Vineland Announces COVID-19 Grant Assistance Program

Vineland Mayor Anthony Fanucci has announced the creation of a $5,000 grant assistance program for small businesses in Vineland. The program is intended to serve those businesses who were operational as of December 31, 2019 and have been severely impacted, have no more than five full time or part time employees, and received limited or no COVID-19 assistance from the SBA or other government programs.

The program is open to Vineland retail, restaurants, entertainment, and nonprofessional service businesses. To be eligible, the business must have one employee, which can be the business owner, who will be retained and meets the low/moderate income requirement, or the business is located in an eligible program area. To receive the grant funding, the business must commit to remain open or reopen. Businesses deemed ineligible by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development will not be eligible. The funds may be used for payroll, rent, utilities, real estate taxes, insurance, inventory, or costs to comply with social distancing protocols.

“The ‘mom and pop’ businesses are critical to Vineland’s successful economic emergence from the coronavirus shutdown,” said Mayor Fanucci. “We are aware of their financial struggles and are working in every way we can to ease the burden.”

Funding for the program is being appropriated from federal Community Development Block Grant COVID-19 CARES Funds. Requirements include:

• The business must be located within the City of Vineland.

• The grant funds may be used to pay unpaid expenses for a 60-day period.

• Loan payments aren’t eligible expenses.

• Applicant must provide list of expenses to be paid with grant application and backup documentation.

• All grants must meet the CDBG National Objective of Low/Mod Income for the benefitting business. The business must document that it will retain at least one permanent job held by a low and moderate income person, and that the jobs would be lost without the CDBG assistance. The business must document the income of the low and moderate income person through a written self-certification by the employee and his/her family size and total income, or the business can presume that the job is held by a low-moderate income person if

1) the employee resides in a qualified low income area, or

2) the business is located in a qualified low income area. Applicant must provide a list of employees and their salaries.

• The Department of Housing and Urban Development prohibits the Duplication of Benefits. This occurs when funding is provided for the same costs paid by other sources. Applicant must provide a list of any and all funding received from any source after March 16, 2020.

• Applicant must certify that they will remain open or reopen if grant funds are received. If the applicant does not remain open or reopen, the grant funds must be returned.

• Applicant will be required to complete a grant application and sign a grant agreement.

• Funds are available to all eligible applicants meeting program requirements until all funds are distributed. The city reserves the right to reject applications that it deems do not meet the criteria of the program.

According to city officials, funding for the program is limited and grant applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Businesses can download the application beginning June 29, from the city website at vinelandcity.org/covid-assistance/, and e-mail the completed form to CAP@vinelandcity.org. Only completed applications that have been signed and dated will be considered ready for review.

For further information about the program, contact the Office of Economic Development at 856-794-4100, or e-mail CAP@vinelandcity.org.

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