Atlantic County Economic Alliance
Atlantic County’s One Stop Shop for Business Expansion and Relocation Services
Coronavirus Information and Assistance for Businesses
The ACEA is tracking and monitoring government and private sector activity to support businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Information is fluid and rapidly evolving as government agencies gear up to create and administer new programs. The following summaries, information, and links describe programs ACEA believes may be of high interest to our local business community.*
*This information is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all available resources during the COVID-19 crisis. We encourage members of our business community to check back regularly for updates and to do their own independent research about available programs and resources.
- December 28, 2020: Federal COVID-19 Relief Stimulus Package
- You can find a comprehensive 18-page guide on Senator Cory Booker’s website: https://www.booker.senate.gov/coronavirus
- COVID-19 Relief Package: 8 Ways to Access Funding can be found at https://www.alignable.com/blog by Alignable, the small business referral network.
Summary of the U.S. Government’s 8-part COVID-19 relief package for small businesses:
Part 1: Extending and Improving the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The legislation includes $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program and extends the program through March 31, 2021.
Under the new COVID relief package, the new program provides for a second PPP loan of up to $2 million for smaller, harder-hit businesses that:
- Have no more than 300 employees.
- Demonstrate a loss of 25 percent of gross receipts in any quarter during 2020 when compared to the same quarter in 2019.
- Have used the full amount of their first PPP before a second loan is disbursed.
- More businesses are eligible this time, including Solopreneurs and independent contractors for PPP loans.
Eligibility was expanded to also include certain local newspapers, TV and radio stations, public broadcasters, housing cooperatives, and 501(c)(6) nonprofits.
The forgiveness process was simplified for loans of up to $150,000 and they revised the loan processing fee tiers to incentivize lenders to make loans to underserved and underbanked businesses.
A number of carve outs and special programs were designed to get money to businesses who were underserved last time, such as directing the Small Business Administration (SBA) to issue guidance that prioritizes underserved communities and to add a voluntary demographic information section on the applications for initial and second PPP loans.
Eligible small businesses and nonprofits seeking initial PPP and second draw loans should contact an eligible PPP lender. Start with your own bank since business owners seem to get faster turnaround and much better service by avoiding the major money center banks (Chase, BofA, Citi, Wells Fargo, etc.) and going with regional/local banks, credit unions, and online providers.
A list of approved lenders listed by state is available on SBA’s website: https://www.sba.gov/document/support-paycheck-protection-program-participating-lenders
Part 2: Economic Injury Disaster Loans(EIDL) from the SBA
$20 Billion in additional targeting funding is being made available through the EIDL Advance program. The bill makes entities in low-income communities that received an EIDL Advance to receive an amount equal to the difference of what the entity received under the CARES Act and $10,000.
It also provides $10,000 grants to eligible applicants in low-income communities that did not secure grants because funding had run out.
Eligible small businesses and nonprofits seeking to participate in the EIDL Advance program should visit the SBA website at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief- options/economic-injury-disaster-loans
Part 3: New Grant Program for Shuttered Industries
$15 Billion was set aside for the SBA to make grants to eligible live venues, independent movie theaters, and other cultural institutions that can demonstrate a revenue loss of 25 percent to address the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These small business grants can be used to cover expenses such as payroll costs, rent, utilities, and personal protective equipment. Note: This is a new program and will take time for the SBA to launch, but you should note that receiving a grant under this program makes your business ineligible for “Second Draw PPP Loans.”
Due to this being a new program, talk with your accountant, lawyers, bankers and SBA to determine which approach will serve your needs and timing best.
Part 4: Existing Debt Relief Programs Extended
If your business has an existing or new SBA new SBA 7(a), 504 and microloans, as established under the CARES Act, the legislation does start repayment of principal and interest on these loans.
However, you may be entitled to receive an additional three months of P&I, starting in February 2021, capped at $9,000 per borrower monthly.
Part 5: Boosting Existing SBA Core Programs
If you are already taking advantage of programs under the SBA, you may be able to take advantage of a number of enhancements they made in the legislation including:
Making lending programs, including 7(a), Community Advantage, 504, and the Microloan program, more affordable and useful to small businesses.
Improving SBA’s entrepreneurial development and contracting programs, including extending the waiver of matching funds requirement under the Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), as well as allowing a one-year extension of participation in the 8(a) program, a federal contracting program benefiting underserved small businesses.
