The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced the approval of the Henri/Ida Business Assistance Grant Program at a special meeting of its Board held yesterday.  The $10.5 million program will provide grants of $1,000 to $5,000 for businesses and non-profits that suffered physical damage from the effects of recent tropical storms Henri and Ida.

The approval follows Governor Phil Murphy’s announcement of preliminary details of the program last week. The NJEDA has been tasked with creating and administering the program, which will provide short-term, immediate rent/mortgage reimbursement support to New Jersey businesses and non-profits with up to 50 full-time equivalent employees that suffered physical damage the two tropical storms.

“Countless New Jersey businesses endured the wrath of Tropical Storms Henri and Ida in recent weeks, and today’s action by the NJEDA’s Board will allow us to move swiftly to help those businesses in need,” said Governor Murphy. “Time is clearly of the essence and we are determined to get funds out to businesses and non-profits as quickly as possible.”

Of the $10.5 million available for the program, $10 million will be available for grants for businesses and non-profits impacted by Ida and $500,000 will be set aside for businesses and non-profits impacted by Henri.

Landlords and home-based businesses are not eligible for grant funding through this program. More information and specifics about the Henri/Ida Business Assistance Grant Program is available at https://www.njeda.com/henri-ida-relief/.

For residents, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes is urging county residents and business owners impacted by Tropical Storm Ida to report damage they sustained last week at www.nj.gov/ida, the State of New Jersey’s data collection portal.

Hughes said that while Mercer was not one of the six New Jersey counties for which FEMA has approved a Major Disaster Declaration, allowing individuals there to apply for direct assistance for Ida-related recovery, the federal agency is still evaluating damage in other counties. 

“FEMA is still performing its assessment with county and state guidance, and it’s premature to say Mercer will be excluded from the Major Disaster Declaration,” Hughes said. “Our Office of Emergency Management staff toured the county with FEMA representatives to survey the damage, and it certainly was extensive in a number of our communities.”

Registering damage on the state portal will help FEMA evaluate the county for potential assistance. The portal will record basic information including name, location, damages and cost, and need from impacted residents and businesses.

Residents in need of assistance with damage from Tropical Storm Ida may call a Home Cleanup Hotline at 844-965-1386 to be connected with volunteers from local relief organizations and community groups that may be able to assist with cutting fallen trees, removing drywall, flooring and appliances, tarping roofs and mitigating mold. The hotline will remain open through Sept. 17. For comprehensive information about the Henri/Ida Business Assistance Grant Program is available at https://www.njeda.com/henri-ida-relief/. The NJEDA expects to launch an online application for the program at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, September 17th at https://www.njeda.com/henri-ida-relief/.

Applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis.