City of New Brunswick Announces Initiatives to Support City-Based Microbusinesses

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As the City of New Brunswick moves beyond the pandemic, three economic development programs are available to assist microenterprises to build up their businesses.

Businesses with five or fewer employees including the owner may be eligible for three programs the City is highlighting, with grants ranging from $2,500 to $15,000.

The City has COVID-19 microenterprise grants for businesses that have yet to economically recover from the effects of the pandemic. 

These businesses must demonstrate, through their tax returns, at least a 10% decrease in profits in their 2021 taxes as compared to their 2019 taxes.

Only businesses that have been running since Jan. 1, 2019, are eligible.

Businesses that apply for this relief program in 2023 will have their 2022 income compared against their 2019 income to determine eligibility.

The City is also offering existing microenterprise grants to any business that existed prior to Jan. 1, 2022, as well as start-up microenterprise grants to those that have been launched this year.

“We know that small businesses are a big part of the economic engine for our City and help generate local jobs and spur innovation,” said New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill in a press release. “We want to give these microbusinesses the resources they need to grow and hopefully thrive in New Brunswick. These grants are intended to help a business owner pursue his or her dream right here, in the City of New Brunswick.”

Interested business owners can apply online at:

From husband and wife cleaning services to father and son accounting firms to mom-and-pop corner delis, the state’s 950,000 small businesses are the lifeblood of the state’s economy. 

Regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic such as limited seating at restaurants and limited maximum occupancy for retailers and supply chain hiccups had a chilling effect on microbusinesses, which typically don’t have the financial wherewithal to weather a prolonged interruption of business.

State officials have recognized that the smallest of the small businesses have needed an extra boost in emerging from the pandemic. For instance, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority launched its Main Street Micro Business Loan. That program sought to provide financing of up to $50,000 to eligible microbusinesses in New Jersey with 10 or fewer full-time employees and no greater than $1.5 million in annual revenues.

The state last month added $13 million in pandemic relief for small businesses, bringing the total paid to Main Street employers to almost $20 million this year.