

Comprehensive information about the Atlantic City Revitalization Grant Program is available at Atlantic City Revitalization Grant Program – NJEDA.

Questions concerning this Program’s Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted to ACrevitalization@njeda.gov

The NJEDA is subject to State and Federal statutes including but not limited to the following which may impact affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; N.J.S.A. 24:6I-49 which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives (a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions. 

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Catalyst Research and Development Pilot Seed Grant Program, Round 3

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (“CSIT”) will launch an online application for Catalyst Research and Development (“R&D”) Pilot Seed Grant Program, Round 3 (“Program”) at 9am on December 12, 2023 at www.njeda.com/csit. Applications will be open through January 18, 2024, at 5 pm.
The Program has a total budget of $1,500,000 for grant awards of up to $75,000 each. This is a competitive grant. No application, transaction, or termination fees will be collected by CSIT for this program. Decisions on this grant award are expected to be made by 1st quarter of 2024.

Purpose

This grant opportunity is issued by the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT). The goal of the Program is to help early-stage innovation-based companies in New Jersey (“NJ”) accelerate development of technologies to transform new discoveries from research stage into commercially viable products and services. The grant funds will enable applicants to make significant progress and impact on their commercialization outcomes.

The Program is for companies conducting research and development or testing technologies in the following targeted industry areas:


• Advanced Manufacturing
• Advanced Transportation and Logistics
• Film and Digital Media
• Life Sciences – (medical devices, diagnostics, platforms, non-drug therapeutics projects)
• Non-Retail Food and Beverage
• Professional and Financial Services (fintech, etc.)
• Technology (hard technology, AI, software development, machine learning, etc.)


All applicants for the Program must provide a proof of concept for the project that is being proposed for funding.

Program Overview

The Program has a total budget of $1,500,000 and will award grants of up to $75,000 to support twenty (20) early-stage innovation-based NJ companies that have the potential to impact the targeted industries. Total funding for the Program will come from CSIT’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget. The Program will be implemented by CSIT.


Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis, with awards going to the twenty (20) highest scoring applicants, provided each of those highest scoring applicants has met the minimum score of 70.


Applicants can only submit one application for this grant. Multiple applications from the same company will NOT be accepted. Applicants that apply to the Catalyst R&D Pilot Seed Grant Program, Round 3 are not eligible to apply for the Clean Tech R&D Pilot Seed Grant Program, Round 3. Recipients of two or more active CSIT Seed or Demonstration Grants are ineligible for this Program.


Each approved grant will be valid for a period of twelve (12) months from the date of the execution of the grant agreement. Any unused portion of the grant will be cancelled after the twelve months and must be returned to CSIT. An extension for up to an additional three (3) months may be permitted at the sole discretion of CSIT.


Eligibility


Each applicant to the Program must meet the following eligibility criteria at the time of application and during the entire review and approval period to be eligible for an award:


• Be authorized and in good standing to conduct business in NJ, as evidenced by a current NJ tax clearance certificate addressed to New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology. All certificates listing another state agency will be rejected.
• Have no more than 50 full-time equivalent (“FTE”) workers (FTE is calculated on a 35-hour work week) at time of application.
• Have a minimum of one full-time worker (35 hours per week basis). A founder can be counted as a worker, and a worker may be paid or unpaid.
• Fifty percent or more of the cumulative hours worked by all workers, founders, and contractors must be conducted in NJ (as calculated on an FTE basis of 35 hours per week).
• Have less than or equal to five million dollars ($5,000,000) in prior calendar year sales revenue (excluding grant revenue).


Eligible Uses
The grant funding can be utilized for only project research and development activities specified in the grantee’s application.

Ineligible Uses


The following expense categories are ineligible for funding by this grant:


• Direct services to individuals or organizations
• Manufacturing of products for sale or commercial use
• Real estate rental expenses
• Patient clinical trial expenses
• Construction costs
• Travel, entertainment, and other similar expenses
• Allocations of general overhead expenses
• Any expenditures incurred before the grant agreement is signed by both the grantee and CSIT
• Any expenses for equipment and materials that applicant does not use for the Project during the Project period
• Fees related to conferences not associated with the Project


In addition, no more than 30% of the budget proposed for the Project may be spent on:


• Marketing and customer discovery specific to the innovation;
• IP patent prosecution and licensing-related expenses; and
• Registration fees for conferences associated with the Project.


Disbursement of funds


First disbursement of 80% of grant award will be made following execution of the grant agreement.
Second disbursement of 20% will be made after grantee’s final report is submitted and approved by CSIT.


Application Process


All applications to the Program must include the following documentation:

a. Completed online application


b. Evidence that proof of concept has been achieved for the project. Submit one or more of the following:


• Description of the proof-of-concept results
• Published paper outlining results achieved
• Successful completion of a federal SBIR/STTR grant or contract related to the project
• Confirmation documentation from a university tech transfer office if the project relates to technology that has been developed at the same university

c. Budget and Milestone Proposals (Excel templated embedded within online application)


d. Employee information as appropriate for applicable company structure and staffing -i.e., most recent NJ WR-30 (W2 employees) or 1099 (contractors), Shareholder Agreement or K-1, or offer letters. Please note that if a Professional Employment Organization (PEO) is utilized, the applicant must submit confirmation of PEO-A form issued by the New Jersey Department of Labor (DOL). These confirmations are issued on an annual basis and are valid for a year. See https://www.nj.gov/labor/ea/employer-services/leasing-companies/ for additional information on PEOs.


e. Summary of most recent Internal Payroll (Q4 2023 or Q1 2024) indicating each employee name and number of hours worked per week.


f. Most recent Company tax filing; Federal 941 and either an NJ-CBT-100 (Schedule A), Form- 1065 or Form -1040 (Schedule C) or whichever is applicable to the organizational form of your business, showing the total Gross Receipts or Sales for the year.


g. Current NJ tax clearance certificate addressed to CSIT (Tax clearance must be dated November 15, 2023 or after). https://www16.state.nj.us/NJ_PREMIER_EBIZ/jsp/home.jsp. DUE No Later Than February 16, 2024, or application will be declined. NJ certificates may not be immediately available; therefore, these should be applied for well before the February 16, 2024 due date.


h. If applicable, copy of Women, Minority, and/or Veteran owned business NJ certification https://www.njportal.com/DOR/SBERegistry/Default/
DUE No Later Than February 16, 2024, or relevant bonus points will not be awarded.


i. If applicable, a copy of Executed University License Agreement with University. DUE No Later Than February 16, 2024, or relevant bonus points will not be awarded.


j. Completed Application Certification


k. Completed CSIT Legal Debarment Questionnaire


l. For companies with a dba name (“doing business as”), CSIT requires proof of NJ registration reflecting the same.


The following steps detail the application submission and review process:
• A document completeness review will be done as applications are received.
• Applicants with missing documentation will be notified and given 10 business days to submit missing documents. If the application remains incomplete by the resubmission deadline, it will be rejected.
• Only complete applications will be evaluated and scored. Applicants must submit the NJ tax clearance certificate by the start of the application scoring period. Otherwise, the application will be declined. If the documentation for any bonus category is not received by the application scoring period, bonus points will not be applied.
• Applicants that have indicated in the application that they are a minority/women/veteran owned business, but that do not submit the NJ state certification at the time of the application, will have up to the start of the application scoring period to submit the document. If the documentation is not received by that point, bonus points will not be applied to the application.
• An evaluation committee comprised of CSIT and New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA”) staff will review and assign a score to each application, after receiving qualitative input from subject matter experts (“SMEs”). As part of the process, all applicants with complete applications will be invited, but are not required, to make a brief presentation about their project and submit it to the evaluation committee and SMEs.
• In order to be eligible for funding, an applicant must receive a minimum score of 70 out of the available 100 points on the standard scoring criteria, before allocation of bonus points.
• Denied applications may appeal CSIT’s decision within the timeframe provided in CSIT’s declination letter. Appeals must be written and include an explanation as to how the applicant has met the application criteria.


Scoring
Scoring Criteria – Grant awards will go to twenty applicants with the highest scores, until Program funds are expended. All applicants must achieve a minimum score of 70 points to be eligible for a grant.
• Innovation (up to 30 points)
• Market Opportunity and Strategy (up to 20 points) (Referred to as “Go-to Market Strategy” and “Market Opportunity and Strategy” scoring criteria in prior rounds)
• Implementation plan -budget and milestones (up to 20 points)
• Economic and Broader impacts, such as social, health, education, housing, safety, infrastructure impacts (up to10 points)
• Team (up to 20 points)
Bonus Points – Once the minimum score of 70 points is achieved, bonus points will be awarded to applicants that satisfy the following additional criteria:
• Company is using technology initially developed at a NJ university, under an executed license agreement with such university (15 points)
• NJ certified women-owned business (10 points)
• NJ certified minority-owned business (10 points)
• NJ certified veteran-owned business (10 points)
• Primary place of business/research & development located within an opportunity zone eligible census tract or government restricted municipality (5 points)
• Has not previously received a CSIT grant or voucher (10 points)


Board Approval
The CSIT Program Committee will review scored applications and make funding recommendations to the CSIT Board. The CSIT Board will make the final decision on grant award winners.


Fees
No application, transaction, or termination fees will be collected by CSIT for this program.


Additional Requirements and Information
Applicants must be in good standing with both New Jersey Department of Labor (“DOL”) and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) to be eligible for an grant award.
For three years from the date of the grant Agreement, workers and consultants who continue working on the project must conduct at least 50% of their work in a NJ location. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in the awardee having to make a full re-payment of the grant award.
All grant awardees must report economic impact data to CSIT upon the completion of the project and then every year for the next three years after project completion by submitting an Economic Impact Questionnaire provided by CSIT.
All grant awardees are encouraged to commit to participate in one check-in meeting (in-person or virtual) six months from the start of Project term with the CSIT team for update on project.
All grant awardees are encouraged to commit to participate in future CSIT/NJEDA alumni activities, such as serving as a panel member or participating in interviews about program experience.


Confidentiality
Applications received will be reviewed only by staff of CSIT, NJEDA and SMEs. SMEs will execute non-disclosure agreements prior to reviewing the applications. All applications submitted will be subject to requests for disclosure, including but not limited to requests pursuant to the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”) N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. If the applicant believes that information contained in its proposal merits confidential treatment pursuant to OPRA, any such purportedly confidential information submitted to CSIT must be specifically identified and marked as “confidential” by the applicant.

Additional Information
Comprehensive information about the Catalyst Research and Development Pilot Seed Grant Program, Round 3 is available at https://www.njeda.gov/csit. Questions concerning this Program and Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted csitcatalyst@njeda.gov

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Clean Tech Seed Grant Program – Round 3

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (“CSIT”) will launch an online application for Clean Tech Research and Development (“R&D”) Pilot Seed Grant Program, Round 3 (“Program”) at 9 am on December 12, 2023 at www.njeda.com/csit. Applications will be open through January 18, 2023 at 5 pm.

The Program has a total budget of $1,500,000 for grant awards of up to $75,000 each. This is a competitive grant. No application, transaction, or termination fees will be collected by CSIT for this program. Decisions on this grant award are expected to be made by first quarter of 2024.

Purpose

This grant opportunity is issued by the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT). The goal of the Program is to help early-stage clean technology/clean energy companies in New Jersey (“NJ”) accelerate development and innovation of clean technologies to transform new discoveries from research stage into commercially viable technologies. The grant funds will enable clean technology and clean energy companies make significant progress and have a meaningful impact on their commercialization outcomes.

The Program is for companies developing or testing clean technologies intended to avoid emissions of, or recapture, greenhouse gases and/or criteria pollutants, or to enable such avoidance or recapture in the following targeted industry areas:

  • Chemicals/Advance Materials
  • Energy Distribution/Storage
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Energy Generation
  • Green Buildings
  • Transportation
  • Waste Processing
  • Water and Agriculture

All applicants must be conducting research between a Technology Readiness Level (“TRL”) 2 (Applied Research) and 7 (Integrated Pilot System Demonstrated). TRL is a method of estimating technology maturity. The TRL scale ranges from 1 (basic principle observed) through 9 (total system used successfully in project operations). See Exhibit A, attached.

Applicants are requested to use the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (“NYSERDA”) Technology and Commercialization Readiness Calculator tool included in the Technical Proposal to determine their TRL score.

Program Overview

The Program has a total budget of $1,500,000 and will award grants of up to $75,000 to support twenty (20) early-stage innovation-based NJ companies that have the potential to impact the targeted industries. Funding is provided by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the the Program will be implemented by CSIT.

Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis, with awards going to the twenty (20) highest scoring applicants, provided each of those highest scoring applicants has met the minimum score of 70.

Applicants can only submit one application for this grant. Multiple application from the same company will NOT be accepted. Recipients of two or more active CSIT Seed or Demonstration Grants are ineligible for this Program.

Each approved grant will be valid for a period of twelve (12) months from the date of the execution of the grant agreement. Any unused portion of the grant will be cancelled after the twelve months and must be returned to CSIT. An extension for up to an additional three (3) months may be permitted at the sole discretion of CSIT.

Eligibility

Each applicant to the Program must meet the following eligibility criteria at the time of application and during the entire review period to be eligible for an award:

  • Be authorized and in good standing to conduct business in New Jersey as evidenced by a current New Jersey tax clearance certificate addressed to CSIT. All certificates listing another state agency will be rejected.
  • Have no more than fifty full-time equivalent (“FTE”) workers (FTE calculated on a 35-hour work week) at time of application.
  • Have a minimum of one full time worker. A worker may be the founder and may be paid or unpaid.
  • Fifty percent or more of the cumulative hours worked by all workers, founders, and contractors must be conducted in NJ (calculated on an FTE basis of 35 hours per week).
  • Have less than or equal to five million dollars ($5,000,000) in prior calendar year sales revenue (excluding grant revenue).

Eligible Uses

The grant funding can be utilized for project research and development activities specified in the grantee’s application.

Ineligible Uses

The following expense categories are ineligible for funding by this grant:

  • Direct services to individuals or organizations;
  • Manufacturing of products for sale or commercial use;
  • Real estate rental expenses;
  • Patient clinical trial expenses;
  • Construction costs;
  • Travel, entertainment, and other similar expenses;
  • Allocations of general overhead expenses;
  • Any expenditures incurred before the grant agreement is signed by both the grantee and CSIT;
  • Any expenses for equipment and materials that applicant does not use for the Project during the Project period; or
  • Fees related to Conferences not associated with the Project

In addition, no more than 30% of the budget proposed for the Project may be spent on:

  • Marketing and customer discovery specific to the innovation;
  • IP patent prosecution and licensing-related expenses; and
  • Registration fees for conferences associated with the Project.

Disbursement of funds

The first disbursement of eighty percent (80%) of the grant award will be disbursed upon execution of the Grant Agreement following the award, and the remaining twenty percent (20%) will be disbursed after the submission of Final Report and Project Completion report to CSIT.

Application Process

All applications to the Program, must include the following documentation:

  • Completed online application
  • Budget and Milestone Proposals (Excel template embedded within online application)
  • Uploaded results from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) Calculator Excel file (The

TRL Template is embedded within online application)

  • Employee information as appropriate for applicable company structure and staffing -i.e., most recent NJ WR-30 (W2 employees) or 1099 (contractors), shareholder agreement or K- 1 or offer letters. Please note that if a professional employment organization (PEO) is

utilized, the applicant must submit confirmation of PEO-A form issued by the NJ Department of Labor (DOL), These confirmations are issued on an annual basis and are valid for a year. See https://www.nj.gov/labor/ea/employer-services/leasing-companies/ for additional information on PEOs.

  • Summary of the most recent Internal Payroll (Q4 2023 or Q1 2024) indicating each employee name and number of hours worked per week.
  • Most recent Company tax filing: Federal 941 and either an NJ-CBT-100 (Schedule A), Form- 1065 or Form -1040 (Schedule C) or whichever is applicable to the organizational form of your business, showing the total Gross Receipts or Sales for the year.
  • Current NJ tax clearance certificate addressed to CSIT (Tax clearance must be dated November 15, 2023 or after). https://www16.state.nj.us/NJ_PREMIER_EBIZ/jsp/home.jsp. DUE No Later Than February 16, 2024, or application will be declined. NJ certificates may not be immediately available; therefore, these should be applied for well before the February 16, 2024 due date.
  • If applicable, copy of Woman, Minority and/or Veteran-owned business New Jersey certification https://www.njportal.com/DOR/SBERegistry/Default/ DUE No Later Than February 16, 2024, or relevant bonus points will not be awarded. NJ certificates may not be immediately available; therefore, these should be applied for well before the February 16, 2024 due date.
  • If applicable, a copy of Executed University License Agreement with University. DUE No Later Than February 16, 2024, or relevant bonus points will not be awarded.
  • Completed Application Certification
  • Completed CSIT Legal Debarment Questionnaire
  • For companies with a dba name (“doing business as”), CSIT requires proof of NJ registration reflecting the same.

Applications to the Program may be submitted using CSIT’s online application Portal at Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology – NJEDA) The online application enables applicants to electronically upload a signed PDF.

  • The application Portal will be open from Friday, December 12, 2023, at 9AM to Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 5PM EST. All interested applicants must submit their applications by the deadline.
  • If an applicant prefers not to provide an electronic application certification, they may:
  • Mail a hard copy of the signed application certification postmarked by the application deadline to CSIT at:

Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology Attn: Judith Sheft (Executive Director)

36 W State Street PO Box 990 Trenton, NJ 08625

AND

  • Email CSIT with the subject line: “MAILED Application Certification Clean Tech Seed Grant Pilot Program, Round 3,” indicating that the certification document has been mailed. Only signed CSIT Application Certification should be mailed; the rest of the application must be submitted through the online system.
  • Applications that are postmarked after the application deadline (January 18, 2024 at 5PM EST) will not be considered.

CSIT will host an informational webinar on the Clean Tech Seed Grant Pilot Program, Round 3, on December 7th, 2023. A recording of the webinar will be posted on CSIT’s webpage. Information on registration for the webinar can be found on CSIT’s webpage.

The following steps detail the application submission and review process:

  • A document completeness review will be done as applications are received.
  • Applicants with missing documentation will be notified and given 10 business days to submit missing documents. If the application remains incomplete by the resubmission deadline, it will be rejected.
  • Only completed applications will be evaluated and scored. Applicants must submit the NJ tax clearance certificate by the start of the application scoring period. Otherwise, the application will be declined. If the documentation for any bonus category is not received by the application scoring period, bonus points will not be applied.
  • Applicants that have indicated in the application that they are a minority/women/veteran owned business, but that do not submit the NJ state certification at the time of the application, will have up to the start of the application scoring period to submit the document. If the documentation is not received by that point, bonus points will not be applied to the application.
  • An evaluation committee comprised of CSIT and New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA”) staff will review and assign a score to each application after receiving qualitative input from subject matter experts (“SMEs”). As part of the process, all applicants with complete applications will be invited, but are not required, to make a brief presentation about their project and submit it to the evaluation committee and SMEs.
  • In order to be eligible for funding, an applicant must receive a minimum score of 70 out of the available 100 points on the standard scoring criteria, before allocation of bonus points.

Scoring

Scoring Criteria – Grant awards will go to twenty applicants with the highest scores, until the program funds are expended. All applicants must achieve a minimum score of 70 points to be eligible for a grant.

  • Innovation (up to 30 points)
    • Market Opportunity and Strategy (up to 20 points) (Referred to as “Go-to Market Strategy” and “Market Opportunity and Strategy” scoring criteria in prior rounds)
    • Implementation Plan – Budget and Milestones (up to 20 points)
    • Economic and Broader impact, such as social, health, education, housing, safety, infrastructure impacts (up to10 points)
    • Team (up to 20 points)

Bonus Points Once the minimum score of 70 points is achieved, bonus points will be awarded to applicants that satisfy the following additional criteria:

  • Company is using technology initially developed at a New Jersey university, under an executed license agreement with such university (15 points)
  • NJ certified woman-owned business (10 points)
  • NJ certified minority-owned business (10 points)
  • NJ certified veteran-owned business (10 points)
  • Primary place of business or R&D located within an opportunity zone eligible census tract or government restricted municipality (5 points)
  • Company has not previously received a CSIT grant or voucher (10 points)

Board Approval

The CSIT Program Committee will review scored applications and make funding recommendations to the CSIT Board. The CSIT Board will make the final decision on grant award winners.

Fees

No application, transaction, or termination fees will be collected by CSIT for this program.

Additional Requirements and Information

Applicants must be in good standing with both the New Jersey Department of Labor (“DOL”) and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) to be eligible for a grant award.

For three years from the date of the grant agreement, workers and consultants who continue working on the project must conduct at least 50% of their work in a NJ location. Failure to comply will result in the awardee having to make a full re-payment of the grant award.

All grant awardees must report economic impact data to CSIT upon the completion of the project and then every year for the next three years after project completion by submitting an Economic Impact Questionnaire provided by CSIT.

All grant awardees are encouraged to participate in future CSIT/NJEDA/NJBPU alumni activities, such as serving as a panel member or participating in interviews about Program experience.

Confidentiality

Applications will be reviewed only by staff of CSIT, NJEDA and SMEs. All applications are subject to requests for disclosure, including but not limited to, a request pursuant to the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”), N.J.S.A.47:1A-1 et seq. If the applicant believes that information contained in its proposal merits confidential treatment pursuant to OPRA, any such purportedly confidential information submitted to CSIT must be specifically identified and marked as “confidential” by the applicant.

Additional Information

Comprehensive information about the Clean Tech Research and Development Pilot Seed Grant Program, Round 3 is available at https://www.njeda.gov/csit . Questions concerning this Program and Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted csitcleantech@njeda.gov

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Attachment A: Technology Readiness Levels (TRL1)

TRL 1

Basic Research: Initial scientific research has been conducted. Principles are qualitatively postulated and observed. Focus is on new discovery rather than applications.

TRL 2

Applied Research: Initial practical applications are identified. Potential of material or process to solve a problem, satisfy a need, or find application is confirmed.

TRL 3

Critical Function or Proof of Concept Established: Applied research advances and early-stage development begins. Studies and laboratory measurements validate analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology.

TRL 4

Lab Testing/Validation of Alpha Prototype Component/Process: Design, development and lab testing of components/processes. Results provide evidence that performance targets may be attainable based on projected or modeled systems.

TRL 5

Laboratory Testing of Integrated/Semi-Integrated System: System Component and/or process validation is achieved in a relevant environment.

TRL 6

Prototype System Verified: System/process prototype demonstration in an operational environment (beta prototype system level).

TRL 7

Integrated Pilot System Demonstrated: System/process prototype demonstration in an operational environment (integrated pilot system level).

TRL 8

System Incorporated in Commercial Design: Actual system/process completed and qualified through test and demonstration (pre-commercial demonstration).

TRL 9

System Proven and Ready for Full Commercial Deployment: Actual system proven through successful operations in operating environment, and ready for full commercial deployment.

Cannabis Equity Grant Program – Seed Equity Grant Product (Product 1)

Notice of Funding Availability

REVISED ON DECEMBER 19TH, 2023, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

Revision extends the window to provide missing information related to an application to 10 business days.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications for the Cannabis Equity Grant Program – Seed Equity Grant Product at 10:00 a.m. EST on November 30, 2023. The application can be accessed at https://www.njeda.com/cannabis. Applications will be accepted on a first come, first evaluated basis during a 180-day period starting on November 30, 2023, or until grant funding is exhausted. $4,000,000 has been allocated for the Cannabis Equity Grant Program – Seed Equity Grant Product (“Product 1” in the Cannabis Equity Grant memorandum to the NJEDA Board dated December 21, 2022). Grant awards of up to $150,000 will be made to support cannabis entrepreneurship in New Jersey. 

Purpose

In an effort to create new and lasting entrepreneurship opportunities in New Jersey’s legalized cannabis industry, the NJEDA has created the Cannabis Equity Grant Program – Seed Equity Grant Product (“Seed Equity Grant”). This product has an award pool of $8,000,000 and will provide grant awards of up to $150,000 for start-up expenses and operational costs to cannabis businesses that meet the eligibility criteria. 

Overview

On July 19, 2019, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (“NJ CRC”) was formed to establish and grow a responsible, regulated medicinal cannabis industry. On February 22, 2021, Governor Phil Murphy signed the “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement, Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act” (“CREAMM Act”), into law as P.L. 2021, c. 16 (N.J.S.A. 24:6I-31, et seq).  The CREAMM Act legalizes personal use cannabis for adults, subject to regulation by the NJ CRC and removes marijuana as a Schedule I drug under State law. In June 2022, the Governor signed P.L. 2022, c. 48, amending the CREAMM Act to allow the Authority to award financial incentives for the purpose of providing financial and technical assistance to a prospective or licensed cannabis business that qualifies as a small business under the statute. Five percent of the available funds will be reserved for grantees whose businesses are located or will be located in an Impact Zone, as defined in the CREAMM Act.

The Seed Equity Grant product aims to target Social Equity Businesses that have obtained a conditional license from the NJ CRC and need financial and/or technical assistance in converting their conditional license to an annual license. Upon approval, successful applicants will be required to enroll in a NJEDA technical assistance program.

Grant Amounts and Disbursements

Funds will be distributed from an award pool of $8,000,000 to approved applicants that meet the grant eligibility requirements until funds are exhausted. Approved applicants will be required to demonstrate they have a conditional license and have received a Social Equity Business designation from NJ CRC. A Social Equity Business is defined in N.J.A.C. 17:30-6.6. Five percent of grants will be reserved for Social Equity Businesses that are in an Impact Zone, in accordance with P.L. 2022, c. 48. Successful applicants will be eligible for a grant award of up to $150,000.

The grant will be disbursed incrementally based on the successful applicant meeting the below milestones. In total, four disbursements will be available to successful applicants and expenditure of each prior disbursement must be shown as follows. Compliant documentation for each phase of disbursement is required. All eligible expenses must have been incurred after March 9, 2020. 

1) An initial disbursement of up to $37,500 will be made upon the successful applicant completing the fourth week of the NJEDA provided technical assistance program that is required for grantees and approval of eligible expenses. Successful applicants must either: a) provide receipts that they have spent $37,500 in eligible expenses or b) provide a business spending plan detailing how the $37,500 will be spent on eligible expenses

2) The second disbursement of up to $37,500 will be made upon the successful applicant completing the full NJEDA provided technical assistance program that is required for grantees. Additionally, in order to be eligible for this second disbursement, Grantees must also provide evidence that they have spent the previous disbursement on eligible expenses. 

