Governor Murphy is telling a massive $1.8 billion lie. While he squirrels away nearly $2B in CARES Act funding, millions of New Jersey businesses and residents are struggling. At one of his daily press briefings just over a week ago, Murphy claimed, “Treasury’s guidance renders much of this funding literally unusable, and without additional flexibility, will mean we will likely not be able to use it, but we’ll have to return a good chunk of it to the federal government.” However, guidance from the Federal Treasury Department states clearly that these funds can be used to help struggling small businesses. Section 5 of this document reads as follows: Eligible expenditures include, but are not limited to, payment for: Expenses associated with the provision of economic support in connection with the COVID-19 public health emergency, such as: Expenditures related to the provision of grants to small businesses to reimburse the costs of business interruption caused by required closures.
Since receiving CARES act funding, Governor Murphy set up just one, $5 million small business grant through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. After an hour, over 10,000 businesses applied, and over the next week, another 22,000 battered, New Jersey businesses submitted applications. According to this report, though, only 1,250 to 2,000 small businesses will actually receive any grant money. Meanwhile, Governor Murphy is holding back $1.8 billion that could be allocated to the remaining. 30,000+ applicants.