ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs announced Nov. 10 the award of $1.6 million in Main Street New Jersey COVID-19 relief grants to 11 business district management organizations to assist them in their continued recovery and revitalization from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. The grant funding will be used for a variety of activities and costs, including sanitizers, outdoor dining equipment, training in marketing/branding and e-commerce, delivery services, website upgrades, and ambassador programs. All of the initiatives are aimed at attracting and encouraging consumers to patronize the small businesses and restaurants in downtown business districts in their communities.
Bloomfield Center Alliance will receive $48,000 and the majority of funds will be used to provide training to businesses about the new paradigms around marketing/branding, digital platforms and e-commerce. Montclair Center Business Improvement District will receive $100,000 to provide equipment and supplies for its street closure program; bring art installations to energize the downtown; improve Montclair Center’s website; and engage a firm to plan for the district’s post-COVID future. South Orange Village Center Alliance will receive $75,000 to activate Village Center with an open-air holiday market and expanded lighting and holiday displays; redesign its website; and create a back-to-business campaign.
“Gov. Murphy and I recognize that main streets, which are so critical to the economic and social health of our communities, have been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic. We want to help these businesses get through the year financially so that they can survive through the winter season and beyond until life returns closer to normal,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who also serves as DCA commissioner. “The Main Street New Jersey COVID-19 relief grants will provide downtown business districts with the funding they need to successfully transition to a post-COVID reality more focused on people’s health and safety.”
The relief grants are funded by an allocation from the federal CARES Act. The $1.6 million in grant funds were awarded to district management organizations that actively participate in the Main Street New Jersey program. Eleven eligible DMOs completed grant applications and all 11 received grant awards. All grant-funded activities must occur within the boundaries of the designated Main Street New Jersey district.