3) The third disbursement of up to $37,500 will be made upon the successful applicant obtaining site control and municipal approval to operate and open a physical location for their cannabis business in a New Jersey municipality. Additionally, in order to be eligible for this third disbursement, Grantees must also provide evidence that they have spent the previous disbursement on eligible expenses.

4) The final disbursement of up to $37,500 will be made upon the successful applicant obtaining a NJ CRC issued annual license. In addition, prior to final disbursement, Grantees must provide evidence that they have spent the previous disbursement on eligible expenses and must provide receipts for the final disbursement that they have spent $37,500 in eligible expenses.

Eligibility

Program eligibility is limited to businesses that can demonstrate the following:

1) The business holds a NJ CRC conditional license, in any class, for recreational use.  Alternative Treatment Centers certified to operate in adult personal-use market are not eligible for this grant.

2) The business is designated as a Social Equity Business conditional license holder in accordance with NJ CRC rules (N.J.A.C. 17:30-6.6).

3) The business has 50 or fewer full-time employees at the time of application, as evidenced by a WR30, or other documentation acceptable to the NJEDA.  

4) The business is in good standing with the NJ CRC, the Division of Taxation (as evidenced by a valid tax clearance certificate), the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, at the time of application.

5) The business has documents of incorporation (or other formation documents acceptable to NJEDA) showing operations were commenced after the issuance of Executive Order No. 103 (March 9, 2020).

6) The owner or owners of 51 percent or more of the business:

• Have established one non-home-based retail, agricultural, personal services, or manufacturing businesses in any US state or territory; or 

• Has two or more years of experience as an owner, manager, executive or supervisor of a retail, agricultural, personal services, or manufacturing business.

7) The owner or owners of 51 percent or more of the business have completed one of the following courses or can demonstrate three years of management experience as set forth below:

A professional cannabis education course (including but not limited to a course or courses in cannabis business, cannabis law, cannabis operations, cannabis plant science/plant cultivation or economics of cannabis) offered by an accredited higher education institution, a state or local government, or a private provider with at least two years of operations and a minimum of 200 program graduates as verifiable by the institution; or

  • A small business entrepreneurship training course; or

• Six college credits in business, management, finance, economics, accounting, agricultural sciences, logistics/supply chain management or marketing; or

• Has three or more years of experience as an owner, manager, executive, or supervisor of a retail, agricultural, personal services, or manufacturing business that requires advanced knowledge, skills and/or training to deliver such a service to an individual, business, or manufacturer.  

Eligible Uses The program is designed to support start-up expenses and operational costs for cannabis businesses during early-stage operation. Eligible uses may include, but are not limited, to:

• Rental expenses evidenced by a fully executed lease. Up to thirty-six lease payments may be covered after the date that the conditional license is awarded by the NJ CRC.

• Payroll and independent contractor payments as evidenced by a payroll report, WR30, or equivalent payroll documentation and payment documentation for 1099 contractors.

• Regulatory compliance expenses such as those related to all professional and advisory services required to (1) document, analyze, complete, and file a NJ CRC application; and (2) comply with all regulations, rules, controls, statutes, and any other requirements related to the legal operation of a New Jersey licensed cannabis business. 

• Legal expenses associated with opening and operating the business.

• External employee training related to preparing staff to accomplish their job duties.

• Professional services including but not limited to accounting, human resources, business planning, security, marketing, website creation, lab services, and any other outside services that may be needed to operate a New Jersey licensed cannabis business or obtain any license or authorization to operate as a New Jersey licensed cannabis business from the NJ CRC.

• Utilities and overhead fees (e.g., expenses that are not directly related to a product or good but are necessary for business operations).

• Commercial mortgage payments.

• Business supply- items needed to operate the eligible business (e.g., office supplies and other supplies needed to maintain normal business operations).

• Business equipment under $2,000, inclusive of installation – Equipment or tangible property that includes machinery, furniture, fixtures, vehicles, computers, electronic devices, and office machines under $2,000.

Grant funds may not be used for:

• Controlled inventory

• Construction

• Equipment and installation costing greater than $2,000

• Purchase of land

• Demolition of an existing structure

• Rolling stock. 

All uses and documentation are subject to NJEDA review and approval. All receipts and/or invoices must be dated after March 9, 2020

Grant Amounts

The Seed Equity Grant product will award grants of up to $150,000 per successful applicant. There is a limit of one grant award per EIN. This grant is only open to businesses that have been designated by NJ CRC as a Social Equity Business, which is defined in N.J.A.C. 17:30-6.6. Five percent of the award pool is reserved for Social Equity Businesses with project locations in an Impact Zone. 

Application Submission and Review Process

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis subject to the availability of funds. All applications will be reviewed for completeness and evaluated in the order that they are received by the Authority. At the sole discretion of the Authority, staff may ask for any necessary clarifications of the information provided in the application including, but not limited to, responses, documentation, and attachments. Applicants will be given 10 business days to respond to the clarification requests. If at the end of the cure period the applicant is non-responsive, the application will be deemed withdrawn.

Required Application Information

Applicants will be required to provide the following documents:

• New Jersey Certificate of Incorporation or other formation documentation;

• Current New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate;

• NJ CRC issued recreational conditional cannabis license, as specified in the eligibility criteria;

  • NJ WR-30 (if applicable) as evidenced through payroll WR30 or other documentation acceptable to the NJEDA.
  • Completed Legal Questionnaire in accordance with Executive Order 34 (Byrne) and the Authority’s Disqualification/Debarment Regulations (N.J.A.C. 19:30-2.1, et seq.).   

For the purposes of the Cannabis Equity Grant Program only, the NJEDA Board has authorized NJEDA staff to:

  • not disqualify, debar, or suspend applicants convicted of marijuana and hashish related offenses that meet the criteria for a “Social Equity Business” as defined in the Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s rules, specifically N.J.A.C. 17:30-6.6 as administered by CRC, provided the applicant does not have other disqualifying convictions or judgments; and 
  • limit the timeframe for investigation into criminal matters to those where the date of conviction, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later, occurred five years prior to the date of program application, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 17:30-7.12. This modification to the delegated authority approved by the Board on June 8, 2022, will be consistent with NJ CRC’s timeframe for disqualifying convictions (as stated in N.J.A.C. 17:30-7.12(d)).  

Fees

Seed Equity applicants will be granted a fee waiver.

Additional Information

Comprehensive information about the Cannabis Equity Grant Program – Seed Equity Product is available at https://www.njeda.gov/cannabis. Questions concerning this Program and Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted to cannabis@njeda.gov.    

The NJEDA is subject to  statutes and regulations including but not limited to the following which may impact affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses on the Treasury list of those engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions. 

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Clean Tech Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Program Pilot, Round 3

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) expects to launch an online application for the Clean Tech Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Program Pilot, Round 3 at 9:00 am on Friday, November 17, 2023 at www.njeda.com/csit. Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis as long as program funds are available. No fees will be charged for this program.

Comprehensive information about the Clean Tech R&D Voucher Program Pilot Round 3 is available at https://www.njeda.gov/csit Questions concerning this Program and Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted csitcleantech@njeda.gov .

Purpose

This grant opportunity is issued by the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) in collaboration with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), which are seeking applications from qualified applicants for the Clean Tech Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Program Pilot, Round 3 (“Program”) to support early-stage businesses in the State. The goal of the Program is to support New Jersey based early-stage clean tech/clean energy company efforts to accelerate development and innovation of clean technologies to transform new discoveries from the research stage into commercially viable technologies, leading to industry and investor interest in the following target areas:

  • Chemicals/Advance Materials
  • Energy Distribution/Storage
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Energy Generation
  • Green Buildings
  • Transportation
  • Waste Processing
  • Water and Agriculture

Overview

Clean Tech Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Program Pilot, Round 3 has a total budget of $300,000 from rollover funding from the FY23 Board of Public Utility (BPU) budget for voucher awards. The Program will be implemented by CSIT and technical support will be provided at participating university/college facilities, federal lab facilities and makerspaces.

The objectives of the Program are to:

  • improve awareness, access to and utilization of New Jersey’s world-leading equipment, facilities and makerspaces; and
  • subsidize access to research and development equipment, facilities and makerspaces for small New Jersey-based companies that are developing innovative technologies in the clean energy/clean tech space.

Program Details

The Program will subsidize the cost of access to participating New Jersey facilities and makerspaces for businesses to access equipment, labs, and facilities for clean energy/clean technological research and development. An asset map listing New Jersey university/college and federal laboratory facilities will be available on the CSIT webpage (www.njeda.com/csit).

Each approved voucher will be valid for a period of twelve months, starting from date of the execution of the Voucher Agreement. Any unused approved voucher amounts will be cancelled after the twelve-month period and returned to the Program budget for future use. At CSIT’s sole discretion, a one- time voucher extension of up to three months may be approved if requested in writing.

Provided that funding is available, all complete applications that meet the eligibility criteria and are in compliance with the required documentation are eligible for funding.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Clean Tech Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Program Pilot, Round 3 applicant companies must:

  • Be authorized and in good standing to conduct business in NJ, as evidenced by a current NJ Tax Clearance Certificate listing CSIT. All certificates listing another state agency will be rejected.
  • Have no more than fifty (50) full-time equivalent (“FTE”) workers (FTE calculated on a 35-hour work week) at time of application.
  • Have a minimum of one (1) full time worker (calculated on a 35-hour work week). A worker may be the founder and may be paid or unpaid.
  • Have 50% or more of the cumulative hours worked by all workers, founders, and contractors be conducted in NJ (calculated on an FTE basis – 35 hours per week).
  • Have less than or equal to five million dollars ($5,000,000) in prior calendar year sales revenue (excluding grant revenue).

The applicant company must obtain a signed approval letter from a participating facility

confirming that they are capable and willing to provide the services that will be supported by the voucher.

The applicant company must be developing or testing clean technologies intended to avoid emissions of, or recapture of, greenhouse gases and/or criteria pollutants, or to enable such avoidance or recapture in the following target areas:

  • Chemicals/Advance Materials
    • Energy Distribution/Storage
    • Energy Efficiency
    • Energy Generation
    • Green Buildings
    • Transportation
    • Waste Processing
    • Water and Agriculture.

To participate a facility must:

  • be in a two or four-year college or university (public, state, or non-profit) located in New Jersey, or a federal lab facility or a makerspace located in New Jersey.
  • allow outside businesses to utilize research and development facilities on fee-for- service basis; and
  • provide a contact person to facilitate requests and participate in Clean Tech R&D Voucher Committee meetings.

All applicant projects must be for a minimum technology development level of TRL 1 (Basic research) through a maximum developmental level of TRL 7 (Full- scale, similar (prototypical) system demonstrated in relevant environment). Please see below Attachment A for an explanation of these US Department of Energy definitions.

Eligible Uses

Eligible applicants can receive vouchers of $1,000 up to $40,000 to defray one hundred percent of the costs associated with any of the following services or activities in a participating New Jersey university or federal laboratory facility:

  • Use of facility equipment and technicians for testing and development.
  • Training in preparation for independent use of the facility equipment.

The vouchers are intended for specific, early-stage clean tech/clean energy-related development projects. All requests should be specifically related to the particular project for which the voucher is sought. The following uses are ineligible under this Program:

  • Manufacturing of products for sale or commercial use.
  • Real estate rental expenses.

Grant Amounts

Eligible applicants can receive vouchers of $1,000 up to $40,000. Each eligible applicant can apply for multiple vouchers up to a cap of $40,000 in the aggregate over any 12-month period.

Voucher award funds will be disbursed by CSIT to the eligible applicant after the completion of the scope of work at the corresponding facility, submission of an approved project completion report, and an expense invoice detailing the costs expended and services provided.

Application Submission and Review Process

The application will open at 9:00 am on Friday, November 17, 2023, at www.njeda.com/csit. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis as long as Program funds are available. All applications to the Clean Tech Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Program Pilot, Round 3 must include the following documentation:

  • Completed online application via CSIT Portal including the following documents included in the application:
    • Signed Application Certification;
    • Completed CSIT Legal Debarment Questionnaire; and
    • Employee Log – listing all current company employees, work address, and number of hours work.
  • Summary of the most recent internal applicant company payroll (detailing information on each employee of the company, number of hours worked per week and primary work location).
  • Current employee information as appropriate for the applicant company’s structure and staffing (i.e., most recent Federal 941, NJ WR-30 (W2 employees) or 1099 (contractors), Shareholder Agreement or K-1).
  • Current New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate listing New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology. (See https://www16.state.nj.us/NJ_PREMIER_EBIZ/jsp/home.jsp.) All certificates that do not specifically list CSIT or lists another State agency will be rejected.
  • Approval letter from a participating New Jersey university or federal laboratory facility.

The following steps detail the application submission process:

  • All companies wishing to apply must begin their application by completing the intake portion of the application. This includes questions concerning the applicant; the proposed scope of work; the type of facilities for which access is being requested; and if known, the university/college, federal lab or non-profit organization at which such facilities are located; and Program eligibility information. CSIT will review the intake information and forward the project technical requirements to the Program’s University and Federal Laboratory Review Committee.
  • The University and Federal Laboratory Review Committee, consisting of representatives from each participating university, community college and federal laboratory facility, will
  • review the intake forms of each applicant on a rolling basis and direct the application to the relevant facility which the applicant intends to work with or to the most suitable facility to conduct the work.
  • Facility staff will contact each applicant to submit a detailed project proposal describing the intended scope of work. The applicant and the participating facility will review the scope of work and, if the participating facility agrees to the work, the applicant will complete the facility’s application process and sign any relevant forms. The facility will then issue an approval letter to
    • CSIT detailing the services to be provided and the cost before application of a voucher.
  • CSIT will provide the applicant a submission code to finalize their application with all required documentation. The application must be completed within six (6) weeks of the receipt of the submission code from CSIT. If the application is not completed the approval will be cancelled and the funds reserved for that applicant returned to the Program budget.
  • All submitted applications will be reviewed for document completeness and compliance on a rolling basis. Following the completeness review, applicants with missing documentation will receive a resubmission letter from CSIT to supply any missing or incomplete documentation within ten (10) business days. For NJ Tax Clearance Certificates only, applicants will have up to thirty (30) days to submit it.

PLEASE NOTE: The online application will enable applicants to provide an electronic “Application Certification” by uploading a signed PDF. However, if an applicant prefers not to provide an electronic Application Certification, the applicant may:

  1. Mail a hard copy of the signed Application Certification postmarked to CSIT at: Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology Attn: Judith Sheft (Executive Director)

36 W State Street PO Box 990

Trenton, NJ 08625

AND

2. Email CSIT (csitcleantech@njeda.gov) with the subject line: “MAILED Application Certification Clean Tech Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Program Pilot, Round 3 ” indicating that the certification document has been mailed. Only the signed CSIT Application Certification maybe mailed. The rest of the application must be submitted through the online system.

If an applicant chooses to mail a hard copy of the application certification, the application will only be considered complete once the original signed CSIT application certification is received by CSIT.

Applicants that do not submit, on or before the submission deadline, a New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate listing CSIT will not be considered for a Program voucher.

Fees

No fees will be collected by CSIT for this Program.

Additional Requirements and Information

As part of the review process, CSIT conducts sister agency checks with the New Jersey Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on all completed applications. To be recommended for an award, applicants must be in good standing with both DOL and DEP.

At the end of the voucher period, the recipient will submit to CSIT:

  • A completion report detailing how the scope of work was achieved during the voucher period;
  • Expense invoice detailing the costs expended and services provided;
  • Completed employee log – listing all current company employees, work address, and number of hours work.
  • Economic impact report – Yearly report that tracks increase in company size, R&D space, workforce, and follow-on funding.
  • Employee verification documents – documents that confirms the employment status of employees listed by the applicant (i.e., W2, 1099, offer letter, etc.)
  • Updated NJ Tax Clearance Certificate; and
  • Program invoice details – the itemized list of budgetary activities undertaken for the pilot project

For up to two (2) years from the date of the project completion, the voucher recipient’s employees and consultants who continue working on the project must conduct all their work in a New Jersey location.

All voucher recipients must annually report economic impact data to CSIT upon the completion of their project for a period of two (2) years by submitting an Economic Impact Questionnaire provided by CSIT.

All voucher awardees are asked to commit to participate in future CSIT/NJEDA/BPU alumni activities, such as serving as a panel member or participating in interviews about their Program experience.

Once an application has been reviewed and approved, the voucher funds are reserved for twelve

(12) months from the date of the voucher reservation approval letter. During this period, the applicant and CSIT must execute a Voucher Agreement detailing the terms and conditions of the voucher and complete the voucher use at the respective facility. At CSIT’s sole discretion, a voucher reservation may be extended for one three-month period if requested by the voucher recipient in writing prior to expiration of the voucher.

Confidentiality

Applications received will be reviewed only by staff of CSIT, NJEDA and participating university facilities. All applications submitted will be subject to requests for disclosure, including but not limited to, requests pursuant to the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”)

N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. If the applicant believes that information contained in its proposal merits confidential treatment pursuant to OPRA, any such purportedly confidential information submitted to the Authority must be specifically identified and marked as “confidential” by the applicant.

Additional Information

Comprehensive information about the Clean Tech R&D Voucher Program Pilot Round 3 is available at https://www.njeda.gov/csit

Questions concerning this Program and Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted csitcleantech@njeda.gov .

Click here for full PDF

Attachment A: Technology Readiness Level1 (TRL)

TRL 1

Basic Research: Initial scientific research has been conducted. Principles are qualitatively postulated and observed. Focus is on new discovery rather than applications

TRL 2

Applied Research: Initial practical applications are identified. Potential of material or process to solve a problem, satisfy a need, or find application is confirmed

TRL 3

Critical Function or Proof of Concept Established: Applied research advances and early- stage development begins. Studies and laboratory measurements validate analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology

TRL 4

Lab Testing/Validation of Alpha Prototype Component/Process: Design, development and lab testing of components/processes. Results provide evidence that performance targets may be attainable based on projected or modeled systems

TRL 5

Laboratory Testing of Integrated/Semi-Integrated System: System Component and/or process validation is achieved in a relevant environment

TRL 6

Prototype System Verified: System/process prototype demonstration in an operational environment (beta prototype system level)

TRL 7

Integrated Pilot System Demonstrated: System/process prototype demonstration in an operational environment (integrated pilot system level)

TRL 8

System Incorporated in Commercial Design: Actual system/process completed and qualified through test and demonstration (pre-commercial demonstration)

TRL 9

System Proven and Ready for Full Commercial Deployment: Actual system proven through successful operations in operating environment, and ready for full commercial deployment

Catalyst Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Program Pilot, Round 2

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) expects to launch an online application for the Catalyst Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Program Pilot, Round 2 at 9:00 am on Friday, November 17, 2023 at www.njeda.com/csit. Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis as long as program funds are available. No fees will be charged for this program.

Comprehensive information about the Catalyst R&D Voucher Program Pilot Round 2 is available at https://www.njeda.gov/csit . Questions concerning this Program and Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted csitcatalyst@njeda.gov .

Purpose

This grant opportunity is issued by the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) in collaboration with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), which are seeking applications from qualified applicants for Catalyst Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Program Pilot, Round 2 (“Program”) to support early-stage companies in the State. The goal of the Program is to support New Jersey based early-stage company efforts to accelerate development and innovation of technologies to transform new discoveries from the research stage into commercially viable technologies, leading to industry and investor interest in the following target areas:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Advanced Transportation and Logistics
  • Film and Digital Media
  • Life Sciences – Therapeutic Drug Development
  • Life Sciences – Other
  • Non-Retail Food and Beverage
  • Professional and Financial Services
  • Technology

Overview

Catalyst Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Program Pilot, Round 2 has a total budget of

$497,500 for voucher awards. Funding for the Program is provided by rollover funding from the FY23 CSIT budget appropriation. The Program will be implemented by CSIT and technical

support will be provided at participating universities/colleges, federal labs and non-profit organizations.

The objectives of the Program are to:

  1. improve awareness, access to and utilization of New Jersey’s world-leading equipment, facilities, and makerspaces; and
  2. subsidize access to research and development equipment, facilities and makerspaces for small New Jersey based companies that are developing innovative technologies.

Program Details

The Program will subsidize the cost of access to any New Jersey participating university/college, non- profit organization and federal lab for early-stage companies to access equipment and facilities for technological research and development. An asset map listing participating facilities will be available on the CSIT webpage (www.njeda.com/csit).

Each approved voucher will be valid for a period of 12 months (starting from date of the execution of the voucher agreement). Any unused approved voucher amounts will be cancelled after the twelve (12) month period and returned to the Program budget for future use. At CSIT’s sole discretion, a voucher reservation may be extended for one three-month period if requested in writing prior to expiration.

Provided that funding is available, all complete applications that meet the eligibility criteria and are in compliance with the required documentation are eligible for funding.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Catalyst Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Program Pilot, Round 2, the applicant company must:

  • Be authorized and in good standing to conduct business in NJ as evidenced by a current NJ Tax Clearance Certificate listing CSIT. All certificates listing another state agency will be rejected.
  • Have no more than fifty (50) full-time equivalent (“FTE”) workers (FTE calculated on a 35- hour work week) at time of application.
  • Have a minimum of one (1) full time worker (calculated on a 35-hour work week). A worker may be the founder and may be paid or unpaid.
  • Have 50% or more of the cumulative hours worked by all workers, founders, and contractors be conducted in NJ (calculated on an FTE of 35 hours per week).
  • Have less than or equal to five million dollars ($5,000,000) in prior calendar year sales revenue (excluding grant revenue).

The applicant company must obtain a signed approval letter from a participating university/college, federal lab or non-profit organization confirming that the facility is

capable of and willing to provide the services that will be supported by the voucher.

The applicant company must be developing or testing technologies in the following target areas:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Advanced Transportation and Logistics
    • Film and Digital Media
    • Life Sciences
    • Non-Retail Food and Beverage
    • Professional and Financial Services
    • Technology.

To participate, a facility must:

  • be in a two or four-year college or university (public, state, or non-profit) located in New Jersey, or a federal or non-profit organization located in New Jersey;
  • allow outside businesses to utilize research and development facilities on a fee-for-service basis; and
  • provide a contact person to facilitate requests and participate in Catalyst Voucher core research facility partner meetings.

Eligible Uses

Eligible applicants can receive vouchers to defray the costs associated with any of the following services or activities in participating facilities:

  • Access to core lab facilities, equipment, makerspaces and technology centers;
  • Use of facility equipment and technicians for testing and development; and
  • Training in preparation for independent use of the facility equipment or makerspaces.

The vouchers are intended for specific, early-stage development projects (Projects). All requests should be specifically related to the particular Project for which the voucher is sought. The following uses are ineligible under the Program:

  • manufacturing of products for sale or commercial use;
  • real estate rental expenses; and
  • patient clinical trial expenses.

Grant Amounts

Eligible applicants can receive vouchers of $1,000 up to $40,000. Each eligible applicant can apply for multiple vouchers up to a cap of $40,000 in the aggregate over any 12-month period.

Application Submission and Review Process

The application will open at 9:00 am on Friday, November 17, 2023 at www.njeda.com/csit. Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis as long as Program funds are available. All applications to the Program must include the following documentation:

  • Completed online application via CSIT Portal including the following documents included in the application,
    • Signed Application Certification;
    • Completed CSIT Legal Debarment Questionnaire; and
    • Employee Log – listing all current company employees, work address, and number of hours work.
  • Summary of the most recent internal applicant company payroll (detailing information on each employee of the company, number of hours worked per week and primary work location).
  • Current employee information as appropriate for the applicant company’s structure and staffing (i.e., most recent Federal 941, NJ WR-30 (W2 employees) or 1099 (contractors), Shareholder Agreement or K-1).
  • Current New Jersey tax clearance certificate listing New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology. (See https://www16.state.nj.us/NJ_PREMIER_EBIZ/jsp/home.jsp.) All certificates that do not specifically list CSIT or lists another State agency will be rejected.
  • Approval letter from a participating New Jersey university or federal laboratory facility.

The following steps detail the application submission process:

  • All companies must begin their application by completing the intake portion of the application. This includes questions concerning the applicant; the proposed scope of work; the type of facilities for which access is being requested; and if known, the university/college, federal lab or non-profit organization at which such facilities are located; and program eligibility information. CSIT will review the intake information and forward the project technical requirements to the Program’s University and Federal Laboratory Review Committee.
  • The University and Federal Laboratory Review Committee, consisting of representatives from each participating university, community college and federal laboratory facility, will review the intake forms of each applicant on a rolling basis and direct the application to the relevant facility that the applicant intends to work with or to the most suitable facility to conduct the work.
  • Facility staff will contact each applicant, which must submit a detailed Project proposal describing the intended scope of work. The applicant and the participating facility will review the scope of work and, if the participating facility agrees to the work, the applicant will complete the facility’s application process and sign any relevant forms. The facility will then issue an approval letter to CSIT detailing the services to be provided and the cost before application of a voucher. Applicant must obtain a signed approval letter from a participating facility/makerspace confirming that the facility/makerspace is capable and willing to provide the services that will be supported by the voucher.
  • CSIT will provide the applicant with a submission code to finalize their application with all required documentation. The application must be completed within six (6) weeks of the receipt of the submission code from CSIT. If the application is not completed, the approval will be cancelled, and the funds reserved for that applicant returned to the Program budget.
  • All submitted applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis by CSIT for document completeness and compliance. Following the completeness review, applicants with missing documentation will receive a resubmission letter from CSIT to supply any missing or incomplete documentation within ten (10) business days. For NJ Tax Clearance Certificates only, applicants will have thirty (30) days to submit.

PLEASE NOTE: The online application will enable applicants to provide an electronic “Application Certification” by uploading a signed PDF. However, if an applicant prefers not to provide an electronic Application Certification, the applicant may:

  1. Mail a hard copy of the signed Application Certification to CSIT at: Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology

Attn: Judith Sheft (Executive Director) 36 W State Street

PO Box 990

Trenton, NJ 08625

AND

Email CSIT (csitcatalyst@njeda.com) with the subject line: “MAILED Application Certification Catalyst Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Program Pilot, Round 2” indicating that the certification document has been mailed. Only the signed CSIT Application Certification may be mailed. The rest of the application must be submitted through the online system.

If an applicant chooses to mail a hard copy of the Application Certification, the application will only be considered complete once the original signed CSIT Application Certification is received by CSIT.

Applicants that do not submit, on or before the submission deadline, a New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate that lists CSIT will not be considered for a Program voucher.

Fees

No fees will be collected by CSIT for this Program.

Additional Requirements and Information

As part of the review process, CSIT conducts sister agency checks with the New Jersey Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on all completed applications. To be recommended for an award, applicants must be in good standing with both DOL and DEP.

