HILLSBOROUGH, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez today joined Governor Phil Murphy, Congressman Tom Malinowski (N.J.-07) and other top officials to announce an additional $100 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support families and business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sen. Menendez, who was one of the members to negotiate the bipartisan CARES Act, also called on Congress to pass another robust stimulus package to help New Jersey’s recovery.
“I want to commend our state leaders for working together to get the federal coronavirus relief dollars we passed last spring into the hands of those who need it most,” said Sen. Menendez. “This $100 million fund announced today by the Governor and our legislative leaders comes from the money we in Congress included in the CARES Act to help combat the economic fallout of this pandemic. The federal money will help struggling New Jersey small businesses stay open, help them get the personal protective gear they need to keep employees and customers safe, and provide additional rental and food assistance to residents who need it most.”
“Small businesses and the people they employ are the backbone of New Jersey’s economy, yet they have borne a disproportionate share of the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Murphy. “If we are to emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient than we were before it is incumbent on us to support them in any way possible and this additional funding helps us accomplish that goal.”
“Small businesses and workers across New Jersey have sacrificed so much to help keep our communities safe as we continue to fight this pandemic,” said Rep. Malinowski. “The funding announced today from the CARES Act will help businesses survive and families stay in their homes. I will continue fighting in Congress to provide the relief our state and local governments need to provide these services.”
The $100 million in federal funding will support grants for restaurants and micro-businesses, reduced-price PPE for small companies and rent relief for tenants:
Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, State Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin also attended today’s presser at Flounder Brewing, which opened in 2013 and has been impacted by the pandemic.
Sen. Menendez also called on Congress to pass another stimulus package and highlighted several of his priorities aimed to help the state’s recovery, such as the SMART Act and Restaurants Act.
“We have to be honest,” Sen. Menendez said. “As proud as I am of the billions in aid already delivered to New Jersey by the CARES Act, we need to do so much more. That bill was never intended to be our last legislative response to the worst pandemic in 100 years.”
The Senator’s bipartisan SMART Act provides $500 billion in flexible funding to states, counties and municipalities to help cover rising costs to combat COVID-19 and lost revenues due to the economic fallout. Funding could be used to help state and local governments expand testing and contract tracing, provide further assistance to residents, hospitals, small businesses and schools, and maintain critical services communities rely on.
The Restaurants Act would provide $120 billion in federal relief for local food service, drinking establishments and caterers that have suffered financial losses due to COVID-19. Restaurants would be able to use this funding to cover payroll, benefits, mortgage, rent, utilities, maintenance, supplies, inventory and debt obligations.
The Senator is also fighting to include expanded unemployment benefits, additional resources for hospitals, nursing homes and public transit systems, support for education and child care, a boost in SNAP benefits, and funding and greater protections for homeowners and renters.