Grant Opportunity from MSNJ
Dear Business Owners,

BMS is pleased to share the MSNJ COVID-19 Recovery and Transition Grant opportunity! These grant funds were announced 10/1, but originally BMS businesses were not eligible for reimbursement. After clarification has been received from the Department of Community Affairs, Boonton Main Street business owners are eligible to apply for grant funds.

Actions required by you to be considered for grant funding*:

  1. Read, complete and sign the Business Grantee Certification. 
  2. Complete attached business expense and funding report. Please use expense categories A-F as outlined below in highlighted segment.
  3. Email both documents to director@boontonmainstreet.org before 2pm Friday 10/16/2020.
*All required documents are available for download using the buttons above.

Some businesses have already returned the Business Grantee Certification. If you have already emailed this form, you do not need to resubmit it. 

Attached is a sample expense and funding report for your reference. Please complete the blank report, including all required fields at the top of the document. The expense categories have been created by DCA and all submissions must fall within one of these categories detailed below. The timeline for expenses is 3/1/20 through 12/30/2020.

If you are not sure if an expense qualifies, add it! Each and every business on Main Street should have an expense report to submit. Please be as accurate as possible, but estimations are allowed at this point in the application process. The most important point today is to meet the deadline set forth by DCA; going forward changes to expense reports are possible. Exact costs with receipts will be required if grant funding is approved by DCA and will be necessary before any funds are disbursed.

Important note: while the Business Grantee Certification states a business must have at least 2 employees, I have confirmed with DCA a sole proprietor who employees contractors on a semifrequent basis will be considered.

If you have any questions, please contact me at 973-257-9107, call, text, or email laura@boontonmainstreet.org. Please share this information with your neighbors, I hope Boonton businesses are able to grab a large piece of the $1.6 million available. Don't hesitate to reach out, I'm happy to help!

Good luck,

Laura


Information from MSNJ:

Grant Purpose
The Main Street New Jersey COVID-19 Relief Program is a $1.6 million special program that
provides District Management Organizations that actively participate in the Main Street New Jersey Program funding for eligible COVID-19 response activities and costs. The program aims to promote the continued recovery and revitalization of traditional Main Streets and business districts in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, with a special emphasis on supporting vulnerable small businesses.
The program is funded by an allocation from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund and grantees must comply with all applicable federal rules around use of these funds.

Who May Apply
Any designated MSNJ district management organization operating in accordance with P.L. 2001,c.238, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-452 et seq., as amended, and subsequent regulations is eligible to
participate Awards will only be made to such organizations that submit complete applications and propose eligible COVID-19 response activities as described in this announcement.

Projects Eligible for Grants
This grant is for eligible COVID-19 recovery activities as described below. The activities must occur within the boundaries of the designated MSNJ district.

Eligibility and Allowable Expense Categories
(these categories A-F must be used on your expense report)
Funds must be substantially allocated for business uses and distributed by grantees to small businesses with a physical location in their neighborhood boundaries. Neighborhood boundaries will be able to be viewed on DCA’s Community Asset Map.
Funding is only available for necessary expenditures incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020 due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 (such as resulting from employment or business interruptions due to COVID-19), and includes:
A. Cleaning products, sanitizers, personal protection equipment, other safety equipment
(cleaning service and/or supplies- EPA-approved disinfectants, gloves, and masks).
B. Expenses related to training and implement necessary and required protocols to continue
operating the business, expenses related to the hiring and paying of employees necessary
to implement protocols associated with screening, safety, security, cleaning, and sanitizing
business premises to protect the employees and customers from COVID-19. Includes:
creation/expansion of an ambassador program to help with sanitization of surfaces in
public spaces and safety/security of public spaces.
C. Costs for retooling and technology activities, space and technology upgrades to reopen and conduct business safely, including furniture, barriers, cement planters for
pedlets/parklets and technology such as laptops, software, and touch-free credit card
payment systems to accommodate social distancing. Includes: cameras, software for
security, propane heaters for cafes, and lighting upgrades throughout the district, provided they are specifically in response to circumstances created by the COVID-19 crisis.
D. Job training, classes and/or technical assistance, including, but not limited to, pivoting or modifying the business model, and training for long-term sustainability planning are also eligible for funding under this grant program. Includes: software platforms to initiate digital marketplace for district businesses, education courses for retailers and restauranteurs to pivot, classes to help setup for E-commerce Website upgrades (interactive directory/walking tours/mapping).
E. Amendments to code to permit dining, sales and consumption in areas not otherwise
permitted.
F. Payment of rent or fees for use of vacant or publicly owned space for outdoor or indoor dining, sales or outdoor programming (for example, some municipalities are requiring that restaurant pay a fee and/or the daily cost for the use of a parking space if used by the restaurant as a seating area).

Additional uses beyond these examples require prior approval from DCA.
Funds may not be used for indirect costs, administration, or to support the salaries of applicant staff unless it is for activities substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Business Certification Requirement
Businesses receiving funds from grantees must complete a written certification that:
a) they have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 Social Distancing Measures or the
Stay-at-Home order (i.e. closed business temporarily, had to lay people off, realized at least
a 25% drop in sales).
b) they have not received any COVID-19 relief funding from the New Jersey Economic
Development Authority, New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, or any other state business
recovery program (excluding unemployment compensation from the Department of Labor
and Workforce Development) including DCA’s Neighborhood Preservation Program and
Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program.
c) they will not use the funds to support wages, activities, or purchases that have already
received reimbursement from any state, federal, or foundation programs (including
distributions from the unemployment insurance fund and any form of federal CARES Act
funding).
d) they have less than $5 million in gross receipts as of the most recent tax reporting year
e) they have at least two employees (including owner) and no more than 100 employees
f) they were in business as of March 17, 2020
g) they have an operational physical location within the District boundary