At the end of the voucher period, the recipient will submit to CSIT:

  • A completion report detailing how the scope of work was achieved during the voucher period; and
  • Expense invoice detailing the costs expended and services provided;
  • Completed employee log – listing all current company employees, work address, and number of hours work.
  • Economic impact report – yearly report that tracks increase in company size, R&D space, workforce, and follow-on funding.
  • Employee verification documents – documents that confirms the employment status of employees listed by the applicant (i.e., w2, 1099, offer letter, etc.)
  • Updated NJ Tax Clearance Certificate; and
  • Program invoice details – the itemized list of budgetary activities undertaken for the pilot project

For up to two years from the date of the project completion, the voucher recipient’s employees and consultants who continue working on the project must conduct all their work in a New Jersey location.

All voucher recipients must report economic impact data to CSIT for a period of two years from the completion of the project by submitting an Economic Impact Questionnaire provided by CSIT.

All voucher awardees must commit to participate in future CSIT/NJEDA alumni activities, such as serving as a panel member or participating in interviews about their Program experience.

Once an application has been reviewed and approved, the voucher funds are reserved for twelve (12) months from the date of the voucher reservation approval letter. During this period, the applicant and CSIT must execute a Voucher Agreement detailing the terms and conditions of the voucher, and use the voucher at the respective facility. At CSIT’s sole discretion, a voucher reservation may be extended for one three-month period if requested by the voucher recipient in writing prior to expiration of the voucher.

Confidentiality

Applications received will be reviewed only by staff of CSIT, NJEDA and participating universities/colleges, federal labs and non-profit organizations. However, all applications submitted will be subject to requests for disclosure, including but not limited to, requests pursuant to the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”) N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. If the applicant believes that information contained in its proposal merits confidential treatment pursuant to OPRA, any such purportedly confidential information submitted to the Authority must be specifically identified and marked as “confidential” by the applicant.

Additional Information

Comprehensive information about the Catalyst R&D Voucher Program Pilot Round 2 is available at https://www.njeda.gov/csit .

Questions concerning this Program and Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted csitcatalyst@njeda.gov .

Click here for full PDF

Round 5 SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance

Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) will launch an online application for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Direct Financial Assistance Grant (“Grant Program”) at 9:00am EST on November 17, 2023, at https://www.njeda.gov/csit.

Comprehensive information about the Round 5 SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Grant is available at https://www.njeda.gov/csit. Questions concerning this Program and Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted csitsbir@njeda.gov.

  1. Direct Funding for twenty (20) SBIR/STTR Phase I, Fast Track or Direct to Phase II award/contract winners (“Direct Funding Grant”). Each Direct Funding Grant is for $25,000.
  2. Bridge Funding for ten (10) SBIR/STTR Phase II applicants (“Bridge Funding Grant”). Each Bridge Funding Grant is for $50,000

This Grant Program is for businesses that are participating in or applying for the SBIR and STTR Federal programs. The Grant Program has a total budget of $875,500 and will offer two types of grants:

  1. Direct Funding for twenty (20) SBIR/STTR Phase I, Fast Track or Direct to Phase II award/contract winners (“Direct Funding Grant”). Each Direct Funding Grant is for $25,000.

2. Bridge Funding for ten (10) SBIR/STTR Phase II applicants (“Bridge Funding Grant”). Each Bridge Funding Grant is for $50,000.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until program funds are exhausted. If applicants meet all eligibility criteria and funding is available, an award will be made. No fees will be charged to apply for this program.

Applicants can only apply for one grant component (either the Direct Funding Grant or the Bridge Funding Grant). CSIT may reallocate funds between the two types of grants.

Purpose

CSIT has established this SBIR/STTR support program in New Jersey to enhance the State’s innovative economy by providing technical and financial support to small businesses participating in, or seeking to participate in, the Federal SBIR/STTR programs. SBIR/STTR

are highly competitive three-phase award programs which provide qualified small businesses with opportunities to propose innovative ideas that meet the specific research and development needs of the Federal government. The goals of the programs are to:

  • Stimulate technological innovation;
    • Meet Federal research and development needs;
    • Foster and encourage participation in innovation and entrepreneurship by women and socially or economically disadvantaged populations; and
  • Increase private-sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development funding.

Program Overview and Eligible Uses

The Grant Program has three objectives; all of which help grow the innovation economy in NJ:

  1. Increase the success rate of NJ grant applications seeking Federal funding for SBIR/STTR programs
  2. Reduce the financial burden for small NJ companies that have won Phase 1, a SBIR/STTR Fast Track or a Direct to Phase II award of the Federal SBIR/STTR program
  3. Increase success and maximize growth of small NJ companies in moving from Phase I to Phase II of the SBIR/STTR Federal program

This SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Grant Program funding can be used to maintain project activities, support research and development, and cover general operating costs.

Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis as long as Grant Program funds are available.

Direct Funding Grant for SBIR/STTR Phase I, Fast Track, or Direct to Phase II Federal Applicants:

Phase I of the Federal SBIR/STTR program is intended to establish technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of the proposed R&D efforts. Federal Phase I awards normally do not exceed $150,000 total costs for six (6) months. CSIT will provide a Direct Funding Grant of

$25,000 to eligible NJ small businesses that have received a Phase I, Fast Track or Direct to Phase II Federal award/contract. The CSIT Direct Funding Grant can help to increase the intensity of their research, strengthen commercialization plans, reduce the financial burden on these growing small businesses by covering operational expenses and become more competitive for the Federal Phase II funding.

Bridge Funding Grant for Phase II Federal Applicants:

The gap between application and award notice for Phase II of the Federal SBIR/STTR program can be up to six (6) months, and it is during this period that small businesses often struggle to secure funding and maintain operations. CSIT will offer grants of $50,000 to NJ small businesses that have successfully completed Phase I of Federal SBIR/STTR program and have submitted a

Phase II SBIR/STTR application but have not yet received a Federal response onto their Phase II application. The funding is intended to enable NJ small businesses to maintain operations while waiting on Phase II awards.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for this Grant Program, the applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria, as specified per grant, at the time of submission and throughout the application review period. Applicants must send a notification to csitsbir@njeda.gov if there are any changes to their eligibility status after submission of an application and prior to any award notification.

Eligibility requirements must also be maintained during the 12-month term of the grant agreement.

Direct Funding Grant – Eligibility Criteria (for Phase I, Fast Track or Direct to Phase II )

Applicants for this type of grant must:

  • Be a recipient of a federal SBIR/STTR Phase I, Fast Track or Direct to Phase II grant or contract award no earlier than two (2) years prior to the issuance of this Notice of Funding Availability (November 9, 2023).
  • Be authorized and in good standing to conduct business in NJ, as evidenced by a current NJ Tax Clearance Certificate listing CSIT. All certificates listing another State agency will be rejected.
  • Be in good standing with both the New Jersey Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). As part of the review process, CSIT conducts sister agency checks with the DOL and DEP on all completed applications.
  • Have a minimum of one (1) full time worker (calculated on a 35-hour work week). A worker may be the founder, and may be paid or unpaid.
  • Show that 50% or more of the cumulative hours worked by all workers, founders, and contractors is conducted in NJ (calculated on an FTE (Full Time Equivalent) basis – 35 hrs. per week).
  • Show that the primary place of performance on the Federal SBIR/STTR grant or contract award is a NJ address.
  • Not have been awarded more than five (5) Federal SBIR/STTR grants or contracts (Phase I, Fast-track, Direct to Phase II combined) throughout the lifetime of the company.

Bridge Funding Grant – Eligibility Criteria (for Phase II Applicants):

Applicants for this type of grant must:

  • Be a previous federal SBIR/STTR Phase I grant or contract award recipient no earlier than two (2) years of the issuance of this Notice of Funding Availability (November 9, 2023) that has successfully completed a Phase I Federal SBIR/STTR program; applicant must have submitted a Phase II SBIR/STTR application but not yet received a Federal response to it.
  • Be authorized and in good standing to conduct business in NJ, as evidenced by a current NJ Tax Clearance Certificate listing CSIT. All certificates listing another State agency will be rejected.
  • Have a minimum of one (1) full time worker (calculated on a 35-hour work week). A worker may be the founder and may be paid or unpaid.
  • Show that 50% or more of the cumulative hours worked by all workers, founders, and contractors is conducted in NJ (calculated on an FTE (Full Time Equivalent) basis – 35 hrs. per week).
  • Show that the primary place of performance on the Federal Phase II SBIR/STTR project submission is located in New Jersey.
  • Be in good standing with both the New Jersey Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). As part of the review process, CSIT conducts sister agency checks with the DOL and DEP on all completed applications.
  • Not have been awarded more than five (5) Federal SBIR/STTR grants or contracts (Phase I, Fast-track or Direct to Phase II combined) and four (4) Federal Phase II SBIR/STTR grants or contracts throughout the lifetime of the company.

Grant Award Amounts and Term

Eligible applicants can receive grant awards of $25,000 for the Direct Funding Grant and

$50,000 for Bridge Funding Grant. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis as long as Grant Program funds are available. Grant recipients must execute a grant agreement that will have a term of 12 months (starting from date of the signed agreement).

Required Documents

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and awards will be made until funds are expended.

In addition to the online application form, Direct Funding Grant applications for Phase I, Fast Track and Direct to Phase II winners must include the following documentation:

  1. Copy of Federal Phase I, Fast Track or Direct to Phase II Award Letter/Contract from a participating Federal agency dated within the past two (2) years of the issuance of this Notice of Funding Availability.
  • Copy of the accepted Phase I, Fast Track or Direct to Phase II proposal submitted to participating Federal agency in response to a specific Federal solicitation.
  • Employee information as appropriate for applicable company structure and staffing (i.e., most recent New Jersey WR-30 (W2 employees) or 1099 (contractors)), Shareholder Agreement or K-1, or offer letters. Please note that if a Professional Employment Organization (PEO) is utilized, the applicant must submit confirmation of PEO-A form issued by the New Jersey Department of Labor. These confirmations are issued on an annual basis and are valid for a year. See https://www.nj.gov/labor/ea/employer- services/leasing-companies/ for additional information on PEOs.
  • Summary of most recent internal payroll indicating each employee name and number of hours worked per week.
  • Current New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate (listing New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology). See

https://www16.state.nj.us/NJ_PREMIER_EBIZ/jsp/home.jsp. All certificates listing another state agency will be rejected.

  • Completed Application Certifications.
  • Completed CSIT Legal Debarment Questionnaire.

In addition to the online application form, Bridge Funding for Phase II applications must include the following documentation:

  1. Copy of Federal Phase I SBIR/STTR Award/Contract from a participating Federal Agency dated within the past two (2) years of the issuance of this Notice of Funding Availability.
  • Copy of the Phase I final report and confirmation of Agency acceptance.
  • Proof of Federal Phase II SBIR/STTR application submission and receipt by the participating Federal agency. Example:
    • A copy of the Phase II SBIR/STTR proposal submitted to sponsoring Agency; and
    • Written or electronic notification from the Agency confirming date of proposal receipt.
  • Employee information as appropriate for applicable company structure and staffing (i.e., most recent New Jersey WR-30 (W2 employees) or 1099 (contractors), Shareholder Agreement or K-1, or offer letters. Please note that if a Professional Employment Organization (PEO) is utilized, the applicant must submit confirmation of PEO-A form issued by the New Jersey Department of Labor. These confirmations are issued on an annual basis and are valid for a year. See https://www.nj.gov/labor/ea/employer- services/leasing-companies/ for additional information on PEOs.
  • Summary of most recent internal payroll (Q22023 or Q32023) indicating each employee name and number of hours worked per week.
  • Completed Application Certifications.
  • Completed CSIT Legal Debarment Questionnaire.

Application Process and Approval

  1. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.
  2. A completeness review will be done as applications are received.
  3. Following the completeness review, applicants with missing documentation will receive a resubmission letter from CSIT to supply any missing or incomplete documentation within ten (10) business days. Applicants will be given thirty (30) business days from the issuance of the resubmission letter to submit a valid tax clearance certificate.
  4. Only complete applications will be considered for funding. Applications that remain incomplete after the resubmission deadline will not receive grant funding.
  5. Grants will be awarded to eligible applicants on a first come, first served basis,  subject to funding availability.

Fees

No application fees will be collected by CSIT for this Grant Program.

Additional Requirements and Information

As part of the review process, CSIT conducts sister agency checks with the New Jersey Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on all completed applications. To be recommended for an award, applicants must be in good standing with both DOL and DEP.

Grant awardees must certify that its employees, founders and contractors will conduct at least 50% of the company’s work (calculated on a full-time equivalent basis) in New Jersey for a period of two (2) years from the effective date of the grant agreement. Failure to comply will trigger a requirement that the applicant make full re-payment of the grant award, as will be included as a term in the Grant Agreement.

All grant awardees must report economic impact data to CSIT for a period of two years from the completion of the project by submitting an Economic Impact Questionnaire provided by CSIT.

All grant awardees are asked to commit to participate in future CSIT/NJEDA alumni activities, such as serving as a panel member or participating in interviews about program experience.

Confidentiality

Applications received will be reviewed only by staff of CSIT, NJEDA, and participating universities/colleges, federal labs, and non-profit organizations. All applications submitted will be subject to requests for disclosure, including but not limited to requests pursuant to the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”), N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. If the applicant believes that information contained in its proposal merits confidential treatment pursuant to OPRA, then any such purportedly confidential information submitted must be specifically identified and marked by the applicant as such.

Additional Information

Information about the Round 5 SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Grant is available at https://www.njeda.gov/csit.

Questions concerning this Program and Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted csitsbir@njeda.gov.

Click here for full PDF

New Jersey Asset Activation Planning Grant Program
Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications for the New Jersey Asset Activation Planning Grant Program at 10:00 a.m. EST August 15, 2023. The application can be accessed at: https://www.njeda.com/asset-activation-planning-grant. Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis during a 90-day period ending on November 13, 2023, or until grant funding is exhausted. The Program has been allocated an additional $500,000 in funding for a new round of grant awards, which may be up to $50,000 for individual qualifying applications.
Further detailed information is available in the Asset Activation Planning Grant Program specifications.

Purpose

In an effort to revitalize underutilized or distressed assets in New Jersey, the NJEDA has created the Asset Activation Planning Grant Program. This program will provide grants for pre-development planning work to demonstrate viability and prepare implementation of projects that will activate public assets and contribute to the revitalization of local communities and the regional economy.

Overview

Shifting economic and development context in New Jersey has left an array of underutilized properties and infrastructure throughout the state in urban, suburban, and rural communities alike. Former assets which are now liabilities require innovative development to activate their potential and contribute to the State’s economy.

On March 9, 2022, the NJEDA Board approved the creation of the pilot New Jersey Asset Activation Planning Grant Program, and provided $400,000 of Economic Recovery Fund resources, to establish the pilot New Jersey Asset Activation Planning Grant Program to fund projects up to $50,000 to plan for activation of underutilized or unutilized public properties.

This program invests in communities and makes government work better – two major economic development priorities adopted by the NJEDA Board and laid out in Governor Murphy’s Economic Plan. The NJEDA began accepting applications for the Asset Activation Grant in July 2022, and subsequently awarded grants to ten planning projects throughout the State. On April 12, 2023, the NJEDA Board approved additional funding of $500,000 for a new round of grants.

Eligibility

Qualified applicants for the New Jersey Asset Activation Planning Grant include municipalities, counties, redevelopment agencies, independent authorities, non-profit entities, and private for-profit entities that meet additional criteria and hold a valid New Jersey tax clearance certificate.

Applicants may add strategic partners whose experience, knowledge, skills, and ability may augment the capabilities of the proposed planning project team.

An applicant in a lead role for a proposal is the entity that is the sole recipient of grant funds and responsible for all terms of the grant agreement. The lead role applicant will serve as the primary point of contact with the Authority, submit any requests for fund disbursement, and provide reports to the Authority.

The strategic partnership must be recognized by a signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) or a written agreement between the partner and the lead applicant. The MOU or written agreement must be included with the completed application.

An applicant may only submit one application in a lead role but may be included as a partner in additional applications where they play a non-lead role. Any named strategic partner or partners included in the proposal cannot be changed without the prior written consent of the Authority. An entity in a lead role that received prior Asset Activation grant funds may not apply again.

Applications must include a letter of approval from the executive of the public entities that hold ownership of the subject property or have the development oversight and authority to close the property. Assets owned by the State of New Jersey are not eligible. Assets owned by independent authorities, commissions, boards, or other entities of the State of New Jersey are eligible when accompanied by a letter of approval from the body’s executive with development oversight and authority, as discussed above.

A proposal on behalf of a county or independent authority does not preclude a municipality within that county; or municipality or county within the boundary of an independent authority; or independent authority whose boundaries overlap a municipality or county from submitting their own proposal.

An award of grant funding does not imply approval of planning, analysis, use, sale, or divestment of any assets or property.

Eligible Uses

Planning projects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Conceptual Design
  • Feasibility Study
  • Land-use Planning
  • Economic Analysis
  • Market Analysis
  • Legal Analysis

Projects should target deficient, under-utilized, or vacant land, buildings, or infrastructure owned by a county, municipality, district, public authority, public commission, public agency, or other political subdivision or public body.

Grant Amounts

The maximum grant amount is $50,000.

Application Submission and Review Process (including Scoring)
Applications for the New Jersey Asset Activation Planning Grant Program will be accepted during a 90-day window or until grant funding is exhausted. To apply, an applicant must register, or log into the online application portal, complete all required application questions fully, and upload all required PDF document attachments. NJEDA staff will review applications in the order they are received for completeness and may ask for any necessary rectifications to the application, including but not limited to responses, documentation, and attachments. The applicant will have 5 business days to respond to cure any deficiencies. If at the end of the cure period, the applicant is non-responsive, the application will not be advancing to be scored and will be deemed withdrawn.

Each application must contain the following documents:

A. Required Application Information:

  • A fully completed online application
  • New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate
  • Religious Activities questionnaire (if applicable)
  • Signed Letter of Approval from the chief executive of the entity holding ownership of the subject property or asset must be digitally attached with the application
  • Completed Legal Questionnaire
  • Application Fee or fee waiver request

B. Required Proposal Components of Application        

  • Public Asset Description
  • Planning Project Details, including:
    • Planning Activities
    • Project Milestones
    • Roles
    • Public Engagement
    • Grant need and budget
  • Asset Activation Merits, including:
    • Asset challenges and considerations
    • Regional market constraints and considerations
    • Future uses, development, or activities at the site
    • Connection to the State’s economic and development objectives
  • Background & Experience
  • Strategic Partners Memorandum of Understanding or written agreement (if applicable)  

Note: Applications must include plans for specific deliverables that can be fully completed (with copies provided to EDA) by six months after execution of the grant agreement.  Upon written request for an extension (up to two months) of the plan’s final delivery, the NJEDA has the sole discretion to authorize the extension.

Applications deemed complete will be reviewed and scored by a committee of NJEDA staff on a scale of 0 – 100. As further detailed in the Asset Activation Planning Grant Program specifications, applications will be evaluated and scored based on the following scoring criteria:

  1. Their “Asset Impact,” which demonstrates the magnitude of improved utilization a project will have on a public asset, the local community, and regional economy. (0 – 40 points)
  2. The project’s purpose and merits, which address locality-specific needs and challenges that have precluded prior development of the asset, and a plan for long term viability of a project. (0 – 20 points)
  3. The demonstration of the applicant’s previous experience with similar planning projects. (0 – 20 points)
  4. Community Engagement aspects of the proposed planning work. (0 – 10 points)
  5. Municipal Revitalization Index Score, which ranks New Jersey’s municipalities according to eight separate indicators that measure diverse aspects of social, economic, physical, and fiscal conditions in each locality. (0 – 10 points)

Applications that meet a minimum score of 65 will be recommended to the NJEDA Board for grant funding in the order in which applications were submitted.

Disbursements
Grant funds will only be disbursed to the lead role entity, who will also be responsible for:

(1) assuring that any strategic partners and/or subcontractors are in compliance with all terms and conditions of the grant agreement; and

(2) any payments due to any municipal, county, or strategic partners.

Grant disbursements will follow a uniform disbursement schedule. The lead entity will receive 50 percent of the grant amount upon execution of grant agreement, 25 percent upon submission of a mid-way progress report, and 25 percent upon completion and submission of a final plan and final progress report. At a minimum, the progress reports must include a summary of funds expended to date as well as a narrative detailing milestone achieved and overall progress toward completion of final plan. A monthly call with the Designated Authority Project Manager and the Grantee’s assigned Account Manager or Back-Up Account Manager will be held.

Fees

A $1000 fee is required at the time of application submission.

An application fee waiver may be requested at the time of application for proposals led by municipalities or municipal authorities, boards, commissions, or other municipal entities ranked in the top 10 percent of the 2020 Municipal Revitalization Index (MRI). Applicants will self-identify in the application as a municipality or municipal government entity requesting a waiver. Staff will determine if the entity meets the criteria for a waiver. Eligible entities will be granted a waiver for the program. Ineligible entities will be notified and a cure in the form of fees payment will be requested to complete the application.

Additional Information

Comprehensive information about the Asset Activation Grant Program is available at https://www.njeda.com/asset-activation-planning-grant

Questions concerning this Program and Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted NJAAP@njeda.gov.

The NJEDA is subject to State and Federal statutes including but not limited to the following which may impact affiliates: N.J.S.A. 52:32-60.1, et seq., which prevents the New Jersey government entities from certain dealings with businesses on the Treasury list of those engaged in prohibited activities in Belarus or Russia; N.J.S.A. 24:6I-49 which provides that the following are not eligible for most State or local economic incentives (a) a person or entity issued a license to operate as a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or that employs a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and (b) a property owner, developer, or operator of a project to be used, in whole or in part, by or to benefit a cannabis cultivator, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retailer, or delivery service, or to employ a certified personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis establishment, distributor, or delivery service; and N.J.S.A. 52:13D-12, et seq., which prohibits a member of the Legislature or a State officer or employee or their partners or a corporation in which they owns or controls more than 1% of the stock to undertake or execute any contract, agreement, sale, or purchase of $25.00 or more, made, entered into, awarded or granted by any State agency, with certain limited exceptions.

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Food Retail Innovation in Delivery Grant (“FRIDG”)
Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications for the Food Retail Innovation in Delivery Grant (“FRIDG”) on April 25, 2023 at 10:00 AM. Applications for this pilot program will be available for 18 months after the opening of the application or until the total funding pool is exhausted. The application can be accessed at: https://www.njeda.gov/fridg/. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed as they are received. FRIDG will make up to $2,500,000 available for grants up to $250,000 for the purchase of self-contained, temperature-controlled lockers (“Lockers”) that allow for flexible grocery delivery and pick-up for New Jersey Food Desert Community (“FDC”) residents.  There is a $1,000 non-refundable application fee required at time of application.

Purpose

FRIDG will make grants of up to $250,000 available to the below eligible entities (collectively defined as “Food Retailers”):

  • Independent supermarkets
  • Independent supermarket operators
  • Cooperative retailers
  • Chain supermarkets
  • Mass merchandisers
  • Warehouse clubs

Grants will support Food Retailers to purchase Lockers that allow for flexible grocery delivery and pick-up and install them in FDCs. The objectives of FRIDG are to:

  1. Increase the availability of high-quality nutritional food in FDCs.
  2. Encourage retailers to adopt new business models that can help sustain their business.

Note:  This program is not open to Food Retailers without a physical retail location in New Jersey nor to Food Retailers not authorized to accept SNAP for online purchases.

Overview

This funding opportunity is issued as part of Governor Phil Murphy’s commitment to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey by investing in communities and to improve food access and food security for all Garden State residents. FRIDG is one tool that NJEDA will offer as an alternative to FDC residents who often must travel long distances or take multiple forms of transit to access groceries outside their community and leverages existing retailers’ capacity to bring food into FDCs while increasing the reach and potential customer base for the retailer. The grant program will fund the purchase of Lockers to improve and increase food access and food security in the FDCs. Lockers represent an innovative solution to give FDC residents the ability to order online and have groceries delivered to a convenient central location without having to travel long distances to reach Food Retailers, as many FDC residents without a nearby grocer are currently forced to do. Under the model proposed under FRIDG, FDC residents will be able to avail themselves of this new and innovative solution to the last mile of grocery delivery.  The Authority will use $2,500,000 from the Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations Act for FRIDG.

Program Details

FRIDG grants will cover 30% to 50% of the aggregated cost of eligible Locker (including the cost of equipment, delivery, and installation), up to a maximum award amount of $250,000.

FRIDG is intended to cover costs for prospective purchases. Existing projects with executed contracts, placed purchase orders, or a deposit made prior to submission of an application is not eligible for FRIDG funding. Grant awards will start at 30% of total project costs, with the ability to stack on bonuses to cover more of the costs for applicants that meet the criteria; however, no grant may exceed 50% of the total project cost or a maximum $250,000.

Applicants are limited to purchases of Lockers that allow for flexible grocery delivery and pick-up. As part of the application, applicants must specify the location site of the proposed Locker within an NJEDA-designated FDC. Applicants are responsible for ongoing operation and maintenance costs related to the Locker

Bonuses are available to applicants proposing to place a Locker in a top 10 FDC[1], place a Locker on-site at a social service organization, or to waive delivery fees for deliveries made to the Locker, either for all purchases or those placed by individuals utilizing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”) benefits online.

Program Eligibility

The applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria at the time of submission and throughout the application review period:

  1. Food Retailers authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture Federal Nutrition Service (“USDA FNS”) to accept SNAP benefits (formerly referred to as ‘food stamps’) for online ordering[2].
  2. Applicants must be a type of Food Retailer as defined below:
  • Independent supermarkets (single location with a single owner)
  • Independent supermarket operators (single location working with a third-party supplier or franchisor) 
  • Cooperative retailers (member of a cooperative with similar supermarket owners) 
  • Chain supermarkets (ten or more supermarkets owned by a single corporate entity) 
  • Mass merchandisers (large retailers which operate full-service supermarkets within its retail locations)
  • Warehouse clubs (large retailers where customers can buy large quantities wholesale)  

3. All applicants must have a physical retail location in New Jersey and service and delivery to any Locker located in an FDC.  However, orders may be serviced from a non-retail location such as a distribution center.

4. Applicants must be in substantial good standing with the following New Jersey Departments:

  • Division of Taxation, as evidenced by a Tax Clearance Certificate
  • Department of Environmental Protection
  • Department of Labor and Workforce Development (“NJDOL”)

5. Applicants must commit to place and make deliveries to any locker purchased through FRIDG in an NJEDA- designated FDC[3] in an area that is accessible to the public in an FDC for a minimum of 12 hours per day, seven days per week.

Additionally, Lockers purchased through FRIDG must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • A temperature span of at least two settings 
  • An integrative system that sends a special code to the user once the order is delivered, where notification is via text, email or app push
  • The ability to be placed outside and withstand the elements  
  • A minimum of 4 lockers that automatically open when the person inputs their code 
  • Modular systems so more lockers can be added as necessary 
  • Mechanisms to ensure food safety, freshness and contamination prevention 
  • Security features to prevent theft 

Construction contracts of $2,000 or more that include installation are subject to Authority prevailing wage and affirmative action requirements and reporting and must be conducted by a Public Works Contractor registered with NJDOL.

Bonus Eligibility

FRIDG will award bonuses to applicants for the following:

Stackable 5% Bonus Available for:

  • Locker located within an FDC ranked within the top ten (10) statewide[4]
  • Proof of a partnership contract or agreement with a social service organization (e.g., food pantry, soup kitchen, community center, library) to locate Locker on-site with the organization in a manner that is accessible to the public and in a location where community members may already access services
  • Commitment to waive delivery fees for SNAP online purchases for deliveries made to the Locker purchased through FRIDG

Stackable 10% Bonus Available for:

  • Applicant commits to waive delivery fees for all deliveries made to the Locker purchased through FRIDG, regardless of payment type

Fees

A non-refundable fee of $1,000 is due at the time of application.

Funding Levels

Grant awards will start at 30% of total project costs, with the ability to stack on bonuses to cover more of the costs for applicants that meet the following criteria, where no grant can exceed 50% of the total project costs or $250,000, whichever is the lesser of the two.

One single disbursement will be issued when proof of equipment delivery and installation is provided. All disbursements are subject to availability of funding

Application Process

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed as they are received. After initial review, NJEDA staff may follow up with applicants for missing documents, clarity or additional documentation if needed. Applicants will have up to 10 business days to respond to requests by staff for documentation and clarifying questions, or risk being deemed withdrawn as incomplete or unresponsiveness.

As part of the application, Food Retailers will be required to identify the FDC location for the proposed Locker. Food retailers can submit only one application per FDC. However, Food retailers may submit more than one application if they wish to apply for purchasing multiple Lockers purchases across multiple FDCs. There will be a limit of 1 grant award per FDC awarded to the first completed application that meets all eligibility requirements. However, if there is still funding available after the application is closed, the Authority may approve additional applications received prior to the application closing within an already funded FDC. No single grant award may exceed $250,000.

At the time of application, applicants are required to submit a purchase quote, order pro forma, equipment listing, or other document from a vendor indicating the total project cost, which should include equipment, delivery and installation. Applicants will also have to provide evidence of agreement with the property owner or tenant for the placement of the locker. Any executed contract, purchase order dated prior to application date, or deposit made prior to application for the purchase of the Locker is not eligible and will be declined.

The Authority will notify an approved applicant of the amount of funding committed to approved applicants and enter into an agreement prior to equipment purchase. The awardee will have 12 months from the date of grant execution for the delivery and installation of the equipment, with the option for up to two 6-month extensions at the request of the grantee and at the discretion of the Authority. The Authority will make one single award disbursement when proof of equipment delivery and installation is provided, along with any necessary permits or agreements for siting the Locker in its designated location within the FDC.

Applicants will be required to provide annual reporting updates to the Authority with supporting documentation on the following information for three (3) years from the date of award disbursement:

  • Confirmation of Locker location
  • Number of deliveries made to Locker
  • Percentage of deliveries to locker that were paid using SNAP
  • If a grantee receives one or more of the above bonuses:
    • As applicable, status of partnership with social service organization
    • As applicable, number of delivery fees waived for individuals paying with SNAP
    • As applicable, number of delivery fees waived for all payment types

Additional Information

FRIDG is not a competitive program; each application will be reviewed on its own.

Comprehensive information on Food Desert Community Designation is available here.

Comprehensive information about the Food Retail Innovation in Delivery Grant is available here.

Click here for full PDF


[1] FDC ranking available at https://www.njeda.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Food-Desert-Communities-Designation-Final-2-9-22.pdf

[2] List of USDA FNS online SNAP authorized retailers in New Jersey can be found through the NJ Department of Human Services at NJ SNAP | Using Your Benefits

[3] Map of NJEDA-designated FDCs available at New Jersey Food Deserts as approved by the NJEDA on 2/9/2022 (arcgis.com)

[4] FDC ranking available at https://www.njeda.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Food-Desert-Communities-Designation-Final-2-9-22.pdf

Cannabis Equity Grant Program: Joint Ventures

Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications for the Cannabis Equity Grant Program-Joint Ventures product at 9:00 a.m. EST on April 20, 2023.The application can be accessed at https://www.njeda.gov/cannabis. Applications will be accepted on a first come, first reviewed basis during a 180-day period starting on April 20, 2023, or until grant funding is exhausted.  $6,000,000 has been allocated for the Cannabis Equity Grant Program – Joint Ventures product. Grant awards of $250,000 will be made to support cannabis entrepreneurship in New Jersey.

Purpose

The Cannabis Equity Grant Program-Joint Ventures Grant (“Joint Ventures Grant”) product has an award pool of $6,000,000 and will provide grant awards of $250,000 to eligible entities for start-up expenses and operational costs related directly to cannabis businesses that qualify under the grant’s eligibility criteria.

Overview

On July 19, 2019, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (“NJ CRC”) was formed to establish and grow a responsible, regulated medicinal cannabis industry. On February 22, 2021, Governor Phil Murphy signed the “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement, Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act” (“CREAMM Act”), which legalizes personal use cannabis for certain adults, subject to regulation by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission and removes marijuana as a State Schedule I drug, into law as P.L. 2021, c. 16. In June 2022, the Governor signed legislation to allow the Authority to award financial incentives for the purpose of providing financial and technical assistance to a prospective or licensed cannabis business that qualifies as a small business under the statute. See P.L. 2022, c. 48. The legislation requires either that (1) a portion of program funds made available be reserved for businesses operating within an Impact Zone, as defined in the CREAMM Act or (2) the program include funds from the Social Equity Excise Fee and such funding be limited to businesses operating within an Impact Zone. As none of the current program funding is from the Social Equity Excise Fee, staff proposes to ensure that a minimum of 5% of all available funds will be reserved for grantees whose project location is in an Impact Zone.

In June 2021, the Governor signed into law P.L. 2021, c.115, which provided a $25 million supplemental SFY2021 appropriation to the Authority to establish the Startup Business and Nonprofit Assistance Program (“Chapter 115”). Chapter 115 authorized the Authority to provide grants to support the creation and development of new businesses and nonprofit organizations following the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation requires the Authority to: (1) establish eligibility criteria for the program, provided that grants shall be made available to eligible new businesses and nonprofit organizations located in all areas of the State; (2) provide for rolling application periods and appropriate application submission deadlines; (3) designate limitations on the maximum award of grants, which limitations shall be sufficiently high so as to meaningfully support the creation and development of new businesses and nonprofit organizations; (4) designate permitted uses of grant financing, which uses shall be reasonably flexible to accommodate unanticipated startup expenses; and (5) establish criteria for the approval of program applicants consistent with Chapter 115. Additionally, Chapter 115 requires the Authority to “prioritize new businesses and nonprofit organizations that physically occupy commercial properties, including retail storefronts, that have become vacant or under-utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Joint Ventures Grant product targets businesses that are farther along in the licensing process and have carrying costs and capital issues associated with opening their cannabis business.  These applicants must have secured site control over their property and municipal approvals to operate and open a physical location within a New Jersey municipality. An award pool of $6,000,000 will be distributed to all applicants that meet or exceed the grant eligibility requirements until funds are exhausted. Grantees will be required to prove they have a conditional or annual license, have obtained site control over their real estate, and have obtained all municipal approvals to open a cannabis business in their New Jersey municipality. 40% of slots will be reserved for social equity applicants. Grantees will be eligible for a grant award of $250,000. The grant will be disbursed incrementally based on the grantee’s ability to meet certain milestones. In total, two disbursements will be available to the grantee.

  • An initial disbursement of $100,000 will be distributed upon grant approval and:
    • Verification that the grant awardee has a NJ CRC issued conditional or annual license.
    • Demonstrates site control over the property they will use to start their cannabis business.
    • Obtained municipal approvals to operate and open a physical location within a New Jersey municipality; and
    • Provide receipts proving the entity has spent $100,000 on eligible expenses or a spending plan or budget showing projected spending of at least $100,000 in eligible expenses.
  • The final disbursement of $150,000 will be made upon the grantee obtaining a NJ CRC issued annual license. Grantees must provide evidence that they have spent the previous disbursement on eligible expenses in order to be eligible for the final disbursement.

Eligibility

Grant eligibility is limited to entities who can demonstrate following:

  • Entity holds a NJ CRC conditional or annual license, in any class, for recreational use.  Alternative Treatment Centers certified to operate in adult personal-use market are not eligible for this grant.
  • In accordance with Chapter 115, the entity has 50 or fewer full time employees at the time of application, as evidenced through a payroll documentation WR30 or other valid documentation.
    • “Full-time employee” means a person:
      • Who is employed by a business for consideration for at least 35 hours a week and whose wages are subject to withholding as provided in the New Jersey Gross Income Tax Act, N.J.S.A. 54A:1-1 et seq.; or
      • Who is employed by a professional employer organization pursuant to an employee leasing agreement between the business and the professional employer organization for at least 35 hours a week and whose wages are subject to withholding as provided in the New Jersey Gross Income Tax Act, N.J.S.A. 54A:1-1 et seq.; or
      • Who is a partner of a business who works for the partnership for at least 35 hours a week and whose distributive share of income, gain, loss, or deduction, or whose guaranteed payments, or any combination thereof, is subject to the payment of estimated taxes, as provided in the New Jersey Gross Income Tax Act, N.J.S.A. 54A:1-1 et seq.; or
      • Who is a resident of another state and would be eligible under subsections a, b, or c above, but whose income is not subject to the New Jersey Gross Income Tax Act, N.J.S.A. 54A:1-1 et seq., due to a reciprocity agreement with the other state.
    • “Full-time employee” shall not include any person who works for the business as an independent contractor or on a consulting basis.
  • Entity is in good standing with the NJ CRC, Division of Taxation as evidenced by a valid tax clearance certificate, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, at the time of application.
  • In accordance with Chapter 115, entity has documents of incorporation (or other formation documents) showing the entity commenced operations after the issuance of Executive Order No. 103 of 2020 (March 9, 2020).
  • Owner or owners of 51% or more of the entity have established:
    • One non-home-based retail, personal services, or manufacturing businesses in any US state or territory; or
    • Has two (2) or more years of experience as an owner, manager, executive or supervisor of a retail, agricultural, personal services, or manufacturing business.
  • Owner or owners of 51% or more of the entity have enrolled and completed one of the following:
    • A professional cannabis education course (course or courses in cannabis business, cannabis law, cannabis operations, cannabis plant science/plant cultivation or economics of cannabis) offered by an accredited higher education institution, state or local government, or private provider with at least two years operations and a minimum of 200 program graduates verifiable by the institution, enrolled and completed a small business entrepreneurship training course; or
    • Completed six college credits in business, management, finance, economics, accounting, agricultural sciences, logistics/supply chain management or marketing: or
    • Has three (3) or more years of as an owner, manager, executive or supervisor of a retail, agricultural, personal services such as intellectual or technical or manual services that require advanced knowledge, skills and/or training to deliver a service to an individual or business, or manufacturing business.
  • Entity has secured municipal approval. Municipal approval is defined as the following:
    • Resolution adopted by the municipality’s governing body or, where a municipality has no governing body, a written letter of support from the municipality’s executive; and
    • All land use/planning/zoning approvals required from the municipality.
  • Entity has secured site control, proven by documentation showing control by the applying entity of real property in a New Jersey municipality to be used for the operation of a licensed New Jersey recreational cannabis facility as listed in the application.
    • Documentation demonstrating site control may include but is not limited to property deeds, leases, tax records, mortgages, and executed bills of sale and Binding Letters of Intent (“BLOI”) . BLOIs may be submitted as proof of site control with the entity’s approval for an NJ CRC annual recreational license. Only annual licensees are eligible to present BLOIs. Upon grant approval, the entity will have a time period of 30 calendar days to execute their lease to maintain their grant eligibility. Extensions will not be granted.

Eligible Uses

The grant is designed to support start-up expenses and operational costs for cannabis businesses during early-stage operation.  Eligible uses may include but are not limited to:

  • Rental expenses – evidenced by a fully executed lease. Thirty-six lease payments may be covered after date that conditional license has been awarded.
  • Payroll and Independent Contractor Payments as evidenced by a payroll report, WR30, or equivalent payroll documentation and payment documentation for 1099 contractors.
  • Regulatory Compliance expenses such as those (1) expenses related to all professional and advisory services required to document, analyze, complete and file a New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission application and (2) expenses related to all professional and advisory services required to comply with any and all regulations, rules, controls, statutes and any other requirements related to the legal operation of a NJ cannabis licensee.
  • Legal expenses associated with the business
  • Employee training
  • Professional Services – including but not limited to accounting, human resources, business planning, transportation, security, marketing, website creation, lab services and any other outside services that may be needed to operate cannabis business or obtain any license or authorization to operate from the NJ CRC.
  • Utilities and overhead fees
  • Commercial mortgage payments
  • Business supplies
  • Business equipment under $2,000

Funds may not be used for:

  • Controlled inventory
  • Construction
  • Equipment and installation costing greater than $2,000
  • Purchase of land
  • Demolition of an existing structure
  • Rolling stock

All uses and documentation are subject to NJEDA review and approval. All receipts and/or invoices submitted must be dated after March 9, 2020.

Grant Amounts

The “Joint Ventures Grant” product will award grants in the amount of $250,000 per grantee. There is a limit of one grant award per EIN. 40% of the award pool is reserved for businesses that have obtained a NJ CRC social equity designation, which is defined as business that have more than 50 percent of the ownership interest of the license applicant or license holder owned by people who have lived in an Economically Disadvantaged Area of the state or who have convictions for cannabis-related offenses (expunged or not). 5% of award pool is reserved for entities with project locations in an Impact Zone.

Application Process

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis or until funds are exhausted. Applications will be evaluated on a first come-first evaluated basis. Application award decisions are based on non-discretionary criteria.

Application will include questions and required documentation related to the entity’s ownership including names, ownership share, place and length of residency, owners’ resumes, management team’s resumes, planned place of operation, site address, lot and block numbers, and other information staff may deem necessary to evaluate the application.

Required Application Information

Applicants will also be required to include, but are not limited to, the following documents:

  • New Jersey Certificate of Incorporation or other formation document
  • New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate
  • NJ CRC issued recreational conditional or annual cannabis license, as specified in the eligibility criteria
  • New Jersey WR-30 or equivalent document filed within 180 days of application
  • Documentation evidencing site control
  • Documentation evidencing municipal approvals
  • Completed Legal Questionnaire to begin EDA legal reviews in accordance with Executive Order 34 (Byrne) and the Authority’s Disqualification/Debarment Regulations (N.J.A.C. 19:30-2.1, et seq.) to ensure that applicants demonstrate and maintain the highest standards of responsibility and moral integrity.

For the purposes of the Cannabis Grant Program only, EDA staff has received authority to:

  • decide not to disqualify, debar, or suspend applicants and affiliates convicted of marijuana- and hashish-related offenses that meet the criteria for a “social equity business” as defined in the Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s rules (specifically N.J.A.C. 17:30-6.6 and as administered by CRC, provided the applicant does not have other disqualifying convictions or judgments); and
  • limit the timeframe for investigation into criminal matters, to those where the date of conviction, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later, occurred five (5) years prior to the date of application, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 17:30-7.12. This modification to the delegated authority approved by the Board on June 8, 2022, will be consistent with NJ CRC’s timeframe for disqualifying convictions (as stated in N.J.A.C. 17:30-7.12(d)).
  • Application fee or fee waiver request upon finalization of completeness and eligibility staff review.

Applicants will also be required to show proof of the following:

  • In accordance with Chapter 115, the entity must have documents of incorporation (or other formation documents) showing the entity commenced operations after the issuance of Executive Order No. 103 of 2020 (March 9, 2020).
  • Owner or owners of 51% or more of the entity must have:
    • established at least one non-home-based retail, personal services, or manufacturing businesses in any US state or territory; or  
    • two (2) or more years of experience as an owner, manager, executive or supervisor of a retail, agricultural, personal services, or manufacturing business
  • Owner or owners of 51% or more of the entity have enrolled and completed one of the following:
    • A professional cannabis education course (course or courses in cannabis business, cannabis law, cannabis operations, cannabis plant science/plant cultivation or economics of cannabis) offered by an:
      • accredited higher education institution, or
      • state or local government, or
    • A private provider with at least two years of operations and a minimum of 200 program graduates verifiable by the institution, or
    • Enrolled or completed a small business entrepreneurship training course, or
    • Completed six college credits in business, management, finance, economics, accounting, agricultural sciences, logistics/supply chain management or marketing, OR
    • Have three (3) or more years of as an owner, manager, executive or supervisor of a retail, agricultural, personal services, or manufacturing business

All applications will be reviewed for completeness in the order that they are received by the Authority. At the sole discretion of the Authority, staff may ask for clarification of the information included on the application including, but not limited to, responses, documentation, and attachments at any time prior to the grant award. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and proceed based on their completeness.

Fees

A $1000 nonrefundable application fee is required to complete the application. Fees will not be accepted until the application has been reviewed for completeness and eligibility by program staff and senior management. Applicants who do not meet program eligibility and completeness standards will be advised it is likely that the application will be declined. Applicants will be notified they are able to submit regardless of staff advisory.

Additional Information

Comprehensive information about the Cannabis Equity Grant program is available at https://www.njeda.gov/cannabis

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New Jersey Clean Energy Loans (“NJ CELs”)

Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications for the New Jersey Clean Energy Loans (“NJ CELs”) program on Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 10:00AM EST. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. The application can be accessed at https://www.njeda.gov/njcels/. A non-refundable application fee of $1,000 is due at time of application.

español (Spanish)

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粵語 Traditional Chinese (Cantonese Chinese)

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普通语 Simplified Chinese (Mandarin Chinese)

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Purpose

The purpose of NJ CELs is to unlock capital for small businesses and start-ups seeking financing for clean energy projects, and to catalyze the deployment of clean energy in New Jersey (“NJ”). 

Overview

NJ CELs is a co-lending program that offers term loans to small businesses seeking to finance eligible clean energy projects in NJ. NJ CELs is utilizing $80 million of NJ’s allocation of funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s SSBCI. The Authority will either originate companion loans directly to borrowers in parallel with one or more financial institutions, or purchase participation in loans that financial institutions extend to borrowers. In all cases, the NJEDA will only finance up to 50% of the total loan amount requested for the clean energy project.

Program Details

The NJEDA’s loans will be between $250,000 and $10 million, for projects with a total principal amount of $500,000 to $20 million.

Eligible clean energy projects for NJ CELs include, but are not limited to, those involving the development, commercialization, manufacturing of products and services, and implementation of technologies that support renewable energy generation and distributed energy resources, grid modernization, energy efficiency and zero-carbon building development, and transport system electrification.

Examples of clean energy technologies include solar power, onshore and offshore wind, electric battery storage, fuel-cell-based storage, carbon capture technologies, non-combustion waste-to- energy technologies, wave energy, water use minimization technologies, carbon-reducing materials, nuclear energy, heat pumps and geothermal, run of river hydroelectric, and other innovative recycling technologies and processes. This list also includes firms that manufacture either finished or interim advanced technologies or components.

Excluded from this list are distribution or transmission utilities, conventional landfill operations, combustion-based waste-to-energy projects, and natural gas projects.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for NJ CELs, applicants must:

  • Meet the eligibility criteria for the program, as defined below, and
  • Score a minimum of 50 out of 100 points on the scoring criteria.

To be eligible for NJ CELs, an applicant organization must:

  • Have fewer than 750 full-time equivalent (“FTE”) employees1;
  • Be in good standing with the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development and NJ Department of Environmental Protection;
  • Have a valid New Jersey tax clearance certificate no older than 180 days at time of approval for financing;
  • Be located in New Jersey;
  • Be seeking to finance a clean energy project (see “Program Details” above);
  • Use a clean energy technology that has already been demonstrated in the US or internationally2;
  • Be economically feasible; as demonstrated by a realistic and sustainable business model.  A sustainable model will create and retain the new employees as long-term or permanent as forecasted, and the loan amount requested, together with the other debt and equity investment, cash incentives and other sources of funding, is adequate to achieve the stated purpose of the project;
  • Requesting a total loan minimum of $500,000 up to $20 million maximum for the project.  This includes the NJEDA portion plus private financing portion; 
  • Be requesting 50% or less of the total loan amount from NJEDA ($250,000-$10 million); and
  • Not be enrolled in any other SSBCI program.

Applicants must also provide a term sheet (or letter of intent, draft agreement, commitment letter, or similar document) from a financial institution that is:

  • On the NJEDA Premier Lender list or NJEDA’s CDFI Premier Lender list; or
  • A private equity fund, bank, pension fund, insurance company, hedge fund, mezzanine fund, original equipment manufacturer (OEM), developer, family office, specialty finance company, or such other entity that has originated, maintained, and serviced more than $5 million in clean energy loans over a three-year period.

NJ CELs scoring criteria includes:

  • Direct jobs forecast to be created, relative to dollar amount of aggregate lending;
  • Strength of management team and partnering entities;
  • Benefits to NJ overburdened communities;
  • Being a NJ Certified Minority-, Woman-, and/or Veteran-Owned Business;
  • Current number of employees at the time of application;
  • Aggregate principal amount of project; and
  • Initial ratio of private financing to NJEDA funds for the proposed project.

The full scoring criteria and available points can be viewed here: https://www.njeda.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Scoring-Criteria_3.6.2023.pdf

Loan proceeds may be used for business purposes only, including but not limited to start-up costs; working capital; acquisition of equipment, inventory, or services used in the production, manufacturing, or delivery of a business’s goods or services; or the purchase, construction, renovation, or tenant improvements of an eligible place of business that is not for passive real estate investment purposes.

Any and all construction contracts awarded in NJ that require payment of prevailing wage must provide proof of valid Construction Contractor Registration Certification.  Construction may be subject to Federal and/or State environmental requirements including but not limited to the National Environmental Protection Act and New Jersey Executive Order 215 (Kean).

Notwithstanding the above, funds may not be used to:

  • With certain limited exceptions, acquire or hold passive investments in real estate such as when the proceeds of the loan are used to invest in real estate acquired and held primarily for sale, lease, or investment;
  • Repay delinquent federal or state income taxes;
  • Repay taxes held in trust or escrow (e.g., payroll or sales taxes);
  • Reimburse funds owed to any owner, including any equity investment or investment of capital for the business’s continuance;
  • Purchase any portion of the ownership interest of any owner of the business, except for the purchase of an interest in an employee stock ownership plan qualifying under section 401 of Internal Revenue Code, worker cooperative, or related vehicle, provided that the transaction results in the employee stock ownership plan or other employee-owned entity holding a majority interest (on a fully diluted basis) in the business; or
  • Support a business in an illegal activity, pyramid scheme, or any unethical business.

Loan Terms and Rates

The NJEDA will only finance up to 50% of the overall loan amount for a project. At least half of the total loan for the project must be financed by one or more financial institutions that meet the criteria listed above. 

NJEDA loan terms:  

  • Between $250,000 and $10 million (for projects with a total loan amount of $500,000-$20 million) 
  • For terms between 1 and 25 years  
  • Interest rate: 3% below the financial institution’s rate 
  • Secured, but subordinate to the private lender in collateral.  

Special terms: Minority-, woman-, or veteran-owned businesses, as well as businesses whose projects are located in an overburdened community, are eligible for:  

  • Additional 1% interest rate reduction each; and 
  • 10% loan forgiveness, if the project results in at least 1 job being created per $100,000 of aggregate lending for the project at the end of the loan term or after 5 years, whichever is sooner.

Application Process:

The NJ CELs application will open at 10:00 AM Eastern on Wednesday, April 19, 2023. The application, once live, can be accessed at https://www.njeda.gov/njcels/.

Complete applications will be reviewed by the Authority on a rolling basis. NJEDA staff will verify basic eligibility criteria, including meeting the minimum SSBCI requirements, and conduct an overall evaluation using the standardized scoring criteria. NJEDA may also request the findings from the financial institution’s underwriting, including ability-to-pay (credit) analysis. Applicants who submitted incomplete applications will be provided the opportunity to submit missing information within ten business days.

Fees:

NJEDA will charge applicants the following fees: 

  • Application fee: non-refundable $1,000 fee for applying to NJ CELs
  • Commitment fee: non-refundable fee of 0.875% of the loan amount paid prior to NJEDA issuing a commitment letter
  • Closing fee of 0.875% of the loan amount (non-refundable) paid:
    • at closing in cases where NJEDA is originating a companion loan; or
    • at the time NJEDA purchases participation in a loan originated by a financial institution.

Additional Information:

Additional information on NJ CELs may be found at https://www.njeda.gov/njcels/.

Questions concerning this Notice of Funding Availability should be submitted via email to njcels@njeda.com.

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  1. Full-time equivalent (FTE) definition: One full-time employee with a minimum of 40 hours of work per week, or a combined number of 40 part-time and seasonal employee hours per week.

A business’s total number of employees includes the business’s full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) as well as the FTEs of its affiliates, rounded to the nearest whole number.

2. “Demonstrated” means that, at a minimum, a prototype has been verified in an operational environmental, either in the U.S. or abroad.

NJ ZIP Pilot Voucher Program for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicles

Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”) will begin accepting applications from potential vehicle purchasers for the second phase of the New Jersey Zero-Emission Incentive Program (“NJ ZIP)” pilot at 10:00 AM Eastern on Tuesday, April 18, 2023.

The application will remain open until all the voucher funds are reserved, on a first come, first served basis, with set asides by location, business type, and use case. The application can be assessed at www.njeda.gov/njzip. A fee of $1,000 is due at time of application.

Please note:

This NOFA is for New Jersey businesses and institutions (“Purchaser Applicants”) to apply for voucher funding to support the purchase of zero-emission vehicles (“ZEV”) only. NJ ZIP vehicle dealers and manufacturers (“Vendor Applicants”) are not eligible  and had the opportunity to apply   between October 18 -November 22, 2022 for consideration as approved vendors eligible for selection by purchasers in the NJ ZIP pilot for Phase 2.

Purpose

The purpose of NJ ZIP is to help New Jersey-based companies accelerate adoption of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs by reducing the upfront capital cost through the provision of vouchers. The adoption of ZEV will help reduce emissions statewide.  Additionally, this second phase of the NJ ZIP pilot will allow NJEDA to stimulate and assess market-readiness as well as determine and foster the economic impact of ZEV adoption moving forward.

Overview

This second phase of the NJ ZIP pilot will ultimately approve and reserve voucher funding to support Purchaser Applicants who meet a set of eligibility criteria, and whose selected vehicles, approved vehicle vendors, and vehicle use case qualify. This second phase of the pilot is for commercial, industrial, or institutional organizations with vehicle operations in the state of New Jersey purchasing medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs. 

Program Details

The NJ ZIP pilot is a first-come, first-serve voucher program focused on incentivizing the use of ZEVs by New Jersey businesses and institutions. The Authority’s expenditure of this funding is aligned with its core mission, to foster sustainable and equitable economic growth – in this case, in the commercial-use ZEV ecosystem and value chain within the State.  In line with Governor Phil Murphy’s recent pledge to convert to 100 percent zero-emission vehicles statewide by 2035, NJ ZIP aims to expedite the adoption and use of clean-energy vehicles for business owners, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and bolster the state’s clean energy economy.

Eligibility

As noted above, this NOFA is for NJ ZIP pilot Purchaser Applicants only.

To be eligible for the second phase of NJ ZIP pilot, a Purchaser Applicant must:

  • Be a commercial, industrial, or institutional organization registered to do business in New Jersey. As defined in the Global Warming Solutions Fund regulation (N.J.A.C. 7:27D-1.2), “institutional” means serving a non-profit or public purpose such as a library, hospital, public school, institution of higher education, municipal utility, public recreation or cultural facility, or government entity. The term “government entity” includes local and municipal government entities, but for the purposes of this pilot, State government entities are not eligible.
  • Provide a valid New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate to demonstrate business registration or ability to conduct operations in New Jersey. 
  • Be in good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL), the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the New Jersey Division of Taxation.
  • Satisfy the Authority’s debarment/disqualification review, not be in default under any Authority program, and not have any outstanding obligations to the Authority.
  • Be the prospective vehicle owner at time of application, and be the vehicle owner throughout the compliance period.

To be eligible for the second phase of NJ ZIP pilot, the Purchaser Applicant’s proposed vehicle(s) must be:

  • A new zero-emission Class 2b – Class 8 (GVWR 8,501 lbs. – 33,000+ lbs.) vehicle, used for commercial, industrial, or institutional purposes. Retrofits and repowers of pre-owned vehicles are not eligible.
    • All ZEVs, defined as “a vehicle that emits no tailpipe pollutants from the onboard source of power, such as particulates, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, ozone, lead, and various oxides of nitrogen”, are eligible for vouchers. This includes, but is not limited to, battery-electric (BEV) and hydrogen fuel cell-electric (FCEV) vehicles.
  • Purchased, delivered, and registered in compliance with the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission (“NJMVC”) within 12 months of receipt of the voucher approval letter. Proof of intent to purchase at time of application is required for eligibility. An extension for up to an additional six months may be permitted, as described below.
  • Not the subject of any other State or federal funding for the same vehicle(s).
  • Procured from an approved vendor (detailed in the following section).

Note: Vehicle scrappage is not mandated by this program EXCEPT in the case that the new vehicle is replacing a vehicle model year 2009 or earlier. For consistency with prior State programs, “scrappage” is defined within the DEP’s Volkswagen (“VW”) Settlement funded grant program as rendering the vehicle inoperable and available for recycle; at a minimum, to cut a 3-inch hole in the engine block and disable the chassis by cutting the vehicle’s frame rails complete in half. Vehicles that are not replacements (i.e., ZEV purchased are for new use cases or to expand a fleet) or are replacing a model year 2010 or later DO NOT have to comply with scrappage requirements. Information on any vehicle replacements will be requested within the application to determine scrappage requirements and support Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”)-metric reporting on avoided emissions.

Approved vehicle vendors for the second phase of NJ ZIP pilot must:

  • Provide proof of a minimum of 12 months of experience selling or manufacturing eligible zero-emission vehicles.
  • Be registered to conduct business in New Jersey, as demonstrated by a valid New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate.
  • Be in good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL), the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the New Jersey Division of Taxation.
  • Satisfy the Authority’s debarment/disqualification review, not be in default under any Authority program, and not have any outstanding obligations to the Authority.
  • Offer at least one eligible vehicle and provide required vehicle-associated documentation, including but not limited to:
    • Listing information related to the vehicles, such as via vendor website, inclusive of vehicle images, descriptions, and sale cost.
      • A specification sheet outlining all major components, corroborating vehicle capabilities, charging/fueling needs, design appropriate to proposed use, and eligibility.
      • Certification from the manufacturer that the vehicle complies with all applicable state and federal requirements for operation, including the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
      • Standard warranty for the eligible vehicle(s), indicating at least three years or 50,000 miles of coverage, whichever comes first, covering parts (at a minimum, motor, drive train, and batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, etc.) and labor. May be updated on a per-purchaser basis.
      • Typical delivery plan and timeline, updated on a per-purchaser basis.
      • Proof of intent to purchase eligible vehicle(s) on a per-purchaser basis
      • In-state servicing plan for maintenance of vehicles aligned with industry norms and current best practices implemented before vehicle delivery. May be updated on a per-purchaser basis.
      • Standard charging or fueling plan development methodology, updated on a per-purchaser basis to address such purchaser’s needs, providing clarity on, but not limited to, the anticipated count, type, capacity, and location of chargers/fueling stations necessary for the vehicle(s).
      • Agree to accept the program’s terms and conditions as laid out in the grant agreement, including but not limited to:
        • Accept the program’s voucher towards Purchaser Applicants’ vehicle payments, deducting the vehicle’s voucher amount from the upfront cost.
          • Engage with EDA’s selected technical assistance provider, potentially including in-person events when mutually agreed to.

Other terms and conditions: By accepting the voucher funding, Purchaser Applicants will also agree to the following terms:

  • Purchaser Applicant will register the vehicle in the State of New Jersey for a minimum of the three continuous years.
  • Purchaser Applicant will annually operate at least 75 percent of vehicle miles traveled (“VMT”) in the State of the New Jersey.
  • NJEDA’s right to audit and verify compliance with eligibility requirements post-voucher redemption, and agree to provide responses and data upon request to support such audits and verifications. For example, to verify VMT miles traveled within the eligible overburdened  communities, NJEDA may require data such as but not limited to telematics, route maps, delivery histories, etc.
  • Permit the use of NJEDA Purchaser Applicant information, Vendor Applicant information, and vehicle data and information provided in the application and audit process that is not otherwise prohibited by law, for case studies and to support the development of future programs.
  • Purchaser Applicant will commit to displaying a visual indication on the commercial vehicle that it is a ZEV and that its purchase was subsidized through this program, as materially provided by NJEDA (e.g., a bumper sticker, placard, etc.).

Pilot Program Voucher Funding Levels

Voucher funding amounts are based on Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (“GVWR”) laid out in the table below:

Table 1: Voucher Amounts

Vehicle GVWRVehicle ClassVoucher amount
8,501 – 10,000 lbs.Class 2b$20,000
10,0001 – 14,000 lbs.Class 3$50,000
14,001 – 16,000 lbs.Class 4$65,000
16,001 – 19,500 lbs.Class 5$75,000
19,501 – 26,000 lbs.Class 6$90,000
 26,001 – 33,000 lbs.Class 7$135,000
33,001+ lbs.Class 8$175,000

These voucher amounts are based on industry research with subject matter experts through procured consultant, Guidehouse, benchmarked against other states’ current, prior, and proposed programs, and verified with outreach from stakeholders. These values represent, based on current range of estimated ZEV costs, approximately 75 – 110 percent of the incremental cost of ZEV compared to similar internal combustion engine vehicles, bringing the ZEV closer to or at upfront cost parity for trucks. Through the same research, ZEV buses were identified as having a much larger upfront cost compared to diesel bus alternatives. These base voucher amounts would not meet the incremental cost of a ZEV bus, thus the need for additional voucher funding.

In order to address stakeholder-identified barriers and to further incentivize activity aligned with the Authority’s mission, Purchaser Applicants may be eligible and apply for increased per-vehicle voucher bonuses through documentation of any of the following:

  • Certified woman-, minority-, or veteran-owned business bonus: A four percent increase in the base voucher amount per vehicle per qualifying New Jersey State woman-, minority-, or veteran-owned business certification
  • Small business bonus: A 25 percent increase of the base voucher amount per vehicle.
    • For the purposes of this program, a small business is defined as having 25 or fewer full time employees in total OR less than $5 million in annual revenue.
    • New Jersey manufacturing bonus: A 25 percent increase of base voucher amount per vehicle will be available if the Vendor Applicant can document (for example, but not limited to, through price sheets and hourly rates) that 25 percent of the cost of the vehicle is spent in New Jersey on labor for vehicle design, assembly, and/or manufacturing or cost of components produced in New Jersey.
    • Environmental justice bonus: A ten percent increase of base voucher amount per vehicle to small business applicants or municipalities who commit to driving in environmentally overburdened communities. To be eligible, Purchaser Applicants must demonstrate in a manner acceptable to the Authority, annual operation of 50 percent or more of VMT OR registration and domicile within an overburdened community census tract for a minimum of three continuous years from the date of registration.
    • School Bus bonus: A 25 percent increase in base voucher amount per vehicle if the Purchaser Applicant is purchasing a school bus.  Those receiving a benefit under P.L. 2022, c. 86 are not eligible under this program. 

These bonuses may be stacked, and the Applicant may be eligible for multiple bonuses.

Purchaser Applicants may apply for more than one vehicle voucher within the same application. The total funding per vehicle may equal but may not exceed the cost of the vehicle. The total funding reserved for a Purchaser Applicant (as determined by EIN) through vouchers inclusive of any qualifying bonuses, cannot exceed $3,000,000, to ensure equitable distribution of resources.

Of the total NJ ZIP pilot program budget, $45,000,000 will be reserved to fund vouchers, utilizing the following allocations:

  • $15,000,000 will be set-aside for small businesses
  • $15,000,000 will be set-aside for overburdened community applications.

The remainder of voucher funding will be un-allocated.  All disbursements will be subject to availability of funding.

Application Process:

The Purchaser Application will open at 10:00 AM Eastern on Tuesday, April18, 2022. There is not a deadline for applying; the portal will remain open until all the voucher funds are reserved, on a first come, first served basis, with set asides by location, business type, and use case. The application, once live, can be accessed at www.njeda.gov/njzip.

As a duplication of benefits (“DOB”) is prohibited, Purchaser Applicants shall disclose and certify as to receipt of funding or financial assistance from multiple sources for the same ZEV at time of disbursement.  This will be verified by NJEDA.

A DOB occurs when someone receives funding or financial assistance from multiple sources for the same purpose/expense and the total assistance received exceeds their need for that type of assistance.  Other funding sources that are considered in determining whether a duplication of benefits exists are other State or Federal grant-style programs, such as the NJ DEP’s Volkswagen Settlement funds or the US EPA’s Clean School Bus Rebate Program, which have the same purpose.  So, the combined value of the NJ ZIP grant and other funding sources may not exceed the purchase price for the vehicle. 

Federal tax credits and State sales tax exemptions are not considered duplication of benefits, as their purpose is not designed to reduce upfront cost.

Chargers and related infrastructure are not eligible for NJ ZIP voucher funding and therefore may be covered by utility, State, Federal, or other grant funding.

Fees: Applicants will be assessed an application fee of $1,000 per application.

If the fee creates an undue financial hardship on your business, you may apply for a fee waiver which, if approved by NJEDA, would reduce your fee by half ($500).

Additional Information:

Additional information on the NJ ZIP may be found at https://www.njeda.gov/njzip

Click Here for Full PDF

New Jersey Child Care Facility Improvement Program
Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA or Authority) expects to launch an online application for the NJ Child Care Facilities Improvement Program – Phase 1 at 10 a.m. on November 15, 2022 at https://www.njeda.gov/child-care-improvement-program. NJEDA will begin the review process for applications on a first come, first reviewed basis from when they are initially submitted, beginning from the date and time the program application is open to the public and until all funding is committed, or three (3) years after the date of application launch, whichever is sooner. Applications will move through several stages of review with ongoing communication between NJEDA staff and the applicant on a rolling basis.

español (Spanish)
ATENCIÓN: si habla español, los servicios de asistencia lingüística, gratuitos, están disponibles para usted enviando un correo electrónico a languagehelp@njeda.com.

اللغة  (Arabic)
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粵語 Traditional Chinese (Cantonese Chinese)
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Purpose

The NJ Child Care Facilities Improvement Program – Phase 1 provides grants between $50,000 and $200,000 to licensed New Jersey child care centers for facilities improvements that will contribute to high quality early childhood learning environments.  Child care providers may propose interior and exterior facility improvements to enhance the quality of their program and receive funding to cover the full costs of the project.

Overview

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of the child care sector as a critical enabler of economic activity and recovery. Working families require reliable, safe, affordable, accessible, and quality child care. However, the child care sector – both in New Jersey and across the nation – faces complex challenges as the economy recovers.

In July 2021, the legislature passed and Governor Murphy signed S3990 into law as P.L. 2021, c. 114, which appropriated $100 million of federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) funds to support child care providers and the child care workforce through a number of initiatives, including providing grants for facilities improvements, technical assistance, workforce development supports, and a study of the child care landscape in the state. NJEDA received $54.5 million for grants for facility improvements and to provide technical assistance to child care providers. This program will also use $4.45 million in state funds appropriated in the fiscal year 2022 budget to support child care facility improvements. In Phase 1 of the Child Care Facilities Improvement Program, $14.45 million of combined state and federal funds is available with the ability to increase up to $24.45 million based on demand.

Program Details

The grants in Phase 1 are to help licensed child care centers create high-quality learning environments by covering the full costs of interior or exterior improvements. The funding for Phase 1 is only open to licensed child care centers. Registered family child care providers (FCCs), also known as family child care homes, are not eligible for funding in Phase 1.

In line with Governor Murphy’s commitment to the child care sector, the purpose of the grant is to support New Jersey child care providers to make improvements to their child care facility in order to:

  • Support child care businesses – including many minority- and women-owned businesses and those in Opportunity Zone eligible census tracts – that normally don’t have access to funding for facility improvements and allow providers to free up funds otherwise dedicated to facilities for other uses.
  • Target resources to communities of greater need due to historic disinvestment, through set-aside for providers located in Opportunity Zones and include the requirement that providers serve low-income children receiving support from the Child Care Assistance Program.
  • Promote developmentally- and age-appropriate environments, and support providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to remain viable and available to serve families and children.
  • Engage providers to participate in Grow NJ Kids (GNJK), New Jersey’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) to potentially increase reimbursement rates for subsidy-eligible children.

Up to 40 percent of total grant funding made available in Phase 1 of the Program will be reserved for eligible applicants in Opportunity Zone eligible census tracts.

Eligibility

During Phase 1, only licensed child care centers are eligible. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be child care centers licensed by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) as of June 4, 2021 and offer full-time care for six hours or more per day for at least 10 months of the year.
    • Applicants may be for-profit businesses or non-profit organizations.
  • Applicants may own or lease their space.
  • Currently enroll, or have enrolled in the 12 months prior to the date of application, at least one child receiving support through the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).
  • Be in good standing with the New Jersey Departments of:
    • Labor and Workforce Development
    • Environmental Protection
    • Treasury (Division of Taxation)
    • Children and Families
    • Human Services.
  • Not be debarred from receiving federal funds as indicated through the federal System for Award Management (SAM).
  • If not already enrolled in Grow NJ Kids (GNJK), the NJ Quality Rating and Improvement System, applicants must commit to enroll within one year of executing a grant agreement with the NJEDA. 
  • Commit to maintaining their license with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to provide care at the location of the facility improvement project for at least four years following the execution of a grant agreement with the NJEDA. 
  • Applications will be limited to one application per DCF-licensed child care center (based on license number, which is licensed at a child care center site location level) and two applications per Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Eligible Uses

Under the NJ Child Care Facility Improvement Program – Phase 1, grants may be used for prospective hard costs, soft costs, and/or furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FFE) associated with eligible facilities improvements. Projects may include interior and exterior improvements and a complete list of eligible uses can be found here. No more than 20 percent of a grant may be used to support soft costs, which for this program are limited to architect fees, permit fees, construction management, freight and shipping delivery, and environmental assessment.

Grants will cover the full project cost of the facility improvement(s), with a minimum eligible project cost of $50,000 and a maximum eligible project cost of $200,000 per DCF-licensed child care center. Applicants may not use external funding sources to fund the specific project(s) proposed in this application. Grant awards will be calculated based on the quoted project cost of the facility improvement, plus an additional 15 percent, which the grantee may use, upon request and NJEDA verification, for unanticipated cost overruns.

All facility improvement projects must be conducted by New Jersey Department of Labor Registered Public Works Contractors, which must abide by state prevailing wage and affirmative action requirements and be registered at SAM.gov.

Grant Amounts

The minimum grant amount is $50,000 with a maximum award of $200,000 per Department of Children and Families licensed child care center, plus an additional 15 percent, which the grantee may use, upon request and NJEDA verification, for unanticipated cost overruns.

Application Process

Online applications will be accepted and reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis from the date and time the program application is open to the public. Applications will be accepted until all funding is exhausted or three years after the date of application launch, whichever is sooner.

Fees

Due to financial hardship experienced by child care providers during and emerging from the pandemic, as well as in recognition of the fact that the child care industry operates under extremely thin profit margins for which any of the Authority’s conventional fees could restrict the ability of child care facilities to access this funding, no fees will be collected by the Authority for this program.

Additional Information

Comprehensive information about the NJ Child Care Facilities Improvement Program – Phase 1 is available at www.njeda.gov/child-care-improvement-program.

Click here for PDF

NJ ZIP Pilot Voucher Program for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero Emission Vehicles – Vendors’ Application
Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA or Authority) will begin accepting applications from qualified vendors for the second phase of the New Jersey Zero-Emission Incentive  Program (NJ ZIP) pilot at 10:00 AM Eastern on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. The deadline to apply is 8:00 PM Eastern on Tuesday, November 22, 2022. The application can be assessed at www.njeda.gov/njzip. A fee of $1,000 is due at time of application.

Please note: this NOFA is for NJ ZIP vehicle dealers and manufacturers (”Vendor Applicants”) only.  Vehicle dealers and manufactures may submit an application for consideration as approved vendors eligible for selection by purchasers in the NJ ZIP pilot. The application for New Jersey businesses and institutions (“Purchaser Applicants”) to apply for voucher funding to support the purchase of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) will open at a future date and will be announced via a separate NOFA.

Purpose

The purpose of NJ ZIP is to help New Jersey-based companies accelerate adoption of  zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles by reducing the upfront capital cost through the provision of vouchers. The adoption of ZEV will help reduce emissions statewide.  Additionally, this second phase of the NJ ZIP pilot will allow NJEDA to stimulate and assess market-readiness as well as determine and foster the economic impact of ZEV adoption moving forward.

Overview

This second phase of the NJ ZIP pilot will ultimately approve and reserve voucher funding to support Purchaser Applicants who meet a set of eligibility criteria, and whose selected vehicles, approved vehicle vendors, and vehicle use case qualify. This second phase of the pilot is for commercial, industrial, or institutional organizations with vehicle operations in the state of New Jersey that are purchasing medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs, and for the approved vendors of such products.  As noted above this NOFA is for NJ ZIP vendor applicants only.  The application for New Jersey businesses and institutions to apply for voucher funding to support the purchase of ZEVs will open at a future date and will be announced via a separate NOFA.

Program Details

The NJ ZIP pilot is a first-come, first-serve voucher program focused on incentivizing the adoption of ZEVs by New Jersey businesses and institutions. The Authority’s use of this funding is aligned with its core mission, to foster sustainable and equitable economic growth – in this case, in the commercial-use ZEV ecosystem and value chain within the State.  It is also aligned with the State’s broader clean transportation goals – to transition 75 percent of medium- and 50 percent of heavy-duty vehicles to zero emission by 2050 supported by incentive programs. See the New Jersey Energy Master Plan (Goal 1.1.8).

Eligibility

As noted above this NOFA is for NJ ZIP pilot Vendor Applicants only.  The application for New Jersey businesses and institutions to apply for voucher funding to support the purchase of ZEVs (Purchaser Applicants) will open at a future date and will be announced via a separate NOFA.

To be eligible for the second phase of NJ ZIP pilot, a Purchaser Applicant must:

  • Be a commercial, industrial, or institutional organization registered to do business in New Jersey. As defined in the Global Warming Solutions Fund regulation (N.J.A.C. 7:27D-1.2), “institutional” means serving a non-profit or public purpose such as a library, hospital, public school, institution of higher education, municipal utility, public recreation or cultural facility, or government entity. The term “government entity” includes local and municipal government entities, but for the purposes of this pilot, State government entities are not eligible.
  • Provide a valid New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate and/or other documentation deemed acceptable by the Authority, as applicable, to demonstrate  business registration or ability to conduct operations in New Jersey. 
  • Be in good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL), the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the New Jersey Division of Taxation.
  • Satisfy the Authority’s debarment/disqualification review, not be in default under any Authority program, and not have any outstanding obligations to the Authority.
  • Be the prospective vehicle owner at time of application, and be the vehicle owner throughout the compliance period

To be eligible for the second phase of NJ ZIP pilot, the Purchaser Applicant’s proposed vehicle(s) must be:

  • A new zero-emission Class 2b – Class 8 (GVWR 8,501 lbs. – 33,000+ lbs.) vehicle, used for commercial, industrial, or institutional purposes. Retrofits and repowers of pre-owned vehicles are not eligible.
    • All ZEVs, defined as “a vehicle that emits no tailpipe pollutants from the onboard source of power, such as particulates, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, ozone, lead, and various oxides of nitrogen”, are eligible for vouchers. This includes, but is not limited to, battery-electric (BEV) and hydrogen fuel cell-electric (FCEV) vehicles.
  • Purchased, delivered, and registered in compliance with the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission (NJMVC) within 12 months of receipt of the voucher approval letter. Proof of intent to purchase at time of application is required for eligibility. An extension for up to an additional six months may be permitted, as described below.
  • Not the subject of any other State or federal funding for the same vehicle(s).
  • Procured from an approved vendor (detailed in the following section).

Note: Vehicle scrappage is not mandated by this program EXCEPT in the case that the new vehicle is replacing a vehicle model year 2009 or earlier. For consistency with prior State programs, “scrappage” is defined within the DEP’s Volkswagen (VW) Settlement funded grant program as rendering the vehicle inoperable and available for recycle; at a minimum, to cut a 3-inch hole in the engine block and disable the chassis by cutting the vehicle’s frame rails complete in half. Vehicles that are not replacements (i.e., ZEV purchased are for new use cases or to expand a fleet) or are replacing a model year 2010 or later DO NOT have to comply with scrappage requirements. Information on any vehicle replacements will be requested within the application to determine scrappage requirements and support Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)-metric reporting on avoided emissions.

To be eligible for the second phase of NJ ZIP pilot, a vehicle Vendor Applicant must:

  • Provide proof of a minimum of 12 months of experience selling or manufacturing eligible zero-emission vehicles.
  • Be registered to conduct business in New Jersey, as demonstrated by a valid New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate.
  • Be in good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL), the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the New Jersey Division of Taxation.
  • Satisfy the Authority’s debarment/disqualification review, not be in default under any Authority program, and not have any outstanding obligations to the Authority.
  • Offer at least one eligible vehicle and provide required vehicle-associated documentation, including but not limited to:
    • Listing information related to the vehicles, such as via vendor website, inclusive of vehicle images, descriptions, and sale cost.
    • A specification sheet outlining all major components, corroborating vehicle capabilities, charging/fueling needs, design appropriate to proposed use, and eligibility.
    • Certification from the manufacturer that the vehicle complies with all applicable state and federal requirements for operation, including the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
    • Standard warranty for the eligible vehicle(s), indicating at least three years or 50,000 miles of coverage, whichever comes first, covering parts (at a minimum, motor, drive train, and batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, etc.) and labor. May be updated on a per-purchaser basis.
    • Typical delivery plan and timeline, updated on a per-purchaser basis.
    • Proof of intent to purchase eligible vehicle(s) on a per-purchaser basis
    • In-state servicing plan for maintenance of vehicles aligned with industry norms and current best practices implemented before vehicle delivery. May be updated on a per-purchaser basis.
    • Standard charging or fueling plan development methodology, updated on a per-purchaser basis to address such purchaser’s needs, providing clarity on, but not limited to, the anticipated count, type, capacity, and location of chargers/fueling stations necessary for the vehicle(s).
  • Agree to accept the program’s terms and conditions as laid out in the grant agreement, including but not limited to:
    • Accept the program’s voucher towards Purchaser Applicants’ vehicle payments, deducting the vehicle’s voucher amount from the upfront cost.
    • Engage with EDA’s selected technical assistance provider, potentially including in-person events when mutually agreed to.

Other terms and conditions: By accepting the voucher funding, purchaser applicants and vendor applicants will also agree to the following terms:

  • Purchaser Applicant will register the vehicle in the State of New Jersey for a minimum of the three continuous years.
  • Purchaser Applicant will annually operate at least 75 percent of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the State of the New Jersey.
  • NJEDA’s right to audit and verify compliance with eligibility requirements post-voucher redemption, and agree to provide responses and data upon request to support such audits and verifications. For example, to verify vehicle miles traveled within the eligible overburdened  communities, NJEDA may require data such as but not limited to telematics, route maps, delivery histories, etc.
  • Permit NJEDA Purchaser Applicant information, Vendor Applicant information, and vehicle data and information provided in the application and audit process,  that is not otherwise prohibited by law, for case studies and to support the development of future programs.
  • Purchaser Applicant will commit to displaying a visual indication on the commercial vehicle that it is a ZEV and that its purchase was subsidized through this program, as materially provided by NJEDA (e.g., a bumper sticker, placard, etc.).

