Applications for the New Jersey program in support of restaurants now open


| Source: Department of Labor via Wikimedia Commons

NEW JERSEY – Applications to a new round of Sustain and Serve NJ Funding opened June 28 and would close on July 18, 2021, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has announced.

The NJEDA’s Sustain and Serve NJ program provides eligible entities with grants of between $100,000 to $2 million to support purchasing meals from New Jersey-based restaurants that COVID-19 has negatively impacted. The NJEDA will award up to $10 million in total funding through Phase 2 of the program.

The funding for Phase 2 of the program is provided as part of a $235 million suite of COVID relief passed by the New Jersey Legislature this spring and signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy to help small businesses affected by the pandemic.

Through Phase 1 of Sustain and Serve NJ grants announced in February, the NJEDA awarded more than $14 million to 28 organizations across the state, which will result in the purchase of more than 1.5 million meals from more than 340 participating restaurants.

“Restaurants are the heartbeat of local communities and their success is absolutely essential to our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The second phase of Sustain and Serve NJ will expand upon the enormous impact that the program has already had on restaurants in the Garden State. Thanks to action taken by Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Legislature, this program will now be able to help even more restaurants keep their doors open and their employees paid as they recover from the economic and health impact of COVID-19.”

This latest Sustain and Serve NJ phase will make up to $10 million in state funding available to for-profit and non-profit organizations in New Jersey. Eligible organizations will receive grants of between $100,000 and $2 million for bulk purchases of meals from New Jersey-based restaurants. The entities will then distribute the meals at no cost.

A recording of an informational webinar for applicants to learn tips and advice for applying is available at this link.

Current grantees of the Sustain and Serve NJ program are eligible to apply for additional funds. The program is open to legally registered entities to do business in New Jersey and are in good standing with the NJDOL and the New Jersey Division of Taxation, including 501(c) non-profit organizations. Grant applicants will be required to demonstrate prior bulk purchases of 3,000 or more meals valued at $50,000 or more from New Jersey-based restaurants since March 9, 2020. Complete eligibility requirements can be found at this link.

While restaurants may not directly apply for Sustain and Serve NJ grants, those interested in providing meals through the program may opt to publicly post their information on the NJ COVID-19 Business Information Hub or by completing the Sustain and Serve NJ Restaurant Interest Form available at this link.

A list of current Sustain and Serve NJ grantees can be found here. Potential grant applicants may choose to refer to this registry and contact restaurants about participating in the Sustain and Serve NJ program. Restaurants may also contact an entity with an established bulk meal purchasing and distribution program to discuss potential participation. However, inclusion on the list is not an endorsement from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority regarding eligibility for Sustain and Serve NJ.

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