Zu Fitdance Studio Latest Small Business to Benefit from NJEDA’s Small Business Lease Assistance Program
TRENTON, N.J. (August 12, 2019) – Zu Fitdance Studio, a Zumba and dance studio in Plainfield, is the latest small business to benefit from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA) Small Business Lease Assistance Program. The program, which provides rent support to qualified small businesses in targeted cities around the state, will allow Zu Fitdance Studio to expand into a larger location that will accommodate more customers and classes.
"Investing in communities by supporting small businesses is a key component of Governor Murphy’s plan to build a stronger, fairer New Jersey economy," said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. "The Small Business Lease Assistance Program is part of a larger organizational transformation we are undertaking at the NJEDA to achieve the organization’s full potential as a comprehensive economic development agency. We are thrilled to see this program making an impact and look forward to helping more small businesses access the resources they need to grow."
The Small Business Lease Assistance Program reimburses businesses and nonprofit organizations 15 percent of annual lease payments for two years when they rent market-rate, first-floor office, industrial, or retail spaces for a minimum 5-year term. Businesses in the program can lease spaces of any size but will only receive NJEDA reimbursements on the first 5,000 square feet of leased space. The program is available in select areas in thirteen cities: Atlantic City, Camden, Trenton, Passaic, Paterson, Bridgeton, Jersey City, Millville, Mt. Holly, Phillipsburg, Plainfield, Salem, and Vineland. To ensure the greatest possible impact, the NJEDA has coordinated with participating municipalities to target specific areas of eligibility that fit the city’s long-term vision.
Zu Fitdance Studio joins two other businesses that have already been approved for lease assistance through the program: Haleemah Islamic Fashions, a clothing store that caters to Trenton’s Islamic community; and Arlee’s Raw Blends, a cold-pressed juice store located in Princeton expanding into a second location in Trenton. All three businesses are women-owned small businesses.
"Helping businesses like Zu Fitdance Studio that are looking to grow and lease new space is critical to building vibrant communities and the Small Business Lease Assistance Program is quickly proving to be one of the most valuable tools we have for achieving this goal," said NJEDA Director of Small Business Services Christina Fuentes. "Although it is less than a year old, the program is already on track to be a success and I hope more small business owners take advantage of this great program."
Zu Fitdance Studio plans to use the grant it receives to move into a larger location closer to Plainfield’s train station that will accommodate more students and a wider variety of classes. The increased business this creates will also allow Zu Fitdance Studio to hire two additional instructors over the next two years.
"The Small Business Lease Assistance Program is opening new doors for my business," said Zu Fitdance Studio owner Wendy Lizano. "People want to exercise in a fun, group environment, but the space I was in just couldn’t keep up with the demand for classes. Being able to move into a larger space will not only allow me to serve more customers and provide a wider variety of classes, but it will also pave the way for Zu Fitdance Studio to give back to the community in a new way by creating two new instructor jobs."
In addition to the Small Business Lease Assistance Program, the NJEDA also supports small businesses with low-interest loans, bond financing, and educational programming.
More detail and an application for the Small Business Lease Assistance Program is available here: https://www.njeda.gov/LeaseAssistance.
To read Governor Murphy's full economic plan, please visit: https://nj.gov/economicplan
About the New Jersey Economic Development Authority
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.