Pilot Program Voucher Funding Levels

Voucher funding amounts are based on Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) laid out in the table below:

Voucher GVWR

Vehicle Class

Voucher Amount

8,501-10,000 lbs

Class 2B 

$20,000

10,001-14,000 lbs

Class 3 

$50,000

14,001-16,000 lbs

Class 4 

$65,000

16,001-19,500 lbs

Class 5 

$75,000

19,501-26,000 lbs

Class 6 

$90,000

26,001-33,000 lbs

Class 7 

$135,000

33,001+ lbs

Class 8 

$175,000

These voucher amounts are based on industry research with subject matter experts through procured consultant, Guidehouse, benchmarked against other states’ current, prior, and proposed programs, and verified with outreach from stakeholders. These values represent, based on current range of estimated ZEV costs, approximately 75 – 110 percent of the incremental cost of ZEV compared to similar internal combustion engine vehicles, bringing the  ZEV closer to or at upfront cost parity for trucks. Through the same research, ZEV buses were identified as having a much larger upfront cost compared to diesel bus alternatives. These base voucher amounts would not meet the incremental cost of a ZEV bus, thus the need for additional voucher funding.

In order to address stakeholder-identified barriers and to further incentivize activity aligned with the Authority’s mission, Purchaser Applicants may be eligible and apply for increased per-vehicle voucher bonuses through documentation of any of the following:

  • Certified woman-, minority-, or veteran-owned business bonus: A four percent increase in the base voucher amount  per vehicle per qualifying New Jersey State woman-, minority-, or veteran-owned business certification
  • Small business bonus: A 25 percent increase of the base voucher amount per vehicle.
    • For the purposes of this program, a small business is defined as having 25 or fewer full time employees in total OR less than $5 million in annual revenue.
  • New Jersey manufacturing bonus: A 25 percent increase of base voucher amount per vehicle will be available if the Vendor Applicant can document (for example, but not limited to, through price sheets and hourly rates) that 25 percent of the cost of the vehicle is spent in New Jersey on labor for vehicle design, assembly, and/or manufacturing or cost of components produced in New Jersey.
  • Environmental justice bonus: A ten percent increase of base voucher amount per vehicle to small business applicants or municipalities who commit to driving in environmentally overburdened communities. To be eligible, Purchaser Applicants must demonstrate in a manner acceptable to the Authority, annual operation of 50 percent or more of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) OR registration and domicile within an overburdened community census tract for a minimum of three continuous years from the date of registration.
  • School Bus bonus: A 25 percent increase in base voucher amount per vehicle if the Purchaser Applicant is purchasing a school bus.  Those receiving a benefit under P.L. 2022, c. 86 are not eligible under this program. 

These bonuses may be stacked, and the Applicant may be eligible for multiple bonuses .

Purchaser Applicants may apply for more than one vehicle voucher within the same application. The total funding per vehicle may equal but may not exceed the cost of the vehicle. The total funding reserved for a Purchaser Applicant (as determined by EIN) through vouchers inclusive of any qualifying bonuses, cannot exceed $3,000,000, to ensure equitable distribution of resources.

All disbursements will be subject to availability of funding.

The total RGGI-funded NJ ZIP pilot budget will be $46,575,000. Of the total program budget, $45,000,000 will be reserved to fund vouchers, utilizing the following allocations:

  • $15,000,000 will be set-aside for small businesses
  • $15,000,000 will be set-aside for overburdened community applications.

The remainder of voucher funding will be un-allocated.

Application Process:

The Vendor Application will open at 10:00 AM Eastern on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. The deadline to apply is 8:00 PM Eastern Tuesday, November 22, 2022. The application, once live, can be accessed at www.njeda.gov/njzip.

Upon closure of the application period, the Authority will review Vendor Applications for completeness; applicants that submitted incomplete applications will be provided the opportunity to submit missing information within ten business days.

Purchaser applications are expected to open in early 2023.

Fees: Vendors will be assessed an application fee of $1,000 per application.

Additional Information:

Additional information on the NJ ZIP may be found at https://www.njeda.gov/njzip

Click here for full PDF

Main Street Micro Business Loan Program
Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) expects to launch an online application for the Main Street Micro Business Loan Program at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 6th at https://www.njeda.gov/microbusinessloan/.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis (first-come, first-served as applications are completed) until all funds are committed or program expires (three years).  An application fee of $100 will be due at time of application and a $400 closing fee will be due after signing of the commitment letter.       

Purpose

The Main Street Micro Business Loan will provide low-cost financing to New Jersey micro businesses in need of working capital to support future business operating expenses. This new pilot replaces the Micro Business Loan Program established in 2019.  

Overview

On November 14, 2019, the NJEDA Board approved the creation of the Micro Business Loan Program as a  pilot program utilizing $1 million from the NJEDA Economic Recovery Fund to make available loans of up to $50,000 to businesses that are: legally registered to do business in New Jersey and have a commercial location in New Jersey (no home-based businesses), with annual gross revenues of no more than $1.5 million (as demonstrated in the most recently filed federal tax return), and no more than 10 full-time employees at both time of application and three months prior. Under the Micro Business Loan Program, startup businesses were eligible, but were required to demonstrate either completion of an entrepreneurship training program or Small Business Development Center counseling sessions.

 Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and financial hardships affecting New Jersey micro business owners, NJEDA staff recommended enhancements to the program which the NJEDA Board approved on June 9, 2020. Such enhancements included the elimination of fees and the inclusion of a loan forgiveness component to the program for forgiveness of 10 percent of the loan. On January 7, 2021, Governor Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA), P.L. 2021, c. 156, into law. The ERA presents a strong recovery and reform package that addresses the ongoing economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The ERA positions New Jersey to build a stronger and fairer economy that invests in innovation, in our communities, and in our small businesses, along with the protections and oversight taxpayers deserve.

On July 2, 2021, Governor Murphy signed P.L. 2021 c.160 further improving the programs established under the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020. One of the programs under the ERA is the Main Street Recovery Finance Program, a small business support program under which individual financial assistance products are created. All of the individual financial assistance products share a common purpose of supporting the growth and success of small businesses in New Jersey. As of today, $150 million has been appropriated for the Main Street Recovery Fund, which funds products in the Main Street Recovery Finance Program. On August 11, 2021, the NJEDA Board approved the creation of special adopted rules creating the Main Street Recovery Finance Program.

Given the feedback from the business community and stakeholders as well as the effects of COVID-19 on micro businesses across New Jersey, staff requested to close the original Micro Business Loan pilot program and to introduce the Main Street Micro Business Loan, an enhanced pilot product within the Main Street Recovery Finance Program, with broadened eligibility and more flexible terms and enhanced forgiveness to support even more micro businesses.

Program Details

The Main Street Micro Business Loan will offer financing of up to $50,000 to micro businesses whose annual gross revenues are $1,500,000 or less and have 10 or fewer full-time employees at the time of application and three months prior to the date of application.

Eligible applicants include for-profit, nonprofit, and home-based businesses registered to do business in New Jersey with a business location (including a home office) in New Jersey. Entities must have been formed at least six months prior to the date of application, as evidenced by the date the business was formed in New Jersey.  . The product offers a generous forgiveness option and does not require any collateral. The Main Street Micro Business Loan is a product of the Main Street Recovery Finance Program and is currently funded with a $20 million appropriation. Of the total funding amount, 40 percent will be reserved for micro businesses located in eligible Opportunity Zone census tracts (For information regarding Opportunity Zone census tracts go to: https://njeda.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=334118d138354b0d95763260aa8c55eb).

Eligibility

The following entities are eligible for financing under the Main Street Micro Business Loan:

  • For-profit businesses, non-profits, and home-based businesses with a business location in New Jersey formed for at least six months prior to the date of application. NJEDA will conduct  a New Jersey Business Entity Search Report.
  • No real estate holding companies are eligible for this product.

All entities must meet the following requirements to be eligible under the Micro Business Loan:

  • Must have annual gross revenues of $1,500,000 or less, according to the most recent federal tax return that the applicant was required to file.  If an applicant has filed for an extension with the IRS on their 2021 federal tax return, it must be provided at time of application along with their last three previous tax returns.  If an applicant hasn’t filed their federal tax return due to their length of operations, the NJEDA may request the applicant to provide additional information like financial reports or P&L reports to determine that revenue will not exceed $1.5 million for the year.   
  • At time of application and three months prior to application, the entity cannot have more than 10 full-time employees in total. All employees must work in New Jersey as evidenced by WR-30 filings. There is no minimum employee number and sole proprietors are eligible.
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN).  The program permits one loan per business entity.  A business entity with multiple locations (that is, all locations operate under only one EIN) will be limited to one application. 
  • Must provide a current Tax Clearance Certification prior to receiving EDA approval.  Directions for securing your tax clearance certificate (https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:2aa0669b-b679-38c4-a4a8-9a4a5b9c1b1e) and please email BusinessAssistanceTC.Taxation@treas.nj.gov with issues or concerns.
  • Be in substantial good standing with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Treasury.
  • Complete a legal debarment questionnaire and not be subject to disqualification based on that questionnaire.
  • Applicants and recipients of the original Micro Business Loan are eligible for this loan if they meet all eligibility requirements.

For for-profit businesses, the financial information provided will be utilized to verify annual revenue to determine an applicant’s eligibility and ownership. It will not be used to determine the applicant’s ability to repay this loan.

If otherwise eligible, staff will have a specialty hard credit report pulled specific for small businesses from CoreLogic Credco. At least one owner must have a credit score of 600 and above in at least one of the three data sources provided in the credit report: Equifax (Beacon 5.0), Experian (FICO II), and TransUnion (FICO Classic 04).

Non-profits will be required to meet a minimum Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) of 1.00x based on the most recent tax return or financial statements. Finally, prohibited businesses include, but are not limited to: gambling or gaming activities; the conduct or purveyance of “adult” (i.e., pornographic, lewd, prurient, obscene or otherwise similarly disreputable) activities, services, products or materials (including nude or semi-nude performances or the sale of sexual aids or devices); any auction or bankruptcy or fire or “lost-our-lease” or “going-out-of-business” or similar sales; sales by transient merchants, Christmas tree sales or other outdoor storage; any activity constituting a nuisance; or any illegal purposes.

Eligible Uses

Under the Main Street Micro Business Loan Program, funding shall be used to pay for future operating expenses. Eligible uses include future operating expenses which may be held as working capital to fund such future operating expenses, future inventory expenses, and future purchases of equipment (that does not require installation or construction work totaling more than $1,999.99). Home-based businesses cannot use loan for any residential costs (i.e., home mortgage/lease payments).

Ineligible Uses

Examples for which the Main Street Micro Business Loan funds cannot be used are the payment of personal, non-business obligations or costs incurred by related entities; construction to commercial or home-based businesses; equipment requiring installation or construction costs in excess of $1,999; rolling stock (such as cars, trucks, or vans).

Loan Amounts

The maximum loan amount is $50,000.

  • Standard 10-year term.
  • Two percent interest rate, set at approval.
  • No payments or interest will accrue during the first year after closing. Payments of principal and interest will commence at the beginning of year two.
  • No payment term amendments are allowed prior to end of fifth year. All other modifications unrelated to the payment terms may be permitted throughout the term of the loan.
  • If after the fifth year any payment terms are modified, the entity will no longer be eligible for forgiveness.
  • Applicants must continue to make their loan payments until forgiveness is awarded by NJEDA.
  • At the end of year five, the applicant may be eligible for the loan balance to be forgiven if the applicant has: (1) made their loan payments as identified in their loan agreement with no delinquency of more than 90 days, (2) has no current default, (3) is still open and operating, and (4) has used the loan proceeds for approved purposes only.
  • The applicant will be required to submit a certification form (included in their closing documents) at least 60 days prior to the end of the fifth year to certify that they have met the requirements for loan forgiveness.
  • Applicants may still qualify for loan forgiveness if the certification form is received after the anniversary of year five, however, loan payments will continue to be required until the certification form is provided to and eligibility is verified by NJEDA.
  • If, after submission of the form, NJEDA can verify eligibility, NJEDA will forgive the balance of the loan remaining either at the end of year five (if submitted 60 days prior to the end of the fifth year) or at the time the form is verified if submitted later.
  • Should an applicant not be eligible for forgiveness or does not request forgiveness by submitting the certification form to NJEDA, the applicant will be required to continue making their payments as defined in their loan agreement.

Application Process

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis (first-come, first-served as applications are completed) until all funds are committed or program expires (three years).

Fees

The Main Street Micro Business Loan Program will include a partial waiver of EDA’s standard application and closing fees because of the drastic negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on micro businesses. The non-refundable application fee due at the time of application is $100 and the closing fee is $400.

Additional Information

Comprehensive information about the Main Street Micro Business Loan Program is available at https://www.njeda.gov/microbusinessloan/.

Click here for full PDF

Main Street Lenders Grant
Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will begin accepting applications for the Main Street Lenders Grant at 10:00 a.m.  on May 25,2022. The application can be accessed at https://www.njeda.gov/main-street-lenders-grant/ applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis.  A $1,000 application fee is required at time of application.

Please be advised that the Main Street Lenders Grant is a grant program for organizations that lend to micro businesses, and is NOT a direct grant to micro businesses.

Purpose

The Main Street Lenders Grant – a pilot product under the Main Street Recovery Finance Program, N.J.S.A. 34:1B-351 et seq- is offering lending grants of up to $1,000,000 to be used by eligible micro business lenders to create new or supplement existing micro business loan products.  Lenders may also be eligible for an additional technical assistance grant equal to 50 percent of the lending grant request to better prepare micro businesses to qualify for these or other loan products. The Main Street Lenders Grant will be available to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs); Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs); and other eligible lenders, as defined in N.J.S.A. 34:1B-353.

Grants will be disbursed at time of closing. All lending and technical assistance funds must be disbursed within three years from the NJEDA grant closing date.

Overview

On August 11, 2021, NJEDA’s Board approved the creation of the Main Street Recovery Finance Program – one of over 15 programs under the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020, P.L. 2020, c. 156 as amended by P.L. 2021, c. 160. On November 13, 2021, NJEDA’s board approved the creation of the Main Street Lenders Grant under the Main Street Recovery Finance Program, N.J.S.A. 34:1B-351 et seq. Beyond meeting the statutory definition, the Authority will require that any entity applying for the lending grant have a demonstrated history of 10 years experience serving small and micro businesses. Furthermore, any entity applying for the technical assistance grant must demonstrate two years experience providing technical assistance to micro businesses either directly, or in collaboration with a technical assistance partner. The intent is for these grants to enable lending entities to provide micro businesses with technical assistance, and then to be able to offer a loan product to the micro business upon completion of the technical assistance.

Program Details

The Main Street Lenders Grant will offer two types of grants to eligible entities. The first type of grant is a lending grant used as funding for new micro business lending products or as supplemental funding for existing micro business lending products. The maximum lending grant that can be awarded to each entity is $1 million. The second type of grant, available as a complement to the lending grant, is a technical assistance grant. The technical assistance grant will support eligible entities with the costs associated with providing technical assistance to micro businesses to best prepare and position these micro businesses to qualify for micro business loans. The maximum technical assistance grant an eligible lending entity may receive is 50 percent of the lending grant request amount (not to exceed $500,000). Only lenders that receive a lending grant are eligible for the technical assistance grant.

Currently, the program has $15 million in funding; it may be expanded as additional funds become available. Forty percent of all funding is set-aside for businesses located in eligible New Jersey Opportunity Zone census tracts.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the grant, applicants must have at least 10 years of small and micro business lending experience. These lending entities may be based outside of New Jersey but must use funds to service eligible New Jersey-based businesses only. If applying for the technical assistance grant, the lending entity must also demonstrate two years of experience providing technical assistance to micro businesses.

Applicants must be one of the following:

  • Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) as defined NJAC 19:315.2; a community development financial institution certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
  • Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) as recognized by the FDIC;
  • Entities defined as “other eligible lenders” under NJSA 34:1B-353(b), which includes: “a zone development corporation as defined in section 3 of P.L. 1983, c. 303 (C.52:27H-62) that is located in a municipality with a population greater than 100,000 or a nonprofit lender with at least 10 years’ experience lending to micro and small businesses.

As part of the evaluation of each organization’s grant application, the applicant must:

  • Demonstrate the applicant has 10 years of lending experience to micro and small businesses. 
  • Provide a recap of portfolio activity in the last 10 years from the date of application demonstrating growth in capacity and lending efforts in the last year. For the previous year the applicant must provide a breakout of percentage of micro businesses served (using NJEDA’s definition of a micro business defined as a business in New Jersey with ten or fewer full-time employees and no greater than $1.5 million in annual revenues).  This percentage of micro businesses served in the last year must be at least 20% to be eligible.
  • Provide detailed information related to the new product that will be created with these funds, or existing loan programs that will be leveraged with these funds, and that these products will meet Main Street Lender Grant product specifications for flexible loan products. A product term sheet must be provided as part of application and highlight eligibility criteria, loan terms, fees, and any other necessary criteria.
  • Explain the applicant’s policy or plan for serving communities and business segments underserved by the banking sector and other financial institutions and show significant experience complying with such policy or plan. 
  • Provide a detailed marketing plan on how this product will be marketed to attract new micro businesses owners.  The plan should highlight what steps will be taken to ensure the product will serve all micro business owners.  Demonstrate how the target of closing 40 percent of loans in eligible Opportunity Zone Census Tracts will be achieved.  Applicants must offer their product information in other languages, identifying the specific languages. 
  • Demonstrate at least two years experience providing technical assistance to small and micro business owners. Applicant-lender must be able to document direct technical assistance experience or document an association with a for-profit or non-profit entity that will be providing such eligible technical assistance activities to micro businesses looking to pursue the lending product.  The applicant must provide the number of businesses served within the two years experience and the direct services provided, and indicate how the businesses served leveraged this support.
  • Complete an online grant application to include a 1-3 page narrative proposal detailing how grant funding will be used and disclose financial metrics, such as the availability of capital, to demonstrate the applicant lender’s ability to offer loan products.
  • Be in substantial good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL), the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the New Jersey Department of Treasury at the time of application. A current tax clearance certification must be provided prior to approval, unless the applicant is not required to register with the Division of Taxation.

After execution of the grant agreement, the receiving entity must:

  • Adhere to quarterly reporting requirements specified and provided by NJEDA.
  • Fully disburse all NJEDA grant funds within three years from NJEDA grant agreement closing date to eligible micro businesses.
  • Close 40 percent of loans funded by the grant to businesses that are in Opportunity Zone Census Tracts by the end of the three years grant period.

Failure to abide by the terms of the grant agreement may result in recapture of the grant funds.  If grant funds are not used for eligible reasons as identified, then the lending entity is responsible for repayment to NJEDA. Any portion of the grant funds that remain unused three years from the NJEDA grant closing date must be returned to NJEDA.

Eligible Uses

Main Street Lenders Grant funding can only by used to create or supplement an existing lending product. The product must provide term working capital loans to qualified micro businesses offering the following features: 

  • The micro businesses must have less than 10 full time employees at the time of application and have less than $1.5 million in annual revenue (based on their last federal tax return required to be filed).
  • The micro businesses must have a commercial location in New Jersey, which can be a home-based business.
  • The loans may be used by the micro businesses for any purpose except restructuring existing debts or financing, any construction, reconstruction, demolition, alteration, repair work, maintenance work, or construction related to installation of equipment where such activity exceeds $1,999.99.  Additionally, home-based businesses are not permitted to use the working capital loans for rent, mortgage, property tax payments, utilities, or for the purchase of equipment that attaches to the property. Examples of permitted uses are equipment purchases, rolling stock, and operating expenses such as payroll, marketing, inventory, rent, mortgage/property tax payments, utilities, or any other expenses that are applicable to the daily operation of the business.
  • Home-based businesses, non-profit organizations, for-profit entities, sole proprietors, and/or startups may be eligible to participate. 
  • Lending entities are required to collect a current New Jersey Business Tax Clearance Certificate from micro business applicants, if applicable.
  • The minimum credit score required of the micro business to qualify for the loan must be under 650.
  • Terms of the loan to applicants can go up to a 10-year term.
  • Upon loan closing, a payment moratorium period of at least 12 months must be provided to the micro businesses.
  • The loan product offered must be fully amortizing to avoid balloon payments.
  • Interest rates cannot exceed five percent on each loan.
  • Loan amounts must be no greater than $100,000 and no lower than $10,000.
  • The product must allow for a minimum Debt Service Coverage Ratio on this program of 1.0, but the personal cash flow of the micro business owners who are personal guarantors may be considered.
  • Application fees may be charged, but shall not exceed one percent of the loan amount. 
  • No prepayment penalty may be charged to the micro businesses.
  • Collateral and personal guarantees are optional, as determined by lending entity.
  • The program can allow for loan modifications as determined by entity.
  • The lending entity must lend and disburse 40 percent of the total lending grant to micro businesses located in Opportunity Zone Census Tracts.
  • Lenders shall not provide any financial assistance to micro businesses that are engaged in any of the following: the conduct or purveyance of “adult” (i.e., pornographic, lewd, prurient, obscene or otherwise similarly disreputable) activities, services, products or materials (including nude or seminude performances or the sale of sexual aids or devices); any auction, bankruptcy, fire, “lost-our-lease,”  “going-out of business,” or similar sale; sales by transient merchants, Christmas tree sales, or other outdoor storage; or any activity constituting a nuisance. 

Applicants applying for the lending grant can also apply for a technical assistance grant.  This grant is for micro businesses to be able to pursue or prepare to apply for a loan.  The applicant must have the required two years of experience or use a partner to that has the required experienced and services micro businesses.  The eligible uses for the technical assistance grant are:

Technical assistance services may only be offered to micro businesses that meet the definition of a micro business and are pursuing financing. The technical assistance services offered by the lender that this grant can support may include, but are not limited to:

  • Loan packaging assistance to applicants (for example, hiring new staff to directly serve those NJ-based micro businesses applying for new or existing loan products funded by the lending grant).
  • Credit repair services that may be offered to help loan applicants repair their credit score to be eligible for new or existing loan products funded by the lending grant.
  • Business plan preparation services.
  • Projection preparation assistance for entities that need such information for their loan application.
  • QuickBooks and Excel training services to help micro business owners better track their business operations.
  • Online and social media specific marketing to help a micro business grow their operations and customer base.
  • E-commerce services to help micro business owners pivot into better servicing their customer through a website (either creating or updating a current website) or to set up an e- commerce platform and pay for subscription fees.

Grant Amounts

The Lending Grant can be up to a $1 million request and the technical assistance grant can be up to 50 percent of the lending grant request but cannot exceed $500,000.  Total grant award cannot be more than $1.5 million per applicant.   

Application Process

Online applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis based upon the date the NJEDA receives a completed application submission. The application can be accessed at https://www.njeda.gov/main-street-lenders-grant/

Fees

A $1,000 non-refundable application fee per application is required at time of application.

Additional Information

Comprehensive information about the Main Street Lenders Grant is available at https://www.njeda.gov/main-street-lenders-grant/

Click here for PDF

NEW JERSEY COMMISSION ON SCIENCE, INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY (CSIT)
NOTICE OF FUNDING AVAILABILITY
Clean Tech Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Pilot Program – Round 2

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) expects to launch an online application for the Clean Tech Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Pilot Program – Round 2 at 9:00 am on May 2, 2022 at www.njeda.gov/csit.  Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis as long as program funds are available.  No fees will be charged for this program.

Purpose

This grant opportunity is issued by the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) in collaboration with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), seeking applications from qualified applicants for the Clean Tech Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Pilot Program, Round 2 to support early-stage businesses in the State.  The goal of the program is to support New Jersey based early-stage clean tech/clean energy company efforts to accelerate development and innovation of clean technologies to transform new discoveries from research stage into commercially viable technologies, leading to industry and investor interest in the following target areas:

  • Chemicals/Advance Materials
  • Energy Distribution/Storage
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Energy Generation
  • Green Buildings
  • Transportation
  • Waste Processing
  • Water and Agriculture.

Overview

The Clean Tech R&D Voucher Pilot Program, Round 2 has a total budget of $375,000 for voucher awards. Funding for the program is provided by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU). The program will be implemented by CSIT and NJEDA, and technical support will be provided at participating university/college facilities, federal lab facilities and makerspaces.

The objectives of the program are to:

  1. improve awareness, access to and utilization of New Jersey’s world-leading equipment, facilities and makerspaces; and
  2. subsidize access to research and development equipment, facilities and makerspaces for small New Jersey-based companies that are developing innovative technologies in the clean energy/clean tech space.

Program Details

The program will subsidize the cost of access to participating New Jersey facilities and makerspaces for businesses to access equipment, labs, and facilities for clean energy/clean technological research and development. An asset map listing New Jersey university/college and federal laboratory facilities will be available on the CSIT webpage (www.njeda.gov/csit).

Each approved voucher will be valid for a period of six  months, starting from date of the execution of the Voucher Agreement. Any unused approved voucher amounts will be cancelled after the six  month period and returned to the program budget for future use. At CSIT’s sole discretion, a one-time voucher extension of up to three months may be approved if requested in writing.

Provided that funding is available, all complete applications that meet the eligibility criteria and are in compliance with the required documentation are eligible for funding.

Eligibility

To be eligible for  the Clean Tech R&D Voucher Pilot Program, Round 2, applicant companies must:

  • Be registered to conduct business in New Jersey at the time of application.
    • Have no more than 25 full-time employees (FTE calculated on a 35 hour work week) at time of application.
    • One hundred percent of project work for which the voucher is being sought must be conducted in New Jersey.
    • A minimum of one  full-time employee must be working in New Jersey at time of application, during the review process and throughout the voucher duration (FTE calculated on a 35-hour work week).
    • Fifty percent or more of the total work of the applicant company’s employees, including founders, and contractors must be conducted in New Jersey (FTE calculated on a 35-hour work week).
    • The applicant company must obtain a signed approval letter from a participating facility confirming that they are capable and willing to provide the services that will be supported by the voucher.
    • The applicant company must be developing or testing clean technologies intended to avoid emissions of, or recapture of, greenhouse gases and/or criteria pollutants, or to enable such avoidance or recapture in the following target areas:
      • Chemicals/Advance Materials
      • Energy Distribution/Storage
      • Energy Efficiency
      • Energy Generation
      • Green Buildings
      • Transportation
      • Waste Processing
      • Water and Agriculture.

Applicant companies must have 25 or fewer full-time employees (FTE calculated on a 35 hour work week) to receive a voucher to cover the cost of the service or access to a participating facility.

To participate a facility must:

All applicant projects must be for a minimum technology development level of TRL 1 (Basic research) through a maximum developmental level of TRL 7 (Full- scale, similar (prototypical) system demonstrated in relevant environment). Please consult Attachment A for an explanation of these US Department of Energy definitions.

Eligible Uses

Eligible applicants can receive vouchers of $1,000 up to $25,000 to defray one hundred percent the costs associated with any of the following services or activities in a participating New Jersey university or federal laboratory facility:

  1. Use of facility equipment and technicians for testing and development.
  2. Training in preparation for independent use of the facility equipment.

