Multiple state, local and national agencies are aimed at helping businesses in New Jersey deal with the impact of COVID-19/Coronavirus. Whether the impact is on your employees or your bottom-line, below are resources to help support the business community during this challenging time.
The State of Jersey website devoted to business concerns during the coronavirus emergency. The site, cv.business.nj.gov, will be updated as new information becomes available. We encourage you to check the site periodically for updates.
The New Jersey Business Action Center's Helpline is now available from 8:00 am - 9:00 pm, seven days a week. Call 1-800-JERSEY-7 to address any concerns you or your employees have or visit nj.gov/njbusiness.
The NJEDA has created a webpage that directs business owners to various resources to assist in coping financially with the COVID-19 public health crisis. This site will be updated with any new programs or support that becomes available.
NJEDA Micro Loans makes financing of up to $50,000 available to NJ businesses with annual revenues of no more than $1,5000,000 and 10 full-time employees or less.
There are many questions about the appropriate leave an employee should take if they have been exposed to the virus, contract the virus or cannot work because their place of employment has been forced to close. The NJDOL has created a Website Here to answer questions related to leave.
NJ Department of Labor’s employer services page, “What Employers & Businesses Should Know.”
The USSBA has approved New Jersey for SBA lending programs for the current crisis and will be opening their website for new applications. Please visit SBA.gov/disaster for information on how to apply.
The new federal legislation and appropriations has opened up the possibility for small businesses to receive assistance for economic loss due to COVID-19. Details of eligibility and administration of this assistance from SBA are still being addressed. However, some information from the traditional SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program may still apply for COVID-19.
Please refer to the SBA's coronavirus website for up-to-date information.
Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Emergency Loan Loss Reserve Fund – (Grant applications open April 8, 2020 at 9am) - A $10 million capital reserve fund to take a first loss position on CDFI loans that provide low-interest working capital to micro-businesses.
CDFI Emergency Assistance Grant Program (added 4/3/20) – 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 (added 4/3/20)– 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 (added 4/3/20) – 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 (added 4/3/20) – A $150,000 program that will support technical assistance to New Jersey-based companies applying for State and US Small Business Administration programs. The organizations contracted will be paid based on SBA application submissions supported by the technical assistance they provide.
Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program (added 4/3/20) - In response to the economic challenges being faced by New Jersey Small and Medium sized businesses and non-profits (collectively “SMEs”), the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has created the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program.
Apply now to the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant at: forms.business.nj.gov/grant
Applications are open now and will close April 10, 2020, at 9 a.m. Completed applications will be considered on a first come, first serve rolling basis. Businesses can now access the full Notice of Funding Availability.
To see whether you might qualify for this program, use the NJ COVID-19 Business Support Eligibility Wizard. Explore how how NJEDA determines grant size with the Grant Size Calculator. You may also access a copy of the grant application now, to assist you with preparing your submission. More information is available below on the grant scope, eligibility, and the materials that will be required for application submissions.
Your organization is eligible for the Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Grant if you…
1. Will make a best effort not to furlough or lay off any individuals from the time of application through six months after the end of the declared state of emergency. SMEs that have already furloughed or laid off workers must make a best-effort pledge to re-hire those workers as soon as possible. Any material breach of its best efforts certification may result in the NJEDA seeking repayment of the grant.
2. Has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 declared state of emergency in Executive Order 103 (e.g., has been temporarily shut down, has been required to reduce hours, has had at least a 20% drop in revenue, has been materially impacted by employees who cannot work due to the outbreak, or has a supply chain that has materially been disrupted and therefore slowed firm-level production).
3. Has a material financial need that cannot be overcome without the grant of emergency relief funds at this time (e.g., does not have significant cash reserves that can support the SME during this period of economic disruption
Types of businesses not eligible:
In order to apply for the grant, businesses will need to provide the following…
Contact information for someone who is authorized to speak on behalf of your company. For example: an owner or an executive such as a CEO or Executive Director
Basic information about your company.
Your organization’s industry as defined by your NAICS code. To confirm your NAICS code, check your federal tax filing or use this site to look up your NAICS code: naics.com/search.
Be able to answer the State’s basic debarment question. To see the full application and read the State debarment questions, you may access a copy of the loan application now,
Be able to affirmatively answer and/or certify that:
The New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC) are assisting small businesses throughout New Jersey concerning financing and other forms of technical assistance. We wish to provide you with information on the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
General Program Description
The PPP is intended to provide business loans to enable small businesses to maintain their workers on payroll. The program extends through June 30, 2020 but you are encouraged to apply very soon.