Part 6: Additional Funding for the Minority Business Development Agency
$25 Million of additional funding was provided to the MBDA’s Minority Business Development Centers program, including Specialty Centers, to help minority business enterprises (MBEs) respond to COVID-19, including by helping them identify and access local, State, or Federal government assistance.
You can learn more about this agency and the programs they provide at https://www.mbda.gov/
Part 7: Extending and Expanding the Employment Retention Tax Credit
The legislation extends the CARES Act ERTC through June 30, 2021, expands eligibility by reducing the required gross receipts decline from 50 percent to 20 percent, and increases both the credit rate from 50 to 70 percent of qualified wages and the limit on per-employee creditable wages from $10,000/year to $10,000/quarter.
The bill also modifies the threshold for treatment as a ‘large employer’ by increasing the 100- employee delineation for determining the relevant qualified wage base to employers with 500 or fewer employees.
Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees are allowed to advance the credit at any point during the quarter based on wages paid in the same quarter in a previous year. Employers who receive PPP loans may still qualify for the ERTC with respect to wages that are not paid for with forgiven PPP funds.
Part 8: Assistance Received Under Certain Programs is Not Taxable
The new COVID-19 relief package clarifies the tax treatment of small business government assistance. The legislation clarifies that small business assistance-including PPP forgiven funds, emergency EDIL grants, targeted EIDL Advances, certain loan repayment assistance, and grants for shuttered venue-are not taxable as income and that deductions are allowed for otherwise deductible expenses paid with the proceeds of this small business assistance.
- The Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program – Pre-Reg Opens July 20
- November 9: State of New Jersey’s Business / Organization Recovery and Technical Assistance Survey
- October 20: NJEDA Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Pre-Register NOW for Phase 3
- October 14: NJEDA opening applications in October for $70M in business COVID-relief
- May 18: Governor Murphy’s Strategic Plan to Restart the State’s Economy through a Multi-Staged Approach
- Roadmap to Recovery Chart
Federal Reserve Board announces it is expanding the scope and eligibility for the Main Street Lending Program
More Money for Businesses is Coming – The Federal Reserve released guidelines for its soon- to-open Main Street Lending Program that will offer four-year loans starting at $500,000 for small- and medium-sized businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic. To qualify, a business must have had fewer than 15,000 employees or less than $5 billion in revenue in 2019. Lending institutions are administering the program, and a high percentage of each of the loans will be guaranteed by the Fed. Principal and interest payments will be deferred for one year.
Act Now – Once the Federal Reserve opens the Main Street Lending Program, qualified businesses should apply quickly. To prepare, the New Jersey Chamber encourages members to review the information and reach out to lenders now.
- See the Federal Press Release release >>
- See top FAQs >>
U.S. Small Business Administration, Economic Injury Disaster Loans
The SBA declared New Jersey an economic disaster zone as a result of COVID-19. SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business (500 employees or less) and can provide support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Applicants may qualify for a forgivable loan advance up to $10,000. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can ‘t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere. Businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
For more information or to apply:
Email: [email protected]
Small Business Administration Loan Application Support
Carol Waities, director of the SBA Office at Stockton University is requesting that interested business complete the attached “Client Intake Form” and fill out the blocks highlighted in yellow. Completed forms should be sent to Carol Waties at ([email protected]) or Cynthia Kelly at ([email protected]). All form submissions will get a call from a blocked number (SBA is working from home) and each business will be scheduled to have their questions answered and receive assistance in completing their applications.
Free Technical Assistance Available For Businesses During COVID-19 Crisis
Need help accessing federal Small Business Administration Programs, including the new $349 Billion Payroll Protection Program?
Businesses seeking technical support to help prepare U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) applications during the COVID-19 crisis can turn to a growing number of entities for free help. The following is a list of organizations assembled by the Atlantic County Economic Alliance to support our business community. These organizations have been identified by the State of New Jersey or the federal government as technical assistance vendors for our business community during COVID-19 crisis.
The list below is not exhaustive and the ACEA makes no recommendation of which vendor a business should use. The ACEA will update this list should more vendors become available.
NJ Small Business Development Center at Stockton University
New Jersey State Veterans Chamber of Commerce
Deferral of Employers Social Security Taxes
The employer portion of the social security taxes may be deferred through the end of 2020. Half of the deferred amount will be due at the end of 2021 and the other half will be due at the end of 2022. The Social Security deferral is not available to companies aspiring to apply for a Payroll Preservation Program loan and have it forgiven.