The vouchers are intended for specific, early-stage clean tech/clean energy-related development projects. All requests should be specifically related to the particular project for which the voucher is sought. The following uses are ineligible under this program:

  • Manufacturing of products for sale or commercial use.
  • Real estate rental expenses.

Grant Amounts

Eligible applicants can receive vouchers of $1,00 up to $25,000.  Each eligible applicant can apply for multiple vouchers up to a cap of $25,000 in the aggregate over any 12-month period.

Voucher award funds will be disbursed by CSIT to the eligible applicant after the completion of the scope of work at the corresponding facility, submission of an approved project completion report, and an expense invoice detailing the costs expended and services provided.

Application Process

The application will open at 9:00 am on May 2, 2022 at www.njeda.gov/csit.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis as long as program funds are available.  All applications to the Clean Tech R&D Voucher Pilot Program must include the following documentation:

  1. Completed online application via CSIT Portal including a
    • Signed Application Certification and
    • Completed CSIT Legal Debarment Questionnaire.
  2. Summary of the most recent internal applicant company payroll (detailing information on each employee of the company, number of hours worked per week and primary work location).
  3. Current employee information as appropriate for the applicant company’s structure and staffing (i.e., most recent Federal 941, NJ WR-30 (W2 employees) or 1099 (contractors), Shareholder Agreement or K-1).
  4. Current New Jersey tax clearance certificate listing New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology. (See https://www16.state.nj.us/NJ_PREMIER_EBIZ/jsp/home.jsp.) All certificates that do not specifically list CSIT will be rejected.
  5. Approval letter from a participating New Jersey university or federal laboratory facility.
  6. Copy of a signed agreement between the applicant and facility.

The following steps detail the application submission process:

  1. All companies wishing to apply must begin their application by completing the intake portion of the application.  This includes questions concerning the applicant; the proposed scope of work; the type of facilities for which access is being requested; and if known, the New Jersey university or federal laboratory at which such facilities are located; and program eligibility information. CSIT will review the intake information and forward the project technical requirements to the  Clean Tech Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Pilot Program university/college and federal laboratory review committee
  2. The university/college and federal laboratory review committee (consisting of representatives from each participating university/college and federal laboratory facility) will review the intake forms of each applicant on a rolling basis and direct the application to the relevant facility where the applicant intends to work  or the most suitable facility to conduct work
  3. Facility staff will contact each applicant to submit a detailed project proposal describing the intended scope of work. The applicant and the participating facility will review the scope of work and, if the participating facility agrees to the work, the applicant will complete the facility’s application process and sign any relevant forms with the university/college or federal laboratory. The facility will then issue an approval letter to the applicant for the CSIT program detailing the services to be provided and the full cost before application of a voucher.
  4. CSIT will provide the applicant a submission code to finalize their  application  with all required documentation,  including the approval letter and a copy of any facility agreements from the participating facility. The application must be completed within six weeks of the receipt of the submission code from CSIT.  If the application is not completed, the approval will be cancelled, and the reserved funds returned to the program budget.
  5. All submitted applications will be reviewed by CSIT for document completeness and compliance on a rolling basis. Following the completeness review, applicants with missing documentation will receive an email notification from CSIT to re-submit any missing or incomplete required documentation.
  6. Once an application has been reviewed and approved, the voucher funds will be reserved for six months from the date of the voucher reservation approval letter. During this period, the applicant and CSIT must execute a Voucher Agreement detailing the terms and conditions of the voucher and complete the voucher use at the respective facility. At CSIT’s sole discretion, a voucher reservation may be extended for one three-month period if requested in writing prior to expiration.
  7. At the end of the voucher period, the applicant will submit to CSIT a completion report detailing the scope of work achieved during the voucher and an expense invoice detailing the costs expended and services provided.

PLEASE NOTE: The online application will enable applicants to provide an electronic Application Certification by uploading a signed PDF. However, if an applicant prefers not to provide an electronic Application Certification, the applicant may:

i. Mail a hard copy of the signed Application Certification postmarked to CSIT at:

Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology Attn: Judith Sheft (Executive Director)

36 W State Street PO Box 990

Trenton, NJ 08625

AND

ii. Email CSIT (csitcleantech@njeda.com) with the subject line: “MAILED Application Certification Clean Tech R&D Voucher Pilot Program – Round 2” indicating that the certification document has been mailed. Only the signed CSIT Application Certification maybe mailed. The rest of the application must be submitted through the online system.

If an applicant chooses to mail a hard copy of the application certification, the application will only be considered complete once the original signed CSIT application certification is received by CSIT.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to COVID-19, it may take longer than usual for applicants to obtain certain State documentation, such as the New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate. If an applicant has attempted to obtain but has not received documentation, the applicant must provide CSIT with correspondence or receipts that demonstrate the attempt to obtain the  documentation.

Fees

No fees will be collected by CSIT for this program.

Additional Information

Other Terms and Conditions

For two years from the date of the Voucher Agreement, employees and consultants who continue working on the project must conduct all of their work in a New Jersey location.  Failure to comply will trigger a requirement that the applicant make full re-payment of the grant award.

All Voucher awardees must annually report economic impact data to CSIT upon the completion of the project for a period of two years, as will be outlined in the Voucher Agreement and by submitting an Economic Impact Questionnaire provided by CSIT.

All voucher awardees are asked to commit to participate in future CSIT/NJEDA/BPU alumni activities, such as serving as a panel member or participating in interviews.

Confidentiality

Applications received will be reviewed only by staff of CSIT, NJEDA and participating university facilities. All applications submitted will be subject to requests for disclosure, including but not limited to,  requests pursuant to the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”)

N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. If the applicant believes that information contained in its proposal merits confidential treatment pursuant to OPRA, any such purportedly confidential information submitted to the Authority must be specifically identified and marked by the applicant as such.

Attachment A: Technology Readiness Level[1] (TRL)

TRL 1
Basic Research: Initial scientific research has been conducted. Principles are qualitatively postulated and observed. Focus is on new discovery rather than applications

TRL 2
Applied Research: Initial practical applications are identified. Potential of material or process to solve a problem, satisfy a need, or find application is confirmed

TRL 3
Critical Function or Proof of Concept Established: Applied research advances and early-stage development begins. Studies and laboratory measurements validate analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology

TRL 4
Lab Testing/Validation of Alpha Prototype Component/Process: Design, development and lab testing of components/processes. Results provide evidence that performance targets may be attainable based on projected or modeled systems

TRL 5
Laboratory Testing of Integrated/Semi-Integrated System: System Component and/or process validation is achieved in a relevant environment

TRL 6
Prototype System Verified: System/process prototype demonstration in an operational environment (beta prototype system level)

TRL 7
Integrated Pilot System Demonstrated: System/process prototype demonstration in an operational environment (integrated pilot system level)

TRL 8
System Incorporated in Commercial Design: Actual system/process completed and qualified through test and demonstration (pre-commercial demonstration)

TRL 9
System Proven and Ready for Full Commercial Deployment: Actual system proven through successful operations in operating environment, and ready for full commercial deployment


[1] TRL levels summarized from Department of Energy (DOE) Report

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NEW JERSEY COMMISSION ON SCIENCE, INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY (CSIT)
NOTICE OF FUNDING AVAILABILITY
Catalyst Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Pilot Program

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) expects to launch an online application for the Catalyst Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Pilot Program at 9:00 am on May 2, 2022 at www.njeda.gov/csit.  Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis as long as program funds are available.  No fees will be charged for this program.

Purpose

This grant opportunity is issued by the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) in collaboration with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), seeking applications from qualified applicants for Catalyst Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Pilot Program to support early-stage companies in the State.  The goal of the program is to support New Jersey based early-stage company efforts to accelerate development and innovation of technologies to transform new discoveries from research stage into commercially viable technologies, leading to industry and investor interest in the following target areas:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Advanced Transportation and Logistics
  • Film and Digital Media
  • Life Sciences – Therapeutic Drug Development
  • Life Sciences – Other
  • Non-Retail Food and Beverage
  • Professional and Financial Services
  • Technology.

Overview

Catalyst R&D Voucher Pilot Program has a total budget of $275,000 for voucher awards. Funding for the program is provided by funds from CSIT’s FY2023 budget appropriation. The program will be implemented by CSIT and technical support will be provided at participating universities/colleges, federal labs and non-profit organizations.

The objectives of the program are to:

  1. improve awareness, access to and utilization of New Jersey’s world-leading equipment, facilities, and makerspaces; and
  2. subsidize access to research and development equipment, facilities and makerspaces for small New Jersey based companies that are developing innovative technologies.

Program Details

The program will subsidize the cost of access to any New Jersey participating university/college, non-profit organization and federal lab for early-stage companies to access equipment and facilities for technological research and development. An asset map listing participating facilities will be available on the CSIT webpage (www.njeda.gov/csit).

Each approved voucher will be valid for a period of 12 months (starting from date of the execution of the voucher agreement). Any unused approved voucher amounts will be cancelled after the twelve (12) month period and returned to the program budget for future use.  At CSIT’s sole discretion, a voucher reservation may be extended for one three-month period if requested in writing prior to expiration.

Provided that funding is available, all complete applications that meet the eligibility criteria and are in compliance with the required documentation are eligible for funding.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Catalyst R&D Voucher Pilot Program, the applicant company must:

  • Be registered to conduct business in New Jersey at the time of application.
  • Have no more than 25 full-time employees (FTE calculated on a  35 hour work week) at time of application, until the voucher is awarded and throughout the voucher duration.
  • One hundred percent of project work for which the voucher is being sought must be conducted in New Jersey.
  • A minimum of one full-time employee must be working in New Jersey at the time of application, until the voucher is awarded and throughout the voucher duration (FTE calculated on a 35 hour work week).
  • Fifty percent or more of the total work of the applicant company’s  employees and contractors must be conducted in New Jersey (FTE calculated on a 35 hour work week).
  • The applicant company must obtain a signed approval letter from a participating university/college, federal lab or non-profit organization confirming that the facility is capable of and willing to provide the services that will be supported by the voucher.
  • The applicant company must be developing or testing technologies in the following target areas:
    • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Advanced Transportation and Logistics
    • Film and Digital Media
    • Life Sciences – Therapeutic Drug Development
    • Life Sciences – Other
    • Non-Retail Food and Beverage
    • Professional and Financial Services
    • Technology.

Applicant companies must have  25 full-time employees (FTE calculated on a  35 hour work week) or less to receive a voucher to cover the cost of the service and facility access.

To participate a facility must:

  • be in a two or four-year college or university (public, state, or non-profit) located in New Jersey, or a federal or non-profit organization located in New Jersey,
  • allow outside businesses to utilize research and development facilities on a fee-for-service basis, and
  • provide a contact person to facilitate requests and participate in Catalyst Voucher Committee meetings.

Eligible Uses

Eligible applicants can receive vouchers to defray the costs associated   with any of the following services or activities in participating facilities:

  • Access to core lab facilities, equipment, makerspaces and technology centers.
  • Use of facility equipment and technicians for testing and development.
  • Training in preparation for independent use of the facility equipment or makerspaces.

The vouchers are intended for specific, early-stage development projects (Projects). All requests should be specifically related to the particular Project for which the voucher is sought. The following uses are ineligible under the Program:

  • manufacturing of products for sale or commercial use,
  • real estate rental expenses, and
  • patient clinical trial expense.

Grant Amounts

Eligible applicants can receive vouchers of $1,000 up to $25,000 .  Each eligible applicant can apply for multiple vouchers up to a cap of $25,000 in the aggregate over any 12-month period.

Application Process

The application will open at 9:00 am on May 2, 2022 at www.njeda.gov/csit.  Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis as long as program funds are available. All applications to the  Catalyst R&D Voucher Pilot Program must include the following documentation:

  • Completed online application via CSIT Portal including a
    • Signed Application Certification and
    • Completed CSIT Legal Debarment Questionnaire.
  • Summary of the most recent internal applicant company payroll (detailing information on each employee of the company, number of hours worked per week and primary work location).
  • Current employee information as appropriate for  the applicant company’s structure and staffing  (i.e., most recent Federal 941, NJ WR-30 (W2 employees) or 1099 (contractors), Shareholder Agreement or K-1).
  • Current New Jersey tax clearance certificate listing New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology. (See https://www16.state.nj.us/NJ_PREMIER_EBIZ/jsp/home.jsp.) All certificates that do not specifically list CSIT will be rejected.
  • Approval letter from a participating facility.
  • Copy of a signed facility agreement between the applicant and facility.

 

The following steps detail the application submission process:

  1. All companies must begin their application by completing the intake portion of the application. This includes questions concerning the applicant; the proposed scope of work; the type of facilities for which access is being requested; and if known, the university/college, federal lab or non-profit organization at which such facilities are located; and program eligibility information. CSIT will review the intake information and forward the project technical requirements to the  Catalyst R&D Voucher Pilot Program facility review committee.
  2. The facility review committee (consisting of representatives from each participating university/college, federal lab or non-profit organization) will review the intake forms of each applicant on a rolling basis and direct the application to the  facility the applicant intends to work with or the most suitable facility to conduct the work.
  3. Facility staff will contact each applicant to submit a detailed Project proposal describing the intended scope of work. The applicant and the participating facility will review the scope of work and, if the participating facility agrees to the work, the applicant will complete the facility’s application process and sign any relevant forms. The facility will then issue an approval letter to the applicant for the program detailing the services to be provided and the full cost before application of a voucher.
  4. CSIT will provide the applicant a submission code to finalize their  application with all required documentation including the approval letter and a copy of any facility agreements from the participating facility. The application must be completed within six  weeks of the receipt of the submission code from CSIT.  If the application is not completed, the approval will be cancelled, and the reserved funds returned to the program budget.
  5. All submitted applications will be reviewed by CSIT for document completeness and compliance on a rolling basis. Following the completeness review, applicants with missing documentation will receive an email notification from CSIT to re-submit any missing or incomplete required documentation.
  6. Once an application has been reviewed and approved, the voucher funds will be reserved for 12 months from the date of the voucher reservation approval letter. During this period, the applicant and CSIT must execute a voucher agreement detailing  the terms and conditions of the voucher and complete the voucher use at the respective facility. At CSIT’s sole discretion, a voucher reservation may be extended for one three-month period if requested in writing prior to expiration.
  7. At the end of the voucher period, the applicant will submit to CSIT a completion report detailing the scope of work achieved with the voucher and an expense invoice detailing the costs expended and services provided.

PLEASE NOTE: The online application will enable applicants to provide an electronic Application Certification by uploading a signed PDF. However, if an applicant prefers not to provide an electronic Application Certification, the applicant may:

i. Mail a hard copy of the signed Application Certification to CSIT at:

Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology

Attn: Judith Sheft (Executive Director)

36 W State Street PO Box 990

Trenton, NJ 08625

AND

ii. Email CSIT (csitcatalyst@njeda.com) with the subject line: “MAILED Application Certification Catalyst Research and Development (R&D) Voucher Pilot Program” indicating that the certification document has been mailed. Only the signed CSIT Application Certification may be mailed.  The rest of the application must be submitted through the online system.

If an applicant chooses to mail a hard copy of the Application Certification, the application will only be considered complete once the original signed CSIT Application Certification is received by CSIT.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to COVID-19, it may take longer than usual for applicants to obtain certain documentation, such as the New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate. If an applicant has attempted to obtain but has not received documentation, the applicant must provide CSIT with correspondence or receipts that demonstrate the attempt to obtain the documentation.

All New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificates MUST be submitted before any recommendation of an award will be made with respect to that applicant

Fees

No fees will be collected by CSIT for this program.

Additional Information

Other Terms & Conditions

For two years from the date of the Voucher Agreement, employees and consultants who continue working on the project must conduct all of their work in a New Jersey location. Failure to comply will trigger a requirement that the applicant make full re-payment of the grant award.

All voucher awardees must report economic impact data to CSIT upon the completion of the project for a period of two  years, as will be outlined in the Voucher Agreement, and by submitting an Economic Impact Questionnaire provided by CSIT.

All voucher awardees must commit to participate in future CSIT/NJEDA alumni activities, such as serving as a panel member or participating in interviews about Program experience.

Confidentiality

Applications received will be reviewed only by staff of CSIT, NJEDA and participating universities/colleges, federal labs and non-profit organizations. All applications submitted will be subject to requests for disclosure, including but not limited to,  requests pursuant to the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”) N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. If the applicant believes that information contained in its proposal merits confidential treatment pursuant to OPRA, any such purportedly confidential information submitted to the Authority must be specifically identified and marked by the applicant as such.

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Small Business Improvement Grant Program
Notice of Funding Availability

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The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will begin accepting applications for the Small Business Improvement Grant Program at 10:00 a.m. EST on Thursday, February 10, 2022. The application can be accessed at https://www.njeda.gov/small-business-improvement-grant/. Applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis.  A $100 approval fee is required after the application has been reviewed and prior to execution of a grant agreement.

Purpose

The Small Business Improvement Grant Program offers reimbursement to small businesses for costs associated with making building improvements or purchasing new furniture, fixtures and equipment. This grant will reimburse a small business for 50 percent of total eligible project costs incurred after March 9, 2020, but no more than 2 years prior to the application date.

Overview

On August 11, 2021, NJEDA’s Board approved the creation of the Main Street Recovery Finance Program, which established  the Small Business Lease Grant and the Small Business Improvement Grant to support eligible small business with facility improvements.  The NJEDA began accepting applications for the Small Business Lease Grant in October 2021. 

Program Details

The Small Business Improvement Grant Program will provide grants of up to $50,000 to New Jersey-based small businesses and nonprofits to reimburse business owners for costs associated with making interior or exterior building improvements or purchasing and installing new furniture, fixtures and equipment. The grant will reimburse a small business eligible for assistance from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) for 50 percent of eligible total project costs incurred after March 9, 2020, but no more than 2 years prior to the application date. Additional eligibility criteria apply.  Currently, the program  has $15 million in funding; it may be expanded as additional funds become available. Forty percent of all funding is set-aside for businesses located in eligible NJ Opportunity Zone census tracts.

Eligibility

The Small Business Improvement Grant is  reimbursement based. A business must have completed the capital improvements or purchased and/or installed the new furniture, fixtures and equipment.

To be eligible under the program, applicants must:

  • Rent or own and operate from the facility. Landlords are not eligible under this program.
  • Meet SBAs definition of Small Business based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
  • Have a total project cost of at least $5,000, and have incurred that cost on or after March 9, 2020, with the capital improvement work having commenced no more 2 years prior to date of application.
  • Provide a WR-30 or equivalent payroll documentation.
  • Provide a current tax clearance certificate prior to approval.
  • Be in good standing with the Department of Labor.
  • Be in good standing with the Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Certify at application that they are not in default with any other EDA or State assistance.
  • Certify that all the information and documentation provided to the NJEDA is true and accurate.

Businesses defined as “home-based businesses” may only receive reimbursement for new equipment purchased and/or installed. Home-based businesses are not eligible for reimbursement for renovation or improvement projects.  Non-profits and for-profit businesses are eligible to apply.  Applicants are eligible to receive a Small Business Lease Grant and Small Business Improvement Grant for the same location.  Applicants are limited to one application per Employer Identification Number (EIN). Applicants operating from multiple locations under a single EIN are limited to one application under the sole EIN, but may pool project costs from multiple locations into a single application.

After execution of the grant agreement, the receiving entity must:

  • Commit to paying each full-time and part-time employee not less than $15 per hour or 120 percent of the minimum wage, whichever is higher. For tipped employees, the small business shall not pay less than 120 percent of the minimum wage. Businesses that receive grant funding of up to $25,000 must comply with these wage requirements for two years. Businesses that receive grant funding of greater than $25,000 must comply with these wage requirements for four years. Non-compliance with these wage requirements will result in repayment of the grant to the NJEDA.
  • Remain in the location for a period of time based on the amount of the grant. For grants of up to $25,000, the entity must remain in the location for at least two years. For grants of greater than $25,000, the entity must remain in the location for at least four years. Non-compliance with this requirement will result in repayment of the grant to the NJEDA.

Additional eligibility requirements may apply to ensure that the applicant is eligible. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • An acknowledgement and agreement that grant proceeds be applied to eligible uses only.
  • Projects with costs over $50,000 must comply with Green Building Standards for lighting and mechanical work.
  • Affirmative action standards apply to contractors with four or more employees.

Finally, prohibited businesses include, but are not limited to: gambling or gaming activities; the conduct or purveyance of “adult” (i.e., pornographic, lewd, prurient, obscene or otherwise similarly disreputable) activities, services, products or materials (including nude or semi-nude performances or the sale of sexual aids or devices); any auction or bankruptcy or fire or “lost-our-lease” or “going-out-of-business” or similar sales; sales by transient merchants, Christmas tree sales or other outdoor storage; any activity constituting a nuisance; or any illegal purposes.

Eligible Uses

Under the Small Business Improvement Grant, funding can only be used to reimburse business owners forcosts associated with making interior or exterior building improvements or purchasing and installing new furniture, fixtures and equipment. Home-based businesses may only receive reimbursement for new equipment purchases and/or installation. Home-based businesses are not eligible for reimbursement for renovation or improvement projects. 

Grant Amounts

The minimum project cost is $5,000 and the maximum grant amount is $50,000.

Application Process

Online applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis based upon the date the NJEDA receives a completed application submission.

Fees

A $100 approval fee is required after the application has been reviewed and prior to execution of a grant agreement.

Additional Information

Comprehensive information about the Small Business Improvement Grant Program is available at https://www.njeda.gov/small-business-improvement-grant/.

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The Brownfield Impact Fund
Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) hereby announces the availability of grant and loan funding under The Brownfield Impact Fund. This program is supported by funding received from a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grant. The Brownfield Impact Fund is designed to provide grants to units of local government and non-profit entities and loans to units of local government, non-profit entities, and for-profit organizations. Funding received under this program is to be used for carrying out cleanup activities at brownfield sites, assisting with the return of these vacant and underutilized properties to public benefit.

This application will open on the NJEDA website on January 20, 2022, and remain open for as long as sufficient program funds are available.  Funds will be awarded on a first come, first served basis upon receipt of the nonrefundable application fee, unless waived, and completed application with supporting documentation.  The link to the online application for the Brownfields Impact Fund will be available on the NJEDA webpage: https://www.njeda.gov/brownfieldsimpactfund/

Overview

Brownfields are former commercial or industrial sites that are vacant or underutilized and are suspected or known to be contaminated.  The remediation of brownfield properties can transform communities, providing benefits to the local and regional economies including fostering the development of medium, small, and microbusinesses, increasing employment opportunities, and increasing tax revenue. Brownfield remediation projects can also have an overall positive effect on the community such as increased safety, community pride, and health and wellness.

The Brownfields Impact Fund is an important program that will facilitate the redevelopment of brownfields by addressing funding gaps to make the remediation phase of the project financially viable, after which construction financing can be more readily obtained by the developer. This program can increase the economic impact of the State’s investment, reactivating long-stalled sites and encouraging job creation through remediation, redevelopment, and productive reuse of the property. An additional outcome of the program is to minimize the negative environmental impacts of developing current green spaces for commercial and industrial use. The Brownfields Impact Fund will accomplish this by focusing on the reuse of distressed, abandoned brownfields properties, which are often located in sought after areas within the community. Revitalization of brownfield properties allows for economic development in key locations which often have existing access to a potential workforce, infrastructure, and redevelopment opportunities in our communities.

Purpose

Under the Brownfields Impact Fund, the NJEDA will make grant funding available to non-profit organizations and units of local governments and will make low-interest loans available to for-profit organizations, non-profit organizations, and units of local government. For-profit organizations will not be eligible to apply for grant funding. Funds will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis upon receipt of a completed application.

These loans and grants will assist with cleanup and other pre-construction activities at brownfield sites throughout the state, particularly those within the States’ Community Collaborative Initiative (CCI) cities. Eligible uses of the loan and/or grant funding include remediation activities necessary to clean up the release or mitigate the threatened release of hazardous materials and other activities approved by the EPA and outlined in the program specifications.

Funding Amounts

The minimum loan amount will be $50,000, with a maximum loan amount of up to $350,000.

The minimum grant amount will be $25,000, with a maximum grant amount of up to $350,000.

Eligible entities may apply for both a loan and a grant under this program.

Funding Disbursement

Disbursements will be based on a reimbursement structure for actual eligible costs incurred. Funds are to be disbursed upon receipt and review of approved invoices.

Eligible Applicants

For the first three months (90 calendar days) of the program from the date the NJEDA begins accepting applications, eligibility will be limited to designated CCI communities.[1] After the 90-day period, the NJEDA will begin accepting applications from projects located in areas outside of the twelve defined CCI communities, subject to the availability of funding.

As part of eligibility for the Brownfields Impact Fund, entities applying for a loan must be able to demonstrate site control or a path to site control of a brownfield property at time of application. For non-profit organizations and units of local government applying for grant funding, the entity must own the brownfield property at the time of the application and retain ownership of the term of the grant.

Furthermore, all applicants for either the loan or grant must be accompanied by a letter of support from the mayor or, if the position of mayor does not exist, from the governing body of the municipality in which the brownfield site is located. The letter of support must indicate that the project aligns with the master land use plan or the local redevelopment plan. If there is no master plan or local redevelopment plan that includes the project site, the support letter must indicate that neither of these documents exist.

All applicants must have a redevelopment plan for the contaminated property.

Applicants must be in good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (as determined by each Department). If a compliance issue exists, the eligible entity may have an agreement with the respective department that includes a practical corrective action plan, as applicable. Applicants will also be required to provide a valid tax clearance certificate from the New Jersey Division of Taxation within the New Jersey Department of Treasury.

Entities applying to the Brownfield Impact Fund will be required to complete a legal questionnaire.

Exclusionary Criteria

Loans or grants cannot be provided to entities who are considered liable or potentially liable for the environmental contamination under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) § 107.  Specifically, this program excludes:

individuals or entities responsible for, or individuals or entities who have common ownership or control with entities responsible for, any existing environmental contamination at the site, pursuant to CERCLA.

Eligible Uses

The Brownfield Impact Fund provides low-interest loans and/or grants for eligible brownfield cleanups.

