July 15, 2020

Hoboken officials announce federal funding for local businesses through CARES Act, City's emergency response

Today, Senator Bob Menendez, Congressman Albio Sires, Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla, County Executive Tom DeGise, and Freeholder Anthony Romano announced $1.9 million in CARES Act funding will be provided for small business relief. Hoboken small businesses financially impacted by COVID-19 are now eligible to apply for grant funding through a program administered by Hoboken and Hudson County, of up to $20,000 per business. Hoboken officials also announced $8 million of CARES Act funding has been allocated for the City’s COVID-19 expenses including expanded testing, food for seniors, costs of disinfecting public buildings, and more.

“Small businesses are vital to our state and nation’s economy and they need our help. This funding will ensure small business owners can continue paying their employees, their bills, and are ready to safely and responsibly reopen their doors,” said Senator Menendez. “I’ll continue fighting hard in Washington for the resources our state needs to continue responding to the pandemic and for the tools that will ensure we’re on a path towards economic recovery and prosperity.”

“This funding, just a portion of the funds that have been and will continue to be allocated to Hoboken, will help our small businesses weather this storm,” said Congressman Albio Sires. “We need to support the neighborhood businesses that are the foundation of our community and I’m pleased that this CARES Act funding is making its way to those who need it. I will continue to work with my House colleagues to get more funding to small businesses and municipalities as we craft additional response legislation.”

“As we continue with our emergency relief efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m extremely grateful to our federal and county officials for allocating funding for our City and small businesses,” said Mayor Bhalla. “This will not only provide us with important resources as we continue to expand testing and keep our residents safe, it also provides critical grants for our small businesses who have been severely impacted over the past several months. Thank you to Senator Menendez, Congressman Sires, County Executive DeGise, and Freeholder Romano for working with my office over the past three months and providing CARES Act resources to our City.”

“Hoboken’s dynamic small business community has long been a leading driver of economic growth in Hudson County,” said County Executive DeGise. “That is why we are so pleased to offer Mile Square City business owners our County Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Program, funded by Federal CARES Act dollars secured by Senator Menendez. I know Mayor Bhalla and the City Council will help their small business community take full advantage of what it offers to help them recover.”

Hoboken small businesses can apply for funding of up to $20,000 from the $1.9 million allocated from the CARES Act through the City’s dedicated grant application website at http://www.hobokennj.gov/smallbusinessgrants. The grant program is designed to help offset the significant impact COVID-19 has had on businesses and to assist businesses in expenses including salary payments for employees, mortgage payments; business loan payments; equipment leases or finance payments and utility payments

To be eligible for funding, the small business must meet the following criteria:

-Must be located within the City of Hoboken

-Must be for-profit entity

-Can not have more than 25 full-time equivalent employees per week (not more than 1,000 hours) per week as of March 15, 2020 regardless of the number of business locations.

For more information on eligibility, criteria and to apply, business should visit http://www.hobokennj.gov/smallbusinessgrants.

In addition to $1.9 million in CARES Act funding for emergency small business relief, Hoboken is eligible for up to $5.5 million in reimbursements for COVID-19 related expenses. Approximately $1.5 has been utilized by the City for expenses including increased COVID-19 testing, providing meals for seniors to keep them indoors during the pandemic, additional expenses for the Office of Emergency Management, disinfecting senior buildings in the Hoboken Housing Authority, and more.

The announcement took place outside of family-owned restaurant bwe kafe, with owners Dale Mori-Ryan and Tats Mori-Ryan taking part in the press conference and highlighting the need for continued small business relief. Tats also serves on Hoboken’s Economic Recovery Task Force.

“The CARES Act was a lifeline for small businesses like us to be able to restart, employ and do what we are passionate about: serving communities,” said Tats Mori-Ryan. “When the PPP loans came in, a weight was lifted off our shoulders. We immediately contacted our managers and reached out to team members to invite them back on the schedule. We figured out a game plan that kept everyone inside at a distance from each other and in a way that everyone felt was as safe as possible. But, we are still struggling. We are thrilled to hear that Hoboken was awarded another 2 million dollars to help small businesses survive through this time and will be applying for this grant to offset some costs.”

“I am so pleased to see money coming to our Hoboken small businesses,” said Council President Jen Giattino, who also serves as the co-chair of the Hoboken Relief Fund. “Thank you to all who made this possible and I am hopeful that this is a way to help bridge the economic loss that so many are facing due to the pandemic. I look forward to continuing to work with our small business owners to help in every way we can as a City.”

“The COVID-19 national emergency has disrupted daily lives of Hoboken residents and our business community in unprecedented ways,” said Freeholder Romano. “For a small business, knowing you will be paid in a timely manner is essential to maintaining operations, particularly as these companies face uncertainties surrounding the progress of the virus and the duration of emergency measures. I’m pleased and grateful to stand next to Senator Bob Menendez, Congressman Albio Sires, and County Executive Tom DeGise in the announcement of federal funding for the small business community. As a small business owner myself, I understand the pressure and stress generated from this pandemic. I am sure that the small business community appreciates the time and efforts to secure the funding at the federal level.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Hoboken small businesses,” said Anthony Pino, co-chair of the Hoboken Economic Recovery Task Force. “These grants are another way to access federal funding to assist our hard-working small business owners. The funding could mean whether or not a business can stay open or having to close as every dollar counts. On behalf of all of the members of the Hoboken Economic Recovery Taskforce, we are grateful to our elected officials for this announcement.”