As the Garden State economy continues to recover from the ravages of the pandemic Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a multi-bill, multi-million dollar small business relief package.

Standing outside of Windmill Hot Dogs in Long Branch Murphy said the five-bill (A5704, A5705, A5706, A5707, and A5709) $235 million package will provide $120 million small businesses with no more than five employees, $10 million to child care providers, $20 million for restaurants and $50 million for nonprofits.

Additionally, $25 million will go to help start-up small businesses and $10 million will go to fund the New Jersey Economic Development Authorities Sustain and Serve program, which combats food and nutrition insecurity.

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“Our small businesses have always been the backbone not just of the local economies in our state but of our state’s overall economy," Murphy said.

He said over the past month nearly every restriction put in place at the start of the pandemic has been lifted and small businesses are revving up but they still need assistance.

"We’ll be able to lift up these businesses and the communities they support even higher, to ensure that the New Jersey that comes out of the pandemic is stronger, fairer and more resilient than it has ever been," he said.

One of the sponsors of the legislative package, state Sen. Vin Gopal, D-Monmouth, said small businesses across the Garden State “lift us up, make sure that we have the economy that we need.”

Another sponsor, Assemblyman Roy Freiman, D-Somerset, said helping small businesses bounce back is critical for prosperity and growth.

The funding will be administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, which has reopened its Phase IV grant pre-application for those businesses that missed the original deadline. To date, the EDA has distributed more than $420 million in aid to some 63,000 businesses across the Garden State.

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