Eligible Activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Preparation of Remedial Action Workplans;
  • Remediation of hazardous substances that are part of a structure (to include lead-based paint and asbestos);
  • Construction of a site’s engineered remediation cap which could include foundations/roadways;
  • Demolition of structures to the extent that the demolition is integral to enabling access to contamination needing remediation (must be pre-approved by U. S. EPA);
  • Actions necessary to clean up the release or mitigate the threatened release of hazardous materials such as:
    • provide fences, warning signs or other site control precautions;
    • drainage controls;
    • capping of contaminated soils;
    • excavation, consolidation, or removal of highly contaminated soils;
    • removal of containers that may contain hazardous substances;
    • use of chemicals to retard the spread of hazardous substances;
    • containment, treatment, disposal, or incineration of hazardous materials.
  • Purchase of environmental insurance;
  • Site monitoring, including sampling and analysis, required during the cleanup process;
  • Monitoring and data collection which are required as a component of the cleanup action (including payment of the annual NJDEP remediation permit fees, if approved by U. S. EPA);
  • Installation of engineering and/or institutional controls to fulfill cleanup requirements.
  • Others uses will be considered upon request from borrower / grantee, and approval by U. S. EPA.

Ineligible Activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Pre-cleanup assessment, identification, and characterization;
  • Cleanup of a naturally occurring substances;
  • Payment of a penalty or fine;
  • Construction, demolition, and development activities that are not integral to cleanup actions;
  • Public or private drinking water supplies that have deteriorated through ordinary use;
  • Monitoring and data collection necessary to apply for, or comply with, environmental permits under other federal and state laws, unless such a permit is required as a component of the cleanup action;
  • Other activities unrelated to the cleanup;
  • Properties already listed as Superfund sites;
  • Any cost incurred prior to loan or grant approval;
  • Any use not approved by NJEDA or U.S. EPA.

Approval Process

Potential applicants will be asked to complete a pre-application screening form prior to applying. The Brownfields & Sustainable Systems team will review applications for eligibility and appropriateness based on the U.S. EPA guidelines. The approval process will also include a technical review which will vet projects for readiness. The factors for the technical review include, but are not limited to, completion of the environmental assessment, existence of a draft remedial action workplan, engineer’s cost estimate for remediation, and permits.

Interest Rate and Terms

The NJEDA has structured these loans with an up to 20-year term and 2% interest rate (with an option for interest rate reductions to a floor of 1 percent based on the achievement of NJEDA’s policy goals). Principal and interest will be deferred until the end of Year 4. During this period, interest will accrue and capitalize.

Labor Compliance

The Davis-Bacon Act and New Jersey Prevailing Wage requirements, and associated U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations, apply to all construction, alteration, and repair contracts and subcontracts awarded with funds provided under this program.

Fees

For the Brownfield Impact Fund, there will be a nonrefundable application fee for loans and grants of $1,000.  For grant applications, the NJEDA will waive the application fee upon demonstration by the applicant that the imposition of the fee would impose an undue financial hardship. Undue financial hardship is determined based on NJEDA established objective criteria provided in the Program application and in accordance with program policies and procedures. The program policies and procedures include a provision that the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Municipal Revitalization Index (MRI), which demonstrates municipal distress, will be utilized to evaluate hardship for municipalities. The program policies and procedures also include a provision for non-profits that the hardship will be evaluated based on their annual operating budget.

For loans specifically, there will be a commitment fee of 0.875% of the loan amount, a closing fee of 0.875 percent of the loan amount. For any modifications needed on a loan, there will be a loan modification fee of $1,000.

Additional Information

Additional information on the Brownfields Impact Fund may be found on the NJEDA webpage: https://www.njeda.gov/brownfieldsimpactfund/

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NJ ZIP Pilot Voucher Program for Medium Duty Zero Emission Vehicle
Notice of Funding Availability

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) is seeking applications from qualified applicants and vendors for a pilot vehicle voucher program to support the purchase of zero emission medium duty vehicles that operate in overburdened communities.

Name of Program: NJ ZIP Pilot Voucher Program for Medium Duty Zero Emission Vehicles

Purpose: The NJ ZIP Pilot Voucher Program had an initial budget of $15,000,000 for voucher awards through funding allocated from New Jersey’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auction proceeds, as outlined in the RGGI Strategic Funding Plan, to be implemented and administered by the NJEDA. This fund was expanded by $9,250,000 in September 2021. This Notice is intended to announce the addition of $20,000,000 to this voucher award budget as of December 1, 2021 at 9AM Eastern. Applications for this funding can be filed through NJEDA’s online portal at www.njeda.gov/njzip (click “Apply Here” button) and will be reviewed on a first come, first serve basis until the funds are exhausted. In addition to this formal notice, announcement of this expansion was provided on November 10, 2021 as part of a press release issued by Governor Murphy’s Office and outlined on the NJ ZIP webpage as of November 18, 2021.

The goal of the program is to help New Jersey-based companies accelerate adoption of zero emission medium duty vehicles by reducing their upfront capital cost through the provision of vouchers. This adoption is anticipated to reduce emissions within the pilot communities, and to allow NJEDA to stimulate and assess market-readiness and determine and foster the economic impact of adoption moving forward. The pilot communities were previously defined as the greater Camden and greater Newark areas, with the addition of the greater New Brunswick area in September 2021; this Notice is also intended to announce the addition of the Greater Shore Area as an eligible community on December 1, 2021.

The pilot program is for commercial, industrial, or institutional organizations with vehicle operations in the greater Camden, greater Newark, greater New Brunswick, and/or greater Shore areas of New Jersey that are purchasing medium duty zero emission vehicles, and for the vendors of such products.

Eligibility Criteria: To be eligible, a business/institution purchasing a vehicle (applicant) must:

  • Be a commercial, industrial, or institutional organization in New Jersey. As defined in the Global Warming Solutions Fund, N.J.A.C. 7:27D-1.2, “institutional” means serving a non-profit or public purpose, such as a library, hospital, public school, institution of higher education, municipal utility, public recreation or cultural facility, or government entity. The term “government entity” includes local and municipal government entities, but for the purposes of this pilot, State government entities are not eligible.
  • If a for-profit business, be registered to conduct business in New Jersey (as demonstrated with a business registration certificate). Non-profit businesses or institutions may be required to provide a business registration certificate or other documentation, as applicable, to demonstrate their New Jersey operations and non-profit or institutional status.
  • Provide a Tax Clearance Certificate (with the application or prior to closing).
  • Be in good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

To be eligible, applicant’s proposed vehicle(s) must be:

  • A new zero emission vehicle Class 2b – Class 6 (GVWR 8,501 lbs. – 26,000 lbs.) (ZEV), used for commercial, industrial, or institutional purposes. Retrofits and repowers of pre-owned vehicles are not eligible.
    • All zero emission vehicles, defined as “a vehicle that emits no tailpipe pollutants from the onboard source of power, such as particulates, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, ozone, lead, and various oxides of nitrogen,” are eligible for vouchers. This includes, but is not limited to, battery-electric (BEV) and hydrogen fuel cell-electric (FCEV) vehicles.
  • Purchased and registered within six months of receipt of voucher approval letter, with proof of such intent to purchase required for eligibility. An extension for up to an additional six months may be permitted on a case-by-case basis.
  • Not a subject of Volkswagen (VW) Settlement funding or any other State funding for the same vehicle(s).
  • Procured from a Vendor that meets program eligibility requirements (detailed in the following section).

Note: Vehicle scrappage is not mandated by this program, except in the case that the new vehicle is replacing a vehicle model year 2009 or earlier. For consistency with prior State programs, scrappage is defined within the DEP’s VW Settlement funded grant program as “rendering the vehicle inoperable and available for recycle; at a minimum, to cut a 3-inch hole in the engine block and disable the chassis by cutting the vehicle’s frame rails complete in half.” Vehicles that are not replacements (that is, ZEV purchased are for new use cases or to expand a fleet) or are replacing a model year 2010 or later do not have to comply with scrappage requirements. If the applicant is defined as a small business, they can receive a bonus incentive on a per-vehicle basis for scrappage.

To be eligible, vehicle manufacturer or seller (vendor) must:

  • Provide proof of a minimum of 12 months of experience selling or manufacturing eligible vehicles.
  • Be registered, or register to conduct business in New Jersey prior to executing an agreement with the NJEDA.
  • Be in good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Provide a Tax Clearance Certificate.
  • On a per-applicant basis, provide additional documentation, including, but not limited to:
    • A link to vendor website that indicates eligible vehicles available for sale, and their related specifications;
    • A specification sheet or, if custom vehicle, specification sheets for all major components, corroborating vehicle capabilities, charging/fueling needs, design appropriate to applicant’s planned use, and eligibility; and
    • Timeline and process/plans by which vendor intends to comply with the terms of the voucher (for example, delivery of vehicle, development of charging/fueling plans, implementation of maintenance plan, etc.) prior to expiration of voucher.
  • Agree to accept the program’s voucher as a portion of the final vehicle payment, deducting the full voucher(s) amount from the upfront cost to the applicant.

Voucher amounts and expiration: To reserve voucher funding, eligible applicants can propose purchase of eligible zero emission vehicle(s) from an eligible vendor, indicating intent to purchase and register vehicle within six months, and to use vehicle as prescribed in program terms for the three-year compliance term. An extension for up to an additional six months to purchase and register the vehicle may be permitted and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Voucher funding amounts are based on GVWR laid out below:

Vehicle GVWR

Vehicle Class

Voucher Amount

8,501 - 10,000 lbs.

Class 2b

$25,000

10,0001 - 14,000 lbs.

Class 3

$55,000

14,001 - 16,000 lbs.

Class 4

$75,000

16,001 - 19,500 lbs.

Class 5

$85,000

19,501 - 26,000 lbs.

Class 6

$100,000

Eligible applicants may receive increased per-vehicle voucher bonuses through documentation of any of the following:

  • Small business vehicle scrappage bonus: $2,000 per vehicle scrapped and replaced with a NJ ZIP voucher-funded ZEV.
  • Certified woman-, minority-, or veteran-owned business bonus: $4,000 per vehicle.
  • Small business bonus: A 25 percent increase of the base voucher amount per vehicle.
  • New Jersey manufacturing bonus: A 25 percent increase of base voucher amount per vehicle will be available if the vendor can formally document (for example, but not limited to, through price sheets and hourly rates) that 25 percent of the cost of the vehicle is spent in New Jersey on labor for vehicle design, assembly, and/or manufacturing or cost of components produced in New Jersey.
  • Driver readiness and education bonus: $2,000 per vehicle; available if the vendor provides two public training sessions (in-person, but may be web-based contingent on COVID-19 safety recommendations) per quarter in the year following applicant voucher(s) approval, for a total of eight sessions, including at least an overview of the technology, operation, and safety (associated with, for example, operation, charging, and/or maintenance) on two separate days, given by subject matter experts. In addition, vendor must provide a once per quarterly opportunity in the year following applicant voucher(s) approval for publicly available vehicle test drive or in-person vehicle viewing and demonstration within one or more of the selected pilot communities. In the case that the voucher funds have been disbursed prior to completion of this commitment, NJEDA will verify satisfactory completion of commitment and, if vendor does not complete its obligation, vendor may be required to refund the bonus funds to the voucher pool.

These bonuses may be stacked, with applicant eligible for multiple bonus criteria. The total funding per vehicle may equal but may not exceed the cost of the vehicle.

Maximum funding reserved for a single applicant business (as determined by EIN) through vouchers inclusive of any qualifying bonuses may not exceed $1,500,000, to ensure equitable distribution of resources.

Required Documentation: All applications to the NJ ZIP pilot program must include the following documentation:

  1. Completed and signed online application (applicant and vendor);
  2. Completed Legal Debarment Questionnaire (applicant and vendor);
  3. Vehicle specification sheets (vendor);
  4. Timeline and process/plans by which vendor intends to comply with the terms of the voucher (for example, delivery of vehicle, development of charging/fueling plans, implementation of maintenance plan, etc.) prior to expiration of voucher (vendor);
  5. Details on the vehicle being replaced (applicant, if applicable);
  6. Current New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate listing New Jersey Economic Development Authority. All certificates listing another State agency will be rejected (applicant and vendor); and
  7. If not demonstrated through New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate, a New Jersey Business Registration Certificate or, if non-profit or institution, other documentation, as applicable, to demonstrate New Jersey operations and status.

And, as applicable, if applying for additional bonuses:

  1. If applicant applying as a small business, employee information, as appropriate, for applicable company structure and staffing, for example, most recent New Jersey WR-30 (W-2 employees)
  2. If applicant applying as a small business, most recent company tax filing; Federal 941 and either an NJ-CBT-100 (Schedule A), Form-1065, or Form-1040 (Schedule C), or whichever is applicable to the organizational form of business, showing the total gross receipts or sales for the year;
  3. If applicant applying as a women-, minority-, or veteran-owned business, a copy of women-, minority-, and/or veteran-owned business New Jersey Certification;
  4. If vehicle is manufactured in the State of New Jersey, price sheets for materials, hourly labor rates and payroll, Federal 941, formally documenting that 25 percent of the cost of the vehicle is spent in New Jersey on labor for vehicle design, assembly, and/or manufacturing or cost of components produced in New Jersey (vendor).
  5. If applying for driver readiness and education bonus, proposed agendas, timelines, and methodology for public training sessions and vehicle demonstrations (vendor).

Application and Evaluation Process: Applications to the program from both applicants and vendors shall be submitted using NJEDA’s online application portal. The application portal has been open since April 6, 2021, until all funds are committed, on a first-come, first-served basis. The funding pool, initially $15,000,000, was expanded in September 2021 by $9,250,000, adding the greater New Brunswick area, and expanded as of December 1, 2021 by an additional $20,000,000, adding the greater Shore area. The portal for applicants and vendors is open simultaneously, allowing each to complete and submit their respective applications or portions of applications, including proof of eligibility. An applicant’s place in line will be determined based on the date and time that the completed application, inclusive of eligible vendor and vehicle details, is received by NJEDA, including any missing documentation.

NJEDA staff will review each application against the basic and bonus eligibility criteria outlined previously. All submitted applications will be reviewed for document completeness and eligibility on a rolling basis. Following the completeness review, applicants with missing documentation will receive an email notification from NJEDA to submit or re-submit any missing or incomplete required documentation by 5:00 P.M. on the 10th business day following the day on which it receives such notification (Extension Time).

After the applicant’s Extension Time, any application that does not include all of the documents specified or contain documents that have not been completed will be considered incomplete and will not be further reviewed for eligibility. Only complete applications will be reviewed for voucher eligibility.

Note: Due to COVID-19, it may take longer than usual for applicants to obtain certain New Jersey State documents, such as New Jersey Business Registration Certificate, Tax Clearance Certificate, and Women-, Minority-, or Veteran-Owned Business Certification. If an applicant has attempted to obtain the missing New Jersey State documents and has not received them by the extension time, the applicant may provide correspondence or receipts that demonstrate the attempt to obtain the missing documents to extend the extension time. The required missing documentation must be submitted before any approval of funds reservation will be made with respect to that applicant.

Once an application is reviewed and approved, the voucher funds are reserved for six months from the date of the voucher reservation approval letter. During this time, applicants and vendors will be required to execute an agreement outlining the voucher amount, terms, and conditions of the funding. Voucher funds will not be disbursed until the execution of such agreement by the applicant, vendor, and NJEDA. An extension for up to an additional six months to purchase and register the vehicle may be permitted and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Once vehicle is delivered to and registered by the applicant, with documentation of same provided to NJEDA, and all other relevant program agreements are met, including vehicle scrappage, as applicable, applicant’s voucher(s) may be redeemed by vendor.

Post-closing, staff will conduct periodic audits to confirm that applicant and vendor self-certifications are accurate, and commitments are upheld. In such cases where the audit reveals that the self-certification was not accurate or commitments were not upheld and this impacts eligibility, NJEDA may require, as remedy, that the funds be returned from either the applicant or the vendor and/or may refer these organizations to the relevant State agency for further investigation. Any intentional inaccuracies by an applicant or vendor in the self-certifications or failure to uphold relevant commitments by applicant or vendor may be considered by the Board in disqualifying the applicant or vendor from future contracting with or financial assistance from the NJEDA.

Other Terms and Conditions: By accepting the voucher funding, applicants and vendors will also agree to the following terms:

  • Applicant will register the vehicle in the State of New Jersey for a minimum of the three initial, continuous years; and
    • Annually operate at least 75 percent of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the State of New Jersey and annually operate 50 percent or more of VMT within either the greater Camden, greater Newark, greater New Brunswick, or greater Shore areas for a minimum of three continuous years from date of registration; or
    • Annually operate at least 75 percent of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the State of New Jersey and have a registration address and domicile the vehicle within either the greater Camden, greater Newark, greater New Brunswick, or greater Shore areas for a minimum of three continuous years from date of registration.
  • Vendors will provide:
    • Certification from the vendor that the vehicle complies with all applicable State and Federal requirements for operation, including the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
    • Warranty to applicant for the eligible vehicle, indicating at least three years or 50,000 miles of coverage, whichever comes first, covering, parts (at a minimum, motor, drive train, and batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, etc.) and labor.
    • In-State servicing plan for maintenance of applicant’s vehicle(s) aligned with industry norms and current best practices implemented by or before vehicle delivery.
    • Charging or fueling needs and plans to address such needs, as applicable, to the technology, indicating if the applicant intends to use already available infrastructure (public or private) or including, if available, details on anticipated count, type, capacity, and location of chargers necessary for vehicle.
  • NJEDA’s right to audit and verify compliance with eligibility requirements (both for general eligibility and bonus-criteria eligibility) post-voucher redemption and agree to provide responses and data upon request to support such audits and verifications. For example, to verify vehicle miles traveled within the eligible pilot communities, NJEDA may request data such as, but not limited to, telematics, route maps, delivery histories, etc.
  • Permit the use by NJEDA of applicant, vendor, and vehicle data and information that is provided in the application and audit process, and that is not otherwise prohibited by law, for case studies and to support the development of future versions of this program, or future alternative programs.
  • Commit to displaying a visual indication on the commercial vehicle that it is a ZEV and that its purchase was subsidized through this program, meeting minimum standards or as materially provided by NJEDA (for example, a bumper sticker, placard, etc.).

Inquiries: NJEDA will host informational webinar(s) on the NJ ZIP Pilot Program and a recording of the webinar(s) will be posted on the NJEDA’s webpage. Information on registration for the webinar(s) can be found on NJEDA’s webpage.

Questions and inquiries concerning this notice of funding will be accepted through the application deadline and should be submitted via email to njzip@njeda.com. The subject line of the email should state: “NJZIP Notice of Funding Question – [Organization Name].” Phone calls and/or faxes shall not be accepted.

All questions received and answers provided in response to this notice of funding will be answered in the form of a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, which will be posted and continuously updated on NJEDA’s website.

Confidentiality: Applications received will be reviewed only by staff of NJEDA, with good standing checks by sister agencies on applicants and vendors. All proposals submitted will be subject to requests for disclosure, including, but not limited to, a request pursuant to the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. If the applicant believes that information contained in its proposal merits confidential treatment pursuant to OPRA, any such purportedly confidential information submitted shall be specifically identified and marked by the applicant.

Click here for a PDF version

The NJEDA issued a press release on September 15, 2021 advising of the date on which applications for the Small Business Lease Grant would open.   
Further information about the Small Business Lease Grant was posted to the website on August 19, 2021, and can be found here.

Archived Notice of Funding Availabilities

OPEN PUBLIC RECORDS ACT (OPRA)

Here you’ll find the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s official OPRA Request for Information form, materials regarding the OPRA process, as well as a schedule of fees. 

If you are interested in obtaining a user-friendly copy of the original OPRA legislation, as well as information on the OPRA appeals process, and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit New Jersey’s Government Records Council, the central organization that oversees the workings of the OPRA process throughout State government.

OPRA contact information at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority:

New Jersey Economic Development Authority
Attn: Custodian of Public Records
PO Box 990
Trenton, NJ 08625-0990
Phone (973) 855-3452
Fax: (973) 622-1576
E-mail: opra@njeda.com

ANNUAL REPORTS


2022

Click here for the NJEDA 2022 Annual Report
Click here for the NJEDA Annual Report Addendum and Financials

2021

Click here for the NJEDA 2021 Annual Report 
Click here for the NJEDA Audited Financial Statements
Click here for the NJEDA COVID-19 Activity

2020

Click here for the NJEDA 2020 Annual Report
Click here for the NJEDA COVID-19 Project List
Click here for the NJEDA Audited Financial Statements

2019

Click here for the NJEDA 2019 Annual Report
Click here for the NJEDA Audited Financial Statements

2018
Click here for the NJEDA 2018 Annual Report
Click here for the NJEDA Audited Financial Statements

2017
Click here for the NJEDA 2017 Annual Report
Click here for the NJEDA Audited Financial Statements

2016
Click here for the NJEDA 2016 Annual Report
Click here for the NJEDA Audited Financial Statements

2015
Click here for the NJEDA 2015 Annual Report
Click here for the NJEDA Comprehensive Annual Report (includes Audited Financial Statements and Projects)
NJEDA Projects

2014
Click here for the NJEDA 2014 Annual Report
Click here for the NJEDA Comprehensive Annual Report (includes Audited Financial Statements and Projects)
NJEDA Projects

2013
Click here for the NJEDA 2013 Annual Report
Click here for the NJEDA Comprehensive Annual Report (includes Audited Financial Statements and Projects)
NJEDA Projects

2012
Click here for the NJEDA 2012 Annual Report
Click here for the NJEDA Comprehensive Annual Report (Includes Audited Financial Statements and Projects)
NJEDA Projects

2011
Click here for the NJEDA 2011 Annual Report
Click here for the NJEDA Comprehensive Annual Report (Includes Audited Financial Statements and Projects)
NJEDA Projects

2010
Click here for the NJEDA 2010 Annual Report 
Click here for the NJEDA Comprehensive Annual Report (Includes Audited Financial Statements and Projects)
NJEDA Projects

2009
Click here for the NJEDA 2009 Annual Report
Click here for the NJEDA Comprehensive Annual Report (Includes Audited Financial Statements and Projects)
NJEDA Projects

2008
Click here for the NJEDA 2008 Annual Report
Click here for the NJEDA Comprehensive Annual Report (Includes Audited Financial Statements)
NJEDA Projects

2007
Click here for the NJEDA 2007 Annual Report
Click here for the NJEDA Comprehensive Annual Report (Includes Audited Financial Statements)
NJEDA  Projects

2006
Click here for the NJEDA 2006 Annual Report
Click here for the NJEDA Comprehensive Annual Report (Includes Audited Financial Statements)
NJEDA  Projects

2018 
Click here for the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Annual Report

2013
Click here for the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Annual Report

2012
Click here for the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Annual Report

2011
Click here for the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Annual Report

2010
Click here for the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Annual Report

2009
Click here for the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Annual Report 

2008
Click here for the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Annual Report

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) offer assistance to municipalities, businesses, developers and community groups at various stages of the brownfield restoration process, from planning to cleanup and redevelopment.

The Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund (HDSRF) has been an integral component of this assistance since 1993; helping to transform underutilized and contaminated sites into environmentally sound, productive properties. This is particularly important in the redevelopment of older urban areas so vital to achieving the smart growth objectives of the State’s Master Plan.

The NJEDA and the DEP, which jointly administer the program, are pleased to report the results of activities for calendar year 2008 under the HDSRF in accordance with N.J.S 58:10B-6. Click here to view.

2021

Click here to view the HDSRF report

2020

Click here to view the HDSRF report

2018 and 2019

Click here to view the HDSRF report

2013
Click here to view the HDSRF report

2012
Click here to view the HDSRF report.

2011
Click here to view the HDSRF report.

2010
Click here to view the HDSRF report.

2009
Click here to view the HDSRF report.

For more recent BEIP Annual Reports, please see the NJEDA Annual Reports. Moving forward, BEIP Annual Reports are included as an appendix on the NJEDA Annual Report.

2013
Click here for the FY2013 BEIP Annual Report and Exhibits.

2012
Click here for the FY2012 BEIP Annual Report and Exhibits.

2011
Click here for the FY2011 BEIP Annual Report and Exhibits.

2010
Click here for the FY2010 BEIP Annual Report and Exhibits.

2009
Click here for the FY2009 BEIP Annual Report and Exhibits.

2008
Click here for the FY2008 BEIP Annual Report and Exhibits.

2007
Click here for the FY2007 BEIP Annual Report and Exhibits.

2006
Click here for the FY2006 BEIP Annual Report and Exhibits.

2005
Click here for the FY2005 BEIP Annual Report and Exhibits.

For more recent BRRAG Annual Reports, please see the NJEDA Annual Reports. Moving forward, BRRAG Annual Reports are included as an appendix on the NJEDA Annual Report.

2024
Click here for the FY2024 BRRAG Annual Report.

2013
Click here for the FY2013 BRRAG Annual Report.

2012
Click here for the FY2012 BRRAG Annual Report.

2011
Click here for the FY2011 BRRAG Annual Report.

2010
Click here for the FY2010 BRRAG Annual Report.

2009
Click here for the FY2009 BRRAG Annual Report.

2008
Click here for the FY2008 BRRAG Annual Report.

ACTIVITY & OTHER REPORTS


The Main Street Recovery Finance Program is a suite of programs to support New Jersey micro business owners and partnering entities that can serve New Jersey micro businesses.

Please visit the links below for a list of businesses and non-profit organizations the NJEDA has assisted through the Main Street Recovery Finance Program.

Click here for Financially Assisted Projects with Construction Activity Report

Completed and Certified Incentive Projects

The Completed and Certified Incentive Project report is a compilation of all projects approved under the Grow New Jersey Assistance (Grow NJ), Economic Redevelopment and Growth (ERG) and Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit programs that have certified completion and received tax credits or reimbursements to date.  

Click here to view the Completed and Certified Incentive Project report.

Emerge/Aspire Program Cap Utilization

The Emerge Tax Credit Program with NJ Aspire Program are capped at $1.1B per year over 6 years, with an option to roll-over unused program cap to a seventh year. Click here to view current allocation and Incentive Activity report

Film and Digital Media Tax Credit Program

Click here for a list of approved Film Tax Credit projects

Click here for a list of approved the Digital Media Tax Credit projects

Click here for Film and Digital Media Tax Transfers

Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP)

Click here for a list of all executed BEIP grants (alphabetically)

Economic Redevelopment and Growth Program (ERG)

Click here for a list of all approved ERG projects under the N.J. Economic Opportunity Act of 2013

Click here for a list of all approved Legacy ERG projects.

Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant Program (BRRAG)

Click here for a list of all executed BRRAG grants (by date).

Grow New Jersey Assistance Program

Click here for a list of approved Grow NJ projects since the enactment of the N.J. Economic Opportunity Act of 2013.

Click here for a list of approved Legacy Grow NJ projects (prior to enactment of NJ Economic Opportunity Act of 2013

Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Program

Click here for a list of approved Urban Transit Hub projects (by date).

New Jersey Manufacturing Voucher Program

Please visit the link below for a list of organizations the NJEDA has approved under the New Jersey Manufacturing Voucher Program. Click here

More Resources