REPORT: HOW THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN HELPED NEW JERSEY SMALL BUSINESSES THROUGH THE PANDEMIC
In March 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law, delivering billions of dollars in economic relief for workers, families, and small businesses across the country. Here’s a look at how the American Rescue Plan helped families across New Jersey:
In New Jersey, 937,436 small businesses account for 99.6% of businesses, employing more than 49% of all workers statewide. The American Rescue Plan rushed critical COVID supplies to hospitals and first responders, boosted vaccine distribution in the early days of the Biden Administration, funded safety improvements in schools, and spent billions supporting state and local governments and their economies.
A large part of this emergency aid was targeted directly at small businesses and their employees. For families struggling to make ends meet, the assistance offered by the American Rescue Plan was a lifeline.
Today, not only did the American Rescue Plan ensure that hundreds of thousands of small businesses hit by the pandemic survived, and millions of workers could support their families, it laid the groundwork for an economic boom we’re now starting to see. In New Jersey alone, more than 163,000 new business applications were filed in 2021.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans
- Paycheck Protection Program loans allowed businesses to apply for low-interest private loans to meet payroll and certain other costs. The loans could be partially or fully forgiven if the business kept employees on payroll and kept their wages stable.
- From January to May 2021, New Jersey small businesses received 153,261 PPP loans worth a total of $8.4 billion, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Hundreds of thousands of businesses and their employees are afloat today thanks to the American Rescue Plan.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) Grants
- Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants provided restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss, limited to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Restaurants are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible purposes by March 2023.
- The American Rescue Plan distributed Restaurant Revitalization Funds to 3,086 New Jersey restaurants, totaling over $923 million. The average grant was $299,268 per restaurant, helping small businesses weather the pandemic.
- According to the National Restaurant Association, over 30,000 restaurant jobs in New Jersey were saved as a result of the initial round of Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants.
Shuttered Venue Operators Grants (SVOG)
- The Shuttered Venue Operators Grants provided emergency assistance to support the ongoing operations of live venues and other performing arts businesses impacted by the pandemic, with grants available for up to $10 million.
- The American Rescue Plan distributed funding to New Jersey entertainment venues through 455 Shuttered Venue Operators Grants, totalling $239 million statewide. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, concert venues, arts centers, and entertainment centers all across New Jersey are still up and running.