N.J. Economic Development Authority announces $2 million Micro Lender Support Grant Program

TRENTON — A $2 million pilot program has been created to make grant funding available to organizations that lend to New Jersey small and micro businesses, providing resources to help Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and other lenders continue supporting small businesses struggling with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA) Micro Lender Support Grant Program will provide grants of up to $200,000 to CDFIs, Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), and other eligible lenders as identified in the Economic Recovery Act. This pilot program is meant to identify and assist eligible partners. Grant funds received through the program can be used to fund operating expenses associated with servicing micro businesses and the buying down of interest rates of loans offered to micro businesses. CDFIs and MDIs based outside New Jersey that service New Jersey businesses will be eligible to receive funds, which will reduce the financial burden on New Jersey-based CDFIs and create new financing opportunities for New Jersey businesses.  

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the NJEDA has provided more than $250 million in support for small businesses and communities that have faced economic hardship. This pilot program provides additional funding and expands the pool of potential partners the NJEDA can partner with going forward.

The NJEDA anticipates launching the application for the Micro Lender Support Grant Program on April 19, 2021. Organizations interested in learning more about the program are encouraged to contact smallbusinessservices@njeda.com