Bright Side Covid-19

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $15M in CARES Act Recovery Assistance Grants

WASHINGTON – On September 1, 2020, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $15 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to capitalize and administer Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) that will provide critical gap financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs that have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic across New Jersey.

“President Trump is working diligently every day to support our nation’s economy following the impacts of COVID-19 through the CARES Act,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These investments will provide small businesses across New Jersey with the necessary capital to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and, in turn, create a stronger and more resilient state economy for the future.”

“These investments come at a crucial time to help New Jersey’s and our nation’s economy come roaring back and provide hard-working Americans with new opportunities,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and EDA is pleased to invest these CARES Act funds so that New Jersey businesses have access to capital to respond to and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.”

“This grant will help Jersey City officials continue to support small businesses through this coronavirus economic crisis,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. “I have voted for several bills in Congress, like the CARES and HEROES Act, because they provided funds to Americans and American communities that need it the most.  I want to thank the Department of Commerce for recognizing the need for additional funding in Jersey City.  Now, we need the Senate to pass the Heroes Act to help Jersey City continue to protect the health and safety of residents and their small businesses.”

The EDA Investments Announced Are:

  • New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Trenton, New Jersey, will receive an $11 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF that will provide loans to coronavirus-impacted businesses across New Jersey.
  • Cooperative Business Assistance Corporation, Camden, New Jersey, will receive a $2.7 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF that will provide loans to coronavirus-impacted businesses in the city of Camden; Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem counties in New Jersey; and the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Burlington County, Mount Holly, New Jersey, will receive a $660,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loans to coronavirus-impacted small businesses in Burlington County.
  • Jersey City Economic Development Corporation, Jersey City, New Jersey, will receive a $550,000 EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer an RLF to provide loan to coronavirus-impacted small businesses in Jersey City.

These current EDA RLF grantees are some of the more than 850 existing, high-performing EDA RLF, Economic Development District, University Center, and Tribal grant recipients invited to apply for supplemental funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump, provides EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

On May 7, Secretary Ross announced that EDA is accepting applications for CARES Act Recovery Assistance funding opportunities.

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) (PDF) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. For complete information, please visit our recently updated EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

Local Government News Recent News

Mt. Holly Township Receives Vital Funding from the State of New Jersey to Advance Downtown & Neighborhood Revitalization Efforts

Photo Credit: Mt Holly Township

On July 30, 2019, Mount Holly Township Mayor Jason Jones proudly announced that Mount Holly Township will be the recipient of two grants through the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to help advance downtown and neighborhood revitalization efforts. Mount Holly was one of 20 municipalities throughout the state of New Jersey to receive a Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) grant, totaling $125,000.

Additionally, the Township’s volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization Main Street Mount Holly was named one of 17 Main Street district organizations throughout the state to receive a Main Street New Jersey (MSNJ) grant, totaling $20,750. Mount Holly is one of only four municipalities throughout the state to be awarded both grants.

“This funding will further support the downtown and neighborhood revitalization efforts already underway in our community,” explained Mayor Jones. “Mount Holly has experienced quite the transformation in recent years – particularly in our Downtown district, where residents and visitors alike can now visit an array of shops, enjoy delicious eateries, breweries and bars and partake in various entertainment and special events. Any efforts to further improve these vital neighborhood spaces are positive not only for our town, but also the greater Burlington County region as a whole.”

The DCA’s NPP program provides direct financial and technical assistance to municipalities over a three- to five-year period. These grants must be used to conduct activities that strengthen each neighborhood through local planning, community participation and the building of local capacity and coordination. Eligible grant activities include community development planning, commercial retail and residential property renovations, code enforcement, historic preservation, support of community/neighborhood organizations and public facilities improvements. Each municipal grantee must show a commitment of resources from the neighborhood and municipality, as well as the support from community organizations and residents.

In Mount Holly, the NPP grant will be utilized to demolish any final vacant homes located in the town’s Gardens community, which is located within walkable distance to the town’s core Downtown Business District. The demolition of these homes is part of the town’s West Rancocas Redevelopment project, designed to help to revitalize the community, attract new residents and further support the 15 households that remain in the Gardens neighborhood. A neighborhood committee will also be formed, giving stakeholders in the West Rancocas community the opportunity to develop activities that will further engage residents and spur future redevelopment efforts. The MSNJ grant will be utilized by Main Street Mount Holly to help rehabilitate and beautify the perimeter of the corner lot at the intersection of High and Washington Streets, the site of the town’s seasonal Farmers Market which made its debut in June 2019.

