Trenton, N.J. – Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today announced that Trenton businesses that want to expand or have lost workers due to COVID-19 can now access Trenton's new Job Creation Loan Program, which provides low-interest loans to help hire more employees.
The Job Creation Loan Program is managed by N.J. Community Capital (NJCC). It offers a 50 percent matching loan at three percent interest, with a maximum loan amount of up to $250,000. To be eligible, Trenton-based businesses must be qualified Trenton Urban Enterprise Zone participants for the full term of the loan.
This is a revolving loan program: as businesses repay their loans, those funds will be free to assist the next group of businesses. The terms are designed to be more favorable for businesses that hire Trenton residents.
“We are doing everything we can to support our businesses throughout the pandemic, including streamlining outdoor dining options, coordinating weekly pick-up events to support Trenton restaurants, and steering hunger relief funding to local businesses to help address community food insecurity,” said Mayor Gusciora. “We hope this new loan program will go a long way in keeping more Trentonians employed as we navigate our way through this crisis.”
“The recovery and reopening of businesses during this pandemic are essential to building greater opportunities for residents of Trenton,” said Wayne Meyer, President of NJCC. “We’re proud to support a program that harnesses the power of small businesses which are the backbone of our communities to provide local jobs and greater economic vitality. When we increase access to affordable capital, we can sustain small business owners and entrepreneurs as the local economic engine. But, [just as importantly], we also help ensure residents continue to comprise the local workforce. This affords greater financial security and stability to local employers, their employees and the community.”
Earlier this year, the City of Trenton created the Emergency Loan Fund, which provided two percent interest loans of up to $20,000 with generous repayment terms to help Trenton businesses cover payroll, rent, mortgage payments, and utility costs. Greater Trenton Inc. helped cover loans for businesses not in the Urban Enterprise Zone.
To date, 34 emergency loans totaling more than $526,000 have successfully closed or are approved to close, with an additional seven applications currently in underwriting.
Both the Job Creation Loan and the Emergency Loan programs are managed by NJCC, a nonprofit community development financial institution that provides innovative financing and technical assistance to create quality homes, educational facilities, and employment opportunities in underserved communities.
"1911 Smoke House is eternally grateful for the support the City of Trenton has provided to help us weather this pandemic," said Maurice Hallett, 1911 Smoke House Barbecue Owner. "These funds, along with the awesome support from city residents, allowed us to keep our employees working."
Busines owners can apply for the Job Creation Loan and learn more about eligibility requirements online at www.trentonnj.org/businesshelp. Business owners can also contact Eric Maywar, the City's Business Retention Coordinator, for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.