Officials announce Hoboken small businesses will net $1.9M from CARES Act funding

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U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5) and Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla announced this morning that small businesses in the Mile Square City will net $1.9 million from CARES Act funding.

“Small businesses can apply for grants of up to $20,000 to help pay employees, rent, mortgages, utilities, and other expenses. This is on top of the tens of millions of dollars in federal grants and paycheck protection program loans Hoboken’s small businesses have already received,” Menendez said at a press conference under the 14th Street viaduct.

The dignitaries on hand also announced $8 million of CARES Act funding has been allocated for the City’s COVID-19 expenses including expanded testing, food for seniors, costs of disinfecting public buildings, and more.

“This will not only provide us with important resources as we continue to expand testing and keep our residents safe, it also provides critical grants for our small businesses who have been severely impacted over the past several months,” added Bhalla.

Small businesses can apply for funding here, though certain parameters must be met: the entity must be in Hoboken, be a for-profit entity, and have less than 25 full-time employees (or not more than 1,000 hours per week) as of March 15th.

“On the event here today, I think it’s indicative of how important it is for every level of government to be working together,” said DeGise, crediting their federal partners in Washington, along with Gov. Phil Murphy (D).

While U.S. Rep. Albio Sires was scheduled to appear, he was unable to make it due to a commitment in D.C. Nevertheless, he voiced his approval in a statement.

“We need to support the neighborhood businesses that are the foundation of our community and I’m pleased that this CARES Act funding is making its way to those who need it,” he said.

The presser was held in front of the bwe kafe, owned by married couple Dale Mori-Ryan and Tats Mori-Ryan, who also spoke about their struggles due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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 and in a way that everyone felt was as safe as possible,” exclaimed Tats Mori-Ryan.

“But, we are still struggling. 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.”

Romano, who owns the local bar Louise and Jerry’s, also expressed satisfaction with the influx of CARES Act funds.

“For a small business, knowing you will be paid in a timely manner is essential to maintaining operations, particularly as these companies face uncertainties surrounding the progress of the virus and the duration of emergency measures.”

Others in attendance included Council members Jen Giattino, Ruben Ramos, and Emily Jabbour.

Last week, officials made a similar announcement in Jersey City, detailing $7 million in CARES Act funding for small businesses.