Attention all entrepreneurs! Here’s an exciting opportunity you won’t want to miss.
Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes recently announced the launch of Small Business Grant applications for Mercer County. With $3.5 million in funding aside from the American Rescue Plan Act (APRA), Mercer County’s small businesses will be provided with critical resources in the face of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses are the backbones of our economy and are an integral part of the overall success of our community. These businesses provide Mercer County and beyond with employment opportunities, economic investment, and more. Now, the County is stepping in to help restore some of our community’s many small businesses to their pre-pandemic glory.
The American Rescue Plan Act was an essential piece of legislation providing much-needed relief to small businesses nationwide. APRA addresses various concerns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, including small business support, unemployment insurance, direct financial assistance, increased tax credit opportunities, and more. With various economic disruptions over the last few years, APRA is critical in supporting local, state, and Tribal governments. Although areas across the country are still reeling from the pandemic, APRA and other relief initiatives are essential in helping our nation heal.
Per Executive Brian Hughes, “As a lifelong Mercer County resident, I, like you, have my favorite pizza place, coffee shop, dry cleaner, and bookstore, all of which are small, locally run businesses. There is great satisfaction in patronizing a local business where you’re greeted by name and know that of the person behind the counter. It is among the reasons Mercer County is such a great place to live and do business, and I encourage you to shop locally to help our small businesses thrive.”
Per Hal English, President and CEO of the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber, “The Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber applauds the County of Mercer for this wonderful and sorely needed grant program. In addition, we congratulate the Administration for making the funding available and the application process as simple as possible! It was an honor to work with the County as a part of the process.” As a fierce supporter of our community’s small businesses, the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber is another fantastic resource for any entrepreneur in the region.
The ideal business for this opportunity will be located in Mercer County, have undergone hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, and offer a brick-and-mortar location. Furthermore, the perfect applicant is a business whose main operation involves walk-in clients. Therefore, to aid those most in need and provide for more straightforward applications, the County will prioritize reviewing applications from businesses located within Qualified Census Tracts (QCT) or Opportunity Zones within Mercer County.
Per the eligibility criteria listed within the application, small businesses located in a QCT/Opportunity Zone will not be required to document economic losses. Therefore, they will receive a flat grant of $10,000. However, those eligible small businesses not located in a QCT/Opportunity Zone will need to document economic losses. Therefore, they will be awarded funds based on the recorded amount – up to a $10,000 maximum.
If you’re interested in getting started, applications are available online here: Apply – Small Business Grant. The application is available in both English and Spanish. The online application portal is accessible via tablet, computer, or mobile phone. If you have any trouble applying through the portal, please get in touch with MercerCountyPortal@grantworks.net with any questions you may have. If your business is ready to take the following steps on your recovery journey, apply today!