NJEDA Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Pre-Register NOW for Phase 3
Overview and Eligibility
- Any business or nonprofit located in New Jersey, including home-based businesses, with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) is eligible to receive grant funding during Phase 3.
- Businesses that received funding in previous phases of the program are eligible to receive Phase 3 funding.
- Grant awards will be calculated based on the number of Full-Time Employees businesses employ.
- Micro-businesses with 5 or fewer FTEs and sole proprietorships will receive $5,000
- Businesses with 6 to 25 FTEs will receive $10,000
- Businesses with 26 to 50 FTEs will receive $15,000
- For businesses that are classified as “Food Services and Drinking Places” ONLY:
- Businesses in this classification with 5 or fewer employees will receive $10,000
- Businesses with 6 to 25 FTEs will receive $15,000
- Businesses with 26 to 50 FTEs will receive $20,000
- Mandatory Pre-Registration and Application Periods
Interested business owners will need to pre-register to receive an application.
The application will be available via a phased approach following the end of the pre-registration period. Applicants must complete the full application to be considered for grant funding.
To streamline the application process, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority is requiring all applicants to pre-register online at www.njeda.com. Applications will become available on a rolling basis following the pre-registration period. Pre-registered applicants will need to complete an application.
Applications for each category will be open for a period of one week and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
New Jersey Economic Development Authority COVID-19 Disaster Programs
Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program – A $10 million program that will provide working capital loans of up to $100,000 to businesses with less than $5 million in revenues. Loans made through the program will have ten-year terms with zero percent for the first five years, then resetting to the EDA’s prevailing floor rate (capped at 3.00%) for the remaining five years.
Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Emergency Loan Loss Reserve Fund – A $10 million capital reserve fund to take a first loss position on CDFI loans that provide low interest working capital to micro businesses. This will allow CDFIs to withstand loan defaults due to the outbreak, which will allow them to provide more loans at lower interest rates to microbusinesses affected by the outbreak.
CDFI Emergency Assistance Grant Program – A $1.25 million program that will provide grants of up to $250,000 to CDFIs to scale operations or reduce interest rates for the duration of the outbreak.
NJ Entrepreneur Support Program – A $5 million program that will encourage continued capital flows to new companies, often in the innovation economy, and temporarily support a shaky market by providing 80 percent loan guarantees for working capital loans to entrepreneurs. Small Business Emergency Assistance Guarantee Program – A $10 million program that will provide 50 percent guarantees on working capital loans and waive fees on loans made through institutions participating in the NJEDA’s existing Premier Lender or Premier CDFI programs. Emergency Technical Assistance Program – A $150,000 program that will support technical assistance to New Jersey-based companies applying for assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The organizations contracted will be paid based on SBA application submissions supported by the technical assistance they provide.
Additional details on the NJEDA’s new programs, including complete eligibility requirements. Applications are anticipated to be opened during the week of March 30th. To see which of these programs you are eligible for, use the NJ COVID-19 Business Support Eligibility Wizard.
For Application Assistance call 844-965-1125. This toll free assistance number is open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday and 11am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday.
New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) COVID-19 Business Information
Comprehensive Information Guide from NJ
Comprehensive information about New Jersey’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
New Jersey Business Action Center Hotline
New Jersey Business Action Center’s Helpline is now available Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm. Not open on weekends.
Call 1-800-JERSEY-7 to address any concerns you or your employees have.
COVID-19 On Demand Hiring Portal
Did you lose your job or have your hours reduced as a result of COVID-19? Businesses across New Jersey need thousands of workers for immediate hire.
Need help finding a job that’s a good fit for you? Enter key terms into the search box that will help narrow down the list. Type in the type of job(s) you’re interested in (for example: Home Health Aide, Cashier, Delivery Driver). You can also type in your town or county to see some places hiring near you. If you’re looking to work for a specific company, type their name in the search box.
Employers in critical industries should submit information about openings with urgent hiring needs to the intake form.
For more information visit the On Demand Hiring Portal website.
- Atlantic County Improvement Authority – COVID-19 Economic Injury Programs
- Facebook Business Resources Hub
- Garden State Relief Fund for small businesses and non-profits located in the THRIVE South Jersey footprint that includes western Atlantic County.
