New Jersey announces $ 235 million in grants to help small businesses and nonprofits


It’s been 15 months since COVID-19 took hold, and there are still plenty of New Jersey businesses struggling to stay afloat. But Gov. Phil Murphy said on Tuesday that help was on the way.

The Corner Post Diner in the Township of The Brick is closed. This is not because of a lack of customers – there was a line at the door – but because of a lack of staff. Labor shortages are occurring all over New Jersey.

“We only had three people left, including myself,” says owner Maria Faciolas. “We couldn’t do it. It was a struggle on Sunday morning and the reality was a blow that it won’t work. “

Faciolas has decided to close the restaurant until more people come on board.

“It was very hard. Probably the hardest thing I have had to do, ”she says. “Last week we were open, we were open with friends of friends helping us.”

It’s a problem unique to the pandemic, with people choosing unemployment checks instead of working. However, help is on the way for small businesses as a new round of grants is available.

“A total of $ 235 million in small businesses and nonprofit organizations in our state,” Governor Murphy said. “Every day we get closer and closer to being able to declare victory over this virus. “

The Economic Development Authority’s package includes $ 20 million available for restaurants, $ 10 million for daycares, and $ 50 million for small businesses and nonprofits.

Faciolas says some applications are coming in for the waiters now, but she is in desperate need of help in the kitchen. In 30 years of owning the restaurant, the family say they never thought a staff shortage would close.

“I don’t know what to think. I just feel like it shouldn’t be like this,” Faciolas said.

The owners say they might be able to hold out until September, but they hope to rehire and reopen as soon as possible.

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