The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced Friday, November 23, 2020, that it will increase the discounts available on purchases of personal protective equipment (PPE) made through the NJ Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program. The discount has increased by nearly 70 percent. The Authority has also doubled the per-business cap on discount vouchers. These discounts are available to New Jersey businesses and nonprofits with 100 or fewer employees until December 10, 2020.

“As the weather gets colder and the holiday shopping season approaches, reliable access to affordable PPE is more important than ever for New Jersey small businesses,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The NJ Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program is a unique collaboration between government and industry that helps business owners identify their specific PPE needs and acquire the products they need to keep their employees and customers safe. At a time when all businesses are struggling and small businesses are facing particularly tough challenges, the discounts this program offers are crucial to ensuring a safe and successful holiday season for the New Jersey business community.”

The NJ Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program allows New Jersey businesses to purchase discounted PPE through NJEDA identified and vetted “Designated Vendors.” Current Designated Vendors include BoxedOffice Depot, and Staples. These suppliers have created “microsites” where any New Jersey-based business or nonprofit can purchase PPE at a 10 percent discount. Links to these microsites are available at https://covid19.nj.gov/ppeaccess.

In addition to the 10 percent discounts available to all businesses, the NJEDA has also made $20.4 million available to provide additional discounts to businesses and nonprofits with 100 or fewer employees that make purchases from Staples or Office Depot. Initially set at an additional 25 percent, the NJEDA has now increased these additional discounts for small businesses and organizations to 65 percent. These discounts are available in addition to the 10 percent discounts available to all businesses; meaning businesses with 100 or fewer employees can receive nearly 70 percent off PPE purchases.

The NJEDA is also doubling the cap on total discounts a business or organization can receive from $400 for any business and $500 for businesses operating in one of New Jersey’s 715 census tracts that were eligible to be designated as Opportunity Zones to $800 for all businesses and $1,000 for businesses in Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts. Businesses that have already made purchases through the program will be able to receive vouchers for additional purchases up to the new program caps, but the 65 percent discount will only apply to purchases made on or after November 24, 2020.

To date, 1,950 businesses and organizations have received almost $850,000 in vouchers through the program. Small businesses and organizations interested in receiving these additional discounts on PPE purchases must apply at https://covid19.nj.gov/ppeaccess. Once the NJEDA has confirmed individual eligibility, businesses will receive vouchers for purchases from a Designated Vendor of their choice. Vouchers will expire on December 10, 2020. Businesses and nonprofits will still be able to receive 10 percent discounts on PPE purchases after this date.

In addition to offering discounted PPE, the NJEDA also collaborated with the New Jersey Department of Health to create an online PPE Planning Tool that helps businesses understand PPE product requirements and estimate their organizational PPE needs. The PPE Planning Tool is available at https://covid19.nj.gov/ppeaccess

The NJEDA administers a variety of grant, low-cost financing, and technical assistance programs for small and mid-sized businesses impacted by COVID-19. Comprehensive information about these programs and other State support for businesses impacted by the pandemic is available at https://cv.business.nj.gov.

“At a time when all businesses are struggling and small businesses are facing particularly tough challenges, the discounts this program offers are crucial to ensuring a safe and successful holiday season for the New Jersey business community,” added Sullivan.