- Governor Murphy Announces Mortgage Payment Relief, Financial Protections for New Jerseyans Facing Economic Hardship as a Result of COVID-19
- USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
With the insight, guidance and well-connected network of the Atlantic County Economic Alliance, we successfully completed our $60 million expansion and have created nearly 100 additional professional and technical jobs.
If it was not for the commitment and thought leadership provided by the Atlantic County Economic Alliance, we would never have explored the use of the Atlantic City Convention Center as the location for our first U.S. world-class data center.
The ACEA is an outstanding organization that recognizes and promotes the needs of the business community. I highly recommend its services to any business that is considering relocation and/or expansion.
What we can do for you
The ACEA provides prompt response and identification of available commercial, office, industrial and developable land requests tailored to your specifications and requirements. The ACEA acts as your liaison with brokers for follow up information requests while maintaining strict confidentiality until your firm is ready to engage in actual site visits. Our staff is available to accompany you on site visits and provide insight and assistance throughout the process.
The ACEA provides experience in generating data and tailoring information requests taken directly from primary sources such as the US Department of Labor, Bureau of the Census, and various New Jersey state and county agencies. Such information may include local wage rates by occupation, land and building prices, and information on Atlantic County sewer, water, sewage, roads, public transportation and household characteristics. The ACEA strives to place you in an informed position prior to a full project due diligence commitment.
The ACEA introduces you to utility company representatives, municipal and county officials, business leaders, education institutions and advocacy groups. Our staff helps connect you to the right person for every stage of your development and project. Upon request, we will provide professional service referrals for recognized experts in their fields.
Permits & Regulations
The ACEA coordinates contact with municipal, county, and state agencies; including planning and zoning committees, environmental oversight boards and permit inspection professionals. Our staff is available to assist you in working with state and federal regulatory agencies and meeting their requirements.
The ACEA directs you to workforce training professionals who will assist you in training employees to meet your specifications, often subsidized by the New Jersey Department of Labor.
The ACEA provides information about available financing programs and opportunities, as well as referrals to financing groups and agencies such as the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the Atlantic County Improvement Authority, economic and community development organizations, and commercial financial institutions.
Promote your Success
The ACEA promotes your business accomplishments as part of its marketing campaigns in print and online. Your success and growth is our mission!
Economic Redevelopment and Growth Program (ERG)
This program is an incentive for developers and businesses to address revenue gaps in development projects. Residential and commercial projects could see assistance of up to 20% of the total project cost. Click Here for more details.
Urban Enterprise Zone Program (UEZ)
This program is currently available to businesses located in Pleasantville, Atlantic County. Businesses can benefit from reduced sales tax to 3.5%, tax-free purchases on capital equipment/ expansions and financial assistance from agencies such as the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Click Here for more details.
The 108 Loan and Micro Loan Program (ACIA)
Administered by the Atlantic County Improvement Authority, these programs are open to businesses located in municipalities that participate in the Community Development Block Grant as well as Atlantic City. The Micro Loan Program offers loans between $1,000 and $35,000 to start-up businesses that meet the HUD criteria of low to moderate income. The 108 Loan Program can provide for-profit businesses with loans up to 40 percent of the project cost. Click Here for more details.
NJEDA Site Evaluator tool
Evaluate potential business locations in NJ and get information associated with the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013.
On-the-Job Training (OJT) Wage Reimbursement Program
- Program A: Employers are eligible for up to a $4,000 wage reimbursement for a specific occupational title over a period of time.
- Program B: Employers are eligible to collect up to 100% of the commensurate wage for a specific occupational title over a period of time. The wage must pay $7.25 per hour and be full-time. The employer must hire and train participants enrolled in a subsidized employment program.
- Program C: Employers are eligible for 50% of the commensurate wage for four to 26 weeks. The wage must pay $8.50 per hour and be full-time. The employer must hire a participant receiving General Assistance (GA) or Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).
- Program D: Employers are eligible for up to 100% of the commensurate wage for the first 13 weeks and 50% for the remaining 13 weeks. The wage must pay $8.50 per hour and be full-time. The employer must hire a participant receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) Regulations and Guidelines
- Project funding for Atlantic City based development. Funds can be used for construction, rehabilitation, acquisition and professional fees. The CRDA can provide both construction and permanent financing.