HOBOKEN, NJ — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, Mayor Ravi Bhalla, and other officials announced on Wednesday that Hoboken small businesses can get $1.9 million in CARES Act funding, and that the city will also get $8 million for the city's coronavirus expenses including testing, food for seniors, costs of disinfecting public buildings, and more. (Find out how to get a coronavirus test in Hoboken at the end of the story.)
Businesses affected by the crisis can apply for grants of up to $20,000 through a program administered by Hoboken and Hudson County.
Some small businesses and schools in Hoboken have already received federal PPP loans, which can be forgiven (see the list here). Others set up GoFundMe accounts for their staff at the beginning of the pandemic. But even those who've gotten PPP loans say they still have struggles. READ MORE: Here Are The Hoboken Businesses That Got PPP Loans.
Dale Mori-Ryan and Tats Mori-Ryan, owners of the local Bwe Kafe coffee shops, took part in the press conference in front of their 14th Street location. Tats, who serves on Hoboken’s Economic Recovery Task Force, said, "The CARES Act was a lifeline for small businesses like us to be able to restart, employ and do what we are passionate about: serving communities. When the PPP loans came in, a weight was lifted off our shoulders. We immediately contacted our managers and reached out to team members to invite them back on the schedule. We figured out a game plan that kept everyone inside at a distance from each other."
Bwe has been offering delivery and/or pickup at their locations.
"But we are still struggling," Tats said. He added, "We are thrilled to hear that Hoboken was awarded another 2 million dollars to help small businesses survive through this time and will be applying for this grant to offset some costs.”
“This funding will ensure small business owners can continue paying their employees, their bills, and are ready to safely and responsibly reopen their doors,” said Sen. Menendez. “I’ll continue fighting hard in Washington for the resources our state needs to continue responding to the pandemic."
Hoboken small businesses can apply for funding of up to $20,000 from the $1.9 million allocated from the CARES Act through the City’s dedicated grant application website at http://www.hobokennj.gov/smallbusinessgrants. The grant program is designed to help offset the significant impact COVID-19 has had on businesses and to assist businesses in expenses including salary payments for employees, mortgage payments; business loan payments; equipment leases or finance payments and utility payments
To be eligible for funding, the small business must meet the following criteria:
Must be located within the City of Hoboken
Must be for-profit entity
Can not have had more than 25 full-time equivalent employees per week (not more than 1,000 hours) per week as of March 15, 2020 regardless of the number of business locations.
For more information on eligibility, criteria and to apply, business should visit http://www.hobokennj.gov/smallbusinessgrants.
In addition to $1.9 million in CARES Act funding for emergency small business relief, Hoboken is eligible for up to $5.5 million in reimbursements for COVID-19 related expenses.
Approximately $1.5 has been utilized by the City for expenses including increased COVID-19 testing, providing meals for seniors to keep them indoors during the pandemic, additional expenses for the Office of Emergency Management, disinfecting senior buildings in the Hoboken Housing Authority, and more, officials said.
“This funding, just a portion of the funds that have been and will continue to be allocated to Hoboken, will help our small businesses weather this storm,” said Congressman Albio Sires.
“As we continue with our emergency relief efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m extremely grateful to our federal and county officials for allocating funding for our city and small businesses,” said Mayor Bhalla.
“Hoboken’s dynamic small business community has long been a leading driver of economic growth in Hudson County,” said County Executive Tom DeGise.
Recent updates on Hoboken coronavirus testing, reopening, and more:
To get a rapid, 15-minute test through the city's partnership with Riverside Medical, call the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) at 201-420-5621 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. If you don't have health insurance, the city will pay the cost.
There are other medical offices in Hoboken with coronavirus and antibody tests; if in doubt about what to do, call your physician, then check with your insurance. Many insurances are waiving fees and copays for these tests.
The Hoboken public schools are slated to reopen Tuesday, Sept. 8, but whether it will be in person will be determined by the state. The state is presently considering in-person schooling, virtual schooling, and a "blended option" involving both. There will be restrictions, such as kids wearing masks and maintaining a 6-foot distance. Superintendent Christine Johnson gave information about the local planning process recently.
The governor's school reopening guidance was published on June 26.
The summer camp run by the Hoboken schools has been canceled. Limited recreational options have been scheduled. The mayor made reference to them here.
Day cares were able to reopen June 15, with certain rules in place, and recreational camps can reopen in July. READ MORE.
Residents can return library books and other materials by placing them in the library book/media dropbox in front of the library (500 Park Ave.) from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The library will begin no contact "curbside pickup" service. Library patrons will be able to reserve the materials online, place their orders via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (201) 4202346, ext. 5102. For additional details, visit hobokenlibrary.org.
Most Hoboken parks reopened last month, but not all. See the list here.
Playgrounds reopened earlier this month. Kids over 2 must wear a mask in playgrounds in Hoboken.
Bhalla said recently, "According to Governor Murphy, the following activities are permitted at indoor gyms starting July 2, as provided by his office: 'individualized indoor instruction by appointment only where an instructor is offering training to an individual, and the individual's immediate family members, household members, caretakers, or romantic partners. If a gym or fitness center is offering multiple simultaneous instructions at the same facility, these instructions must take place in separate rooms or, if they take place in the same room, must be separated by a floor-to-ceiling barrier that complies with all fire code requirements.' "
Hoboken recently received almost $2 million in funding for small businesses, to be distributed in $20,000 grants. Read above to find out how to apply.
More restaurants are adding "streateries" for outdoor dining. READ MORE.
More than 50 of the city's restaurants opened two weeks ago for outdoor dining. READ MORE.
Kings supermarkets updated residents on their sanitizing procedures and on an employee who tested positive last month. READ MORE.
Two of the city's weekly farmers' markets reopened in June. READ MORE.
The city and Patch both have directories of businesses that are open and closed. Check it out and add your listing. READ MORE.
The city will be closing off certain blocks for businesses to expand and draw foot traffic. READ MORE.
Here's what you need to know about applying for unemployment and other benefits during coronavirus. MORE.
Read more about unemployment, small business, and other coronavirus regulations and benefits in New Jersey here.
States around the country have had to pull back on their reopenings, such as Texas, which closed bars and has seen a record number of hospitalizations and deaths.
New Jersey residents have become alarmed at the high number of residents who have passed away in nursing homes, rehabs, and similar facilities, and have charged that the facilities are undercounting the numbers and not adequately protecting residents and staff. The state has faced questions for weeks from the press about how they will address the problems. They announced plans last month to increase testing at some long term care facilities and to bring in the National Guard to help make changes.
The state has begun releasing death toll statistics for long-term care facilities like rehabs and nursing homes. See the list here.
Some nursing homes reopened for limited visits, with precautions, in July.
Here are statewide coronavirus resources:
NJ COVID-19 Information Hub: https://covid19.nj.gov/
General COVID-19 questions: 2-1-1
NJ COVID-19 hotline: (800) 222-1222
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