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Support for Small Businesses During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Pascale Sykes Foundation and New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) announced the expansion of the THRIVE South Jersey Initiative (THRIVE) to meet the immediate needs of small businesses and nonprofits critically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through THRIVE South Jersey, an initiative developed to address economic hardship in the targeted four-county region of Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem, and Western Atlantic counties, small businesses in South Jersey can apply for zero-based interest rate loans and receive approval and funding within 10 to 14 days of application—delivering immediate relief in unprecedented times. NJCC used its experience helping small businesses recover after Hurricane Sandy to form this innovative approach to providing emergency assistance through THRIVE.

Applying lessons learned from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Foundation and NJCC recognized that small businesses required access to immediate funding with low interest rates in order to survive the economic setbacks resulting from COVID-19. Small businesses and nonprofits often lack access to traditional sources of capital. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) like NJCC are uniquely positioned to provide accessible and affordable financing to communities that are disproportionately affected during a crisis.

NJCC partnered with the Pascale Sykes Foundation in 2014 to launch THRIVE South Jersey, as part of Pascale Sykes’s South Jersey Strengthening Families Initiative. Over the years, THRIVE has offered flexible, affordable capital and capacity building assistance to generate quality jobs and improve economic opportunity across the four-county area. Its funding model, which provides cross-sector financial support, can be replicated in other states facing similar challenges.

To those businesses located in areas outside of the THRIVE market, a 3 percent interest rate loan is available for eligible applicants through the Garden State Relief Fund, a $20 million statewide program managed by NJCC. This funding leverages and complements state- and federal-level relief programs to ensure that resources reach the small businesses and nonprofits in communities with the greatest needs.

Eligible small businesses must have three to 50 full-time employees and be located in Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem, and Western Atlantic Counties to meet the criteria for the no-cost loan. To submit an application, complete this form and return via email to

For further information regarding this initiative and the Garden State Relief Fund, contact New Jersey Community Capital by e-mail at