Loans will be forgiven if the small business retains its employees for an eight week period; loan funds may be used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, utilities.
Small Business Eligibility
A small business with fewer than 500 employees, private non-profits or 501(c )(19) veteran organizations affected by COVID-19 are eligible for such loans; includes sole proprietorships, independent contractors, self-employed individuals, and small businesses in hospitality/food sector with more than one location. Businesses in certain industries which have more than 500 employees can be eligible, if they meet the SBA’s size standards criteria for those industries.
The SBA anticipates that it will take a substantial time commitment to complete the application.
Businesses can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through participating federally insured depository institutions, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution.
Business applicants are encouraged to contact their SBA 7(a)local lender.
Please note that we appreciate your patience as we are receiving a high volume of calls, inquiries, and email messages. Due to the crisis, the network is working remotely. Please contact the regional SBDC nearest to you.
State of New Jersey Website Devoted to COVID-19 Business Concerns
The State of New Jersey has established a special website devoted to business concerns during the coronavirus emergency. The site, will be updated as new information becomes available. We encourage you to communicate this with the appropriate individuals within your organization.
In addition, the New Jersey Business Action Center’s Helpline is now available from 8:00 am – 9:00 pm, seven days a week. Call 1-800- JERSEY-7 to address any concerns you or your employees have.
US Small Business Administration Business Information
The USSBA has approved lending programs for the current crisis and will be opening up their website for new applications! A good source of information:
SBA hotline number 800-659-2955.
Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email email@example.com for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
Additional funding for business has been approved by the US Congress. Please note brief summary below:
Paycheck Protection Program Applications Opens on April 3, 2020
The Treasury has just announced the start date of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that is designed to provide the necessary cash flow to give employers the ability to maintain their payroll during this current crisis.
When to Apply
We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap.
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.
Small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply starting April 3. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply starting April 10.
The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
Small businesses employing 500 or less and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
Under this program:
Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. All loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower.
FAQ - Full List (added 3/30/20)
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the “Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security Act” (CARES Act), allocating $2.2 trillion in spending and tax breaks to increase liquidity in the economy, provide relief for individuals and businesses, as well as specific industries most seriously harmed by this pandemic.
Important tax provisions include deferrals of employer payroll tax liabilities coupled with an employee retention tax credit, rollbacks of TCJA limitations on net operating losses (NOLs), deferral of the business interest limitation under Section 163(j), and a technical correction on qualified improvement property (QIP) that benefits taxpayers.
Here are the key business tax provisions in the CARES Act:
Payroll Tax Delay
Employers and self‐employed individuals can defer payment of the 6.2% employer share of Social Security taxes on employee wages from 3/27/2020 to 12/31/2020, with 50% deferral required to be paid by the end of 2021 and the remaining 50% by the end of 2022. Employers, who have indebtedness forgiven under the paycheck protection program will not qualify for this deferral.
During the payroll tax deferral period, all employment tax payments made by the applicable dates above will be treated as having been timely made.
Employee Retention Credit
Eligible employers could receive a 50% payroll tax credit on qualified wages each quarter to encourage the retention of employees who cannot work due to a COVID-19 related circumstance. If the requirements of qualified wages, qualified employees and qualified employers are met, the credit would be for wages paid or incurred from 3/13/2020 to 12/31/2020.
Eligible employers including non-profits are employers:
1. Whose operations have been fully or partially suspended as a result of a government order limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings, or
2. Who have experienced a greater than 50% reduction in quarterly receipts, measured on a year-over-year basis
• For employers who had an average of 100 or fewer full-time employees in 2019, all employee wages are eligible, regardless of whether the employee is furloughed.
• For employers who had more than 100 full-time employees in 2019, only the wages of employees who are furloughed or face reduced hours as a result of their employers’ closure or reduced gross receipts are eligible for the credit.
Wages are capped at the first $10,000 and includes health benefits. Wages do not include amounts taken into account for purposes of the payroll credits, for required paid sick leave or required paid family leave in the Families First Coronavirus Act, nor for wages taken into account for the employer credit for paid family and medical leave.
The credit is not available to employers receiving Small Business Interruption Loans. No credit is also available with respect to an employee for any period for which the employer is allowed a Work Opportunity Credit.
Net Operating Losses (NOLs)
The law temporarily suspends the 80% taxable income limitation on utilizing NOLs through taxable years beginning before January 1, 2021.
Additionally, the law also allows for a 5-year carryback of NOLs arising in years 2018, 2019 and 2020. These provisions apply to individuals, estates and trusts as well.
