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SMALL BUSINESS LEASE GRANT


The NJEDA has received a significant number of applications for the Small Business Lease Program. Given the high volume of applications received, we ask that any applicant please remain patient while our team works through our review of these applications.

The Small Business Lease Grant supports the growth and success of small businesses and non-profits by providing grant funding to cover a portion of lease payments for businesses and non-profits leasing new or additional space.

PROGRAM DETAILS

The Small Business Lease Grant supports the growth and success of small businesses and nonprofits by providing grant funding to cover a portion of lease payments. These resources will help the establishment and growth of small businesses, while also helping to fill space that is currently vacant and preventing future vacancies.

The Grant is being funded through the Main Street Recovery Finance Program (NJ Economic Recovery Act). Of this $10 million allocated for the program, 40 percent ($4 million) will be reserved for businesses located in Opportunity Zone eligible census tracts.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning October 20th, 2021

ELIGIBILITY

This Grant is open to businesses and nonprofits.

Applicants with multiple locations are limited to one application per location. Applicants cannot terminate an existing lease and enter into a new lease for the same square footage in order to pursue this grant.

Applicants must:

  • Be a commercial business, nonprofit, or operator of an incubator.
  • Meet SBA definition of a Small Business – determined by employee count and NAICS code.
  • Provide a current tax clearance certificate prior to approval.
  • Provide certification from the landlord showing they are current on lease payments.
  • Be in good standing with Department of Labor and Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Certify at time of application that they are not in default of any other NJEDA or State assistance.
  • Certify at application the applicant will pay wages that are the greater of $15/hour or 120% of the minimum wage rate for the term of the grant agreement (five years). Tipped employees are only required to be paid 120% of minimum wage rate.
  • Commit to remaining in the facility for at least five years.

A lease must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Square footage: between 250 to 10,000 square feet – over 10,000 is still eligible however, over 10,000 square feet will not be incentivized. For lease extensions, renewals, or amendments, the applicant must expand or add a minimum of 250 square feet.
  • Must include first-floor (street-level) space. Leases that include two floors are eligible, but must include first-floor (street-level) space.
  • Lease payments can only include the leasing of square footage (equipment cannot be included)
  • Must be a minimum 5-year term.
  • Leases must be executed within 12 months of application (Subleases are not eligible).
  • Must be market-rate based on commercial real-estate information.

AWARD SIZE

Two grant awards of 20 percent of the annual lease payments on a minimum 5- year lease term:

First disbursement will be made after execution of grant agreement, for an amount equal to 20 percent of annual lease payment.

Second disbursement will be made after 12 months of lease payments have been paid by the applicant, for an amount equal to 20 percent of annual lease payment.

FEES

Approval Fee: $100

Payable after EDA approval and prior to execution of the grant agreement.

NJ ECONOMIC RECOVERY ACT OF 2020

The full statutory text of the program can be found in sections 82-88 of the Economic Recovery Act of 2020. 

TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE

Division of Taxation Tax Clearance Certificate required. Certificates may be requested through the State of New Jersey’s Premier Business Services (PBS) portal online.

Under the Tax & Revenue Center, select Tax Services, then select Business Incentive Tax Clearance. If the applicant’s account is in compliance with its tax obligations and no liabilities exist, the Business Incentive Tax Clearance can be printed directly through PBS.

EXCLUSIONS

  • Businesses currently operating under an existing Small Business Lease Assistance Program grant agreement are not eligible to apply, but may opt out of their existing grant agreement to pursue this grant.
  • Grantees that default on lease payments or leave the space during their grant term are no longer eligible for the incentive and must repay any funding they received from the NJEDA.
  • High Tech and Business Incubator members in Not for Profit facilities would not be eligible for independent lease incentives.
  • Landlord cannot have an ownership interest in the applicant.
  • Additional information can be found in Appendix B-Small Business Lease Grant Specifications document.