The MSNJ grant program was designed to help municipalities improve the economy, appearance and image of their central business districts through the organization of local citizens and resources. Communities eligible for grant assistance were awarded funding to assist with various improvement projects, such as storefront improvement, placemaking and transformation strategies, that could be completed in a six-month period or less. Each municipal grantee must be officially designated as part of the Main Street New Jersey program to be eligible for grant assistance.

As part of this designation, each municipality receives technical support and training to assist in the restoration of their Main Streets, reestablishing them as hubs of economic and social activity.

“We have been working hard to transform Mount Holly’s Downtown District into a place where people can live, work, socialize and enjoy,” continued Mayor Jones. “On behalf of the Township and our residents, we thank the DCA and Main Street New Jersey for their continued support of our efforts. We are excited to be able to move forward with our revitalization plans for the Downtown District and see our vision become a reality.”

For more information and current updates on Mount Holly Township’s improvements initiatives and additional projects, visit the township’s website and click the “Township Projects” tab at the top of the homepage.

Feature Stories News Recent News

Spellbound Brewing Donates $33,000 to Support Greater Mt. Holly Township Community

John Companick, co-founder of Spellbound Brewery, presents a check for $33,000 to the Mt. Holly Township Council. (Photo provided)

Spellbound Brewing recently announced that it was proud to present a $33,000 check to local organizations in the greater Mount Holly community. These funds were collected from Spellbound’s 4th Annual Century Bicycle Ride – a scenic, charity bicycle ride through Burlington County hosted by the brewery each summer.

This year’s ride, held in July, was hosted by Spellbound Brewing in partnership with TnT Cycling and Mount Holly Township. The ride was sold out, with nearly 800 riders participating – the largest number of participants in the ride’s history.

Nearly 800 riders participate in Spellbound’s 4th Annual Century Bicycle Ride (Photo provided)

“It has been amazing to watch how this event has grown each year,” said John Companick, co-founder of Spellbound Brewing. “All of our sponsors, the Support and Gear (SAG) team, and the Mount Holly Police Department work hard and are so instrumental in making sure the Century Ride a success each year.”

Over the past four years, the ride has raised more than $70,000 for local organizations who best serve Mount Holly Township youth and community programming. This year’s donation recipients include:

Mount Holly School District Parent/Teacher Organizations (PTO and PTA) – to support the college and career readiness efforts of each Mount Holly school through three core programs: advancing the technology initiative for every child, providing every child with college or career exploration opportunities every year, and awarding summer camp scholarships for students seeking college, career and/or leadership training.

Rancocas Nature Center – to support the Center and its educational efforts and ensure that it continues to offer high-quality public programming to the community.

Local farms and businesses benefit from the annual ride, as well. The ride route passes three local farms, and participants are encouraged to stop and purchase produce from the stands.

“It is amazing to see the impact our donation can have on our neighbors right here in the community,” explained Companick. “Each year, we always make sure that the money raised from the ride goes to hyper-local charitable organizations. We want to be able to give back to all of our neighbors – residents and businesses alike – who have been so receptive and good to our brewery over the years.”

In previous years, Spellbound Brewing has helped the Mount Holly Police Department buy new bicycles and fix up local park trails, as well as donated to the Mount Holly Police Scholarship Fund. In addition, the brewery also donated to the Rancocas Little League, helping to make much needed repairs to their baseball complex.

“Four years ago, we became the first community in Burlington County to support the laws necessary to open the initial two breweries in the County. The commitment that Spellbound Brewery has to our community, along with the Burlington County Bike Club, has been more than anything Mount Holly could imagine. We committed to supporting Spellbound in future endeavors,” said Mount Holly Township Mayor Jason Jones.

Spellbound Brewing was founded in 2014 by Mike Oliver, John Companick and Scott Reading. The group of homebrewers decided to open their brewery in Mount Holly after finding the perfect building. The brewery celebrated the 4th anniversary of its opening this year.

Added Companick, “We are proud to call Mount Holly our home – we couldn’t have had a better experience with the residents, businesses and town leadership, who continue to support us to this day. We are thrilled to be able to give back to the community that helped make our dream of opening our own brewery a reality.”

Spellbound Brewing is located at 10 Lippincott Lane, Suite 12, Mount Holly, NJ. The brewery is open Wednesdays from 4 to 9 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m.

For more information about Spellbound or the Spellbound Century Bicycle Ride, visit