Limitation on Business Interest 163 (j)
The new law relaxes the limitation on the deduction of business interest from 30% of adjusted taxable income (ATI) to 50% ATI, for taxable years beginning in 2019 or 2020.
In anticipation that the 2020 income will be lower than 2019, the CARES Act also provides for an election whereby the taxpayer can use their 2019 ATI to calculate the 2020 limitation. In the case of a taxpayer who had 2019 as a short year, income should be annualized to 12 months.
Considering that most partnership returns for 2019 have already been filed, the law provides for a special rule for them. The increase in the ATI limitation to 50% will apply to the 2020 tax year.
For partners that don’t elect out, any excess business interest disallowed in 2019 will be treated as follows:
1. 50% of the excess business interest will be treated as paid or accrued by the partner in the partner’s first tax year beginning in 2020 and will not be subject to Section 163(j) limitation.
2. The balance of 50% of the excess business interest will be subject to the limitations of Section 163(j). In other words, it will remain suspended until the partnership allocates excess taxable income or excess interest income to the partner.
Taxpayers may elect out of the increase, for any tax year. Once made, the election can be revoked only with IRS consent. For partnerships, the election must be made by the partnership and can be made only for tax years beginning in 2020.
Technical Correction: Qualified Improvement Property (QIP)
A correction to a drafting error in the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA) now allows Qualified Improvement Property (QIP) to be treated as 15-year property. This will allow taxpayers to apply 100% bonus depreciation to eligible QIP retroactively for assets acquired and placed in service after 12/31/17.
Qualified improvement property includes any improvement made by the taxpayer, to a building’s interior, provided such improvement was placed in service after the building itself was placed in service. However, improvements do not qualify if they are attributable to:
• the enlargement of the building;
• any elevator or escalator; or
• the internal structural framework of the building.
The law increases the limitation of qualifying charitable contributions (QCC) made in 2020 from 10% to 25% of corporation’s taxable income. QCC are contributions made in the form of cash and not made to donor advisor funds or non-operating private foundations.
Also Included in the CARES Act for Businesses:
• The taxable income limitation on the deduction for food inventory has also been increased from 15% to 25%.
For loan incentive programs available for businesses through the CARES Act, click here. Or note below:
New Loan Incentive Programs Available to Businesses Through the CARES Act
Due to the unfortunate Coronavirus pandemic, bi-partisan Congressional efforts have been in full force to support and encourage economic relief for individuals and businesses hard hit during this ongoing crisis. There have been a number of benefits passed via the Phase 1, Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act and the Phase 2, Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
However, the most significant benefits package to date, the Phase 3 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act or Act”) has recently been passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. The Act delivers over $2 trillion in economic stimulus aimed at providing relief for individuals and businesses, as well as specific industries most seriously harmed by this pandemic.
Yesterday New Jersey postponed the deadline for their new reporting requirement. Employers now have until May 15, 2020 to file electronically with New Jersey as indicated below in our original communication.
To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and protect the capacity of New Jersey's health care system for the state's most vulnerable, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 107 on March 21, 2020, directing all residents to stay at home until further notice.
The order provides for certain exceptions, such as:
In an effort to strengthen the existing social distancing measures in place, the order also prohibits all gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, unless otherwise authorized by the Order. When in public, individuals must practice social distancing and stay at least six feet apart whenever possible, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.
Governor Murphy's Executive Order further directs the closure of all non-essential retail businesses to the public, with the exceptions of:
Nothing in the Order shall limit:
Additionally, the order mandates that all businesses or non-profits, wherever practicable, must accommodate their workforce for telework or work-from-home arrangements. To the extent a business or non-profit has employees that cannot perform their functions via telework or work-from-home arrangements, the business or non-profit should make best efforts to reduce staff on-site to the minimal number necessary to ensure that essential operations can continue.
Examples of employees who need to be present at their worksite in order to perform their job duties include, but are not limited to:
The Order continues existing bans on recreational and entertainment businesses, requirements that all restaurants operate by delivery and takeout only, and the directive that all pre-K, elementary, and secondary schools close and all institutions of higher education cease in-person instruction.
For additional information on COVID-19/Novel Coronavirus and its impact on businesses, visit the State of New Jersey business portal. (Updated: 3/24/20)
New Jerseyans feeling the emotional and mental toll of COVID-19 can now get support from a special helpline. NJ Mental Health Cares, the state’s behavioral health information and referral service, will now also offer help to people dealing with anxiety and worry related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Residents can call 1-866-202-HELP (4357) for free, confidential support. This hotline will be answered from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week by live trained specialists.
As additional resources are made available, we will share them with our members and keep everyone up-to-date with the ever changing landscape.
Call in advance to confirm hours & resources.