Women owned businesses, veterans, as well as minority owned businesses in New Jersey can get financial assistance from a number of loan and/or free grant programs. There are government agencies, banks, corporations, non-profits and other lenders near you that provide funds. Find a list of low or interest free loan programs or grants below.
The funds are for small to mid size businesses. Entrepreneurs as well as start ups can also apply for the loans or grants. Priority will be given to disadvantaged businesses in New Jersey. This includes, but is not limited to Black owned businesses, women companies, LGBTQ, veterans, immigrants, Latinos and others who struggle to get the funds they need.
The list of lenders as well as programs listed below will be updated daily, with new sources of funding added daily. There may be loans and grants available in the largest cities in New Jersey, including Newark, Trenton, Jersey City, Paterson and throughout the state. As noted, a focus is on providing capital (often free grants or loans) to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), Veteran as well as MWBE small businesses.
Free grants as well as loans in New Jersey for minorities and women businesses
Find the main government programs, corporation and lender programs available in New Jersey. The list of free grants as well as loans below are open to most if not all residents of the state. However there will be some funds allocated to minorities (Black, Latino, Asian, LGBTQ, etc.) as well as women, veterans, and others.
There are financial assistance programs that operate year round. Find details below by “category”, including by city/county/geography. There are also free grants and loans by month in Florida, as you continue to scroll down the page.
Year found financial assistance, grants, loans, and free coaching in NJ
Find details on financial assistance programs, coaching services and other support that are offered all year in NJ. Get details below by “category”, including by city/county/geography. There are also more free grants, charitable programs and interest free loans that are released by month, and scroll down this page to find more information.
Programs available across New Jersey for all MWBE and veteran companies
Four different non-profits offer ongoing, year round help the disadvantaged businesses. They include the following. Grameen America helps low income, minority women small business owners and entrepreneurs. Black, Asian, and Latino women can get microloans, credit building help, and business training. Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (phone (973) 242-4132) gives loans of up to $100,000 to minority owned businesses that are small to mid-sized. Black Business Enterprise Capital Program gives low cost loans, call (609) 571-1620. Rising Tide Capital (telephone 201-432-4316) is based in Jersey City. They help businesses from low income communities, including women and minority owned. Business training and management classes as well as loans or grants are offered in cities including Camden, Newark, Jersey City and others.
African American chamber of Commerce of New Jersey offers a number of small business services, including interest free, 0% APR Kiva loans as the chamber is a Trustee. Start ups and small businesses of color, even if they have poor or no credit, can get financial aid. Or get help with marketing, technical help, attend networking events and more. Find what the Chamber does here. http://www.aaccnj.com/
Black and Latino Angel Investment Fund of New Jersey is aimed at helping high growth start-up companies of people of color. They connect them with Angel Investors and/or grant programs for capital. They also connect them with business leaders and other in the community who can help a small business succeed. The Investment Fund is part of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED) at Rutgers. Learn more here. https://www.blackandlatinoangelfund.com/
Grameen America, a non-profit that helps women, is providing microloans to female entrepreneurs and small business owners. The non-profit has offices in Newark, Trenton-Camden and Union City NJ. Females, immigrants, black women owned business owners, Latinas and others, who live in or near poverty, can get the loans, counseling, coaching, and other free business services. Read more here on the offices in New Jersey. https://www.grameenamerica.org/blog/2021/8/2/grameen-america-opens-new-branch-in-new-jersey-serving-women-in-trenton-and-camden
The Hispanic Entrepreneurship Training Program (HETP), from the Chamber of Commerce, provides free Entrepreneurship classes, information on raising money from grants or loans, mentorship and other services to the NJ Hispanic Community. Get details here. https://shccnj.org/hetp/
Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) helps entrepreneurs and small businesses in New Jersey. Among the programs are interest free microloans, as the non-profit works with Kiva on this. In addition to capital, there are resources for registering a business, hackathons around growing a company, As well as programs such as Black Angels Entrepreneur Showcase and Small Businesses Loan Fund for women or minorities there is mentoring and coaching services. Learn more on IFEL funds here. https://www.weareifel.org/for-entrepreneurs
New Jersey Business Action Center helps small businesses, charities and individuals in NJ. The government agency serves as an intake and referral center. Specialists, counselors, and advisors refer clients to free grant programs, counseling, economic development and more. There is also information on programs for non-profits as well as export oriented businesses in NJ, including financing and 0% loans. Learn more here. https://nj.gov/state/bac/business.shtml
Small Business Fund is available across NJ, and it gives financial help to women and/or minority owned businesses that have some form of credit history. The financial assistance is offered by the Economic Development Agency. There are fixed interest rate, or 0% loans, offered. Or get grant money for non-profits or other for-profit companies can apply for funds. Read more on the New Jersey Small Business Fund here. https://www.njeda.com/smallbusinessfund/
Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship is based in Chatham. The non-profit helps women start a business or grow an existing company. Several assistance programs are offered and include free coaching, workshops on growing a company, business valuation, and advice for applying for loans or startup funds. Other resources are offered too. Read more on the non-profit. https://www.wcecnj.org/
Camden area grants, loans, and financial help
Camden area businesses, any in reality any minority owned business across NJ, can get help from the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) office. A non-profit known as the Enterprise Center has opened an office in Camden. Businesses owned by people of color can access a wide range of assistance programs, ranging from information on how to get capital or government grants to sales and marketing advice, networking opportunities, business coaching and more. Find details here. https://www.mbda.gov/business-center/new-jersey-mbda-business-center
Camden, Atlantic, Burlington, Cumberland and Gloucester county businesses and entrepreneurs can get a wide range of financial help and other services from the Latin American Economic Development Association, LAEDA. The non-profit operates a women business center, has information on grants and raising capital, licensing and business plan development services, starting a company and more. A major focus is on women, minority, Hispanic, and disadvantaged businesses. Learn about the non-profit here. http://www.laeda.com/
Cooperative Business Assistance Corporation provides a number of assistance programs to small businesses in southern NJ. There are microloans, referrals to free grant programs, coaching programs for BIPOC and other start ups, and more. They are a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that works with other government and non-profit agencies. Read more on the microlender known as CBAC here. https://www.cbaclenders.com/
Newark and Essex County free coaching, mentoring and grant money
Invest Newark offers a wide range of small business programs, classes, and workshops, with most resources in Spanish too. they help women, minority, and veteran owned companies (as well as immigrants) apply for capital from grants and loans. There is a Language of Capital program, workshops with local banks and lenders and other resources from the non-profit. Read more here. https://investnewark.org/
La Casa de Don Pedro helps Hispanic entrepreneurs start and grow successful businesses and they also support small businesses. There are low cost or interest free micro-loans, one-on-one coaching, networking opportunities, Capital raising programs and other support. The goal is to help immigrants, Latinios and people of color gain stability with a business. Learn more http://www.lacasanwk.org/
Rutgers Business School’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development operates the Black and Latino Technology Angel Investment Fund of New Jersey. This is a free grant program that help disadvantaged businesses with financial aid, free counseling, workshops and more. The Fund is meant to help entrepreneurs as well as allow Black, Latino, and minority small businesses launch or grow in inner cities in New Jersey – Urban Revitalization. Hundreds of minority businesses have received funds, free grants, networking opportunities, as well as technical help from the program, also known as The Black and Latino Technology Initiative. Find more assistance programs available https://www.business.rutgers.edu/cueed
Urban League of Essex County helps women, minority and disadvantaged owned businesses. They also help arrange small business financing (small dollar loans) with the Newark CDFI. A number of business services are offered in the Newark region. Network, enroll into website or social media workshops, technology classes, receive free coaching as well as technical help and more. A major focus is on helping Black Americans and low income families. Get details on the non-profit here. https://ulec.org/
Ocean Wind Pro-NJ Grantor Trust is for businesses in the offshore wind industry. The grant money is for women and minority-owned businesses. The money is for any business that is involved in the wind industry, whether supplies, installers, manufacturers or others. Learn more here. https://www.pronjtrust.org/
February and March 2023
Construction companies (including non-profits or apprenticeships) that are women or minority owned can apply for free grants from NJBUILD. also known as New Jersey Builders Utilization Initiative for Labor Diversity. The goal of the money is to help more women, people of color and those that face barriers get the skills and experience they need in the construction industry. Learn more on the applications and workshops here. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fy23-women-and-minorities-in-construction-trades-grant-program-tickets-538828930837
Women-owned businesses in Northeast NJ can apply for $4000 grants from SCORE, the non-profit SBA affiliated organization. The grant money will be provided to the winners of a “pitch contest. SCORE also provides free mentoring, coaching to women businesses owners, and classes to teach people skills. A number of other free services are offered. Apply here. https://www.score.org/northeastnj/score-nj-business-pitch-grant
Sussex County small businesses, as well as non-profits, can apply for up to $15,000 government grants. The money is part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. The applicant must be a small business (under 50 employees), with some funding for minorities, veterans, Black owned and businesses owned by people with disabilities. It is to help businesses that were hurt by the COVID pandemic. Learn more here on the Sussex County small-business grant program https://www.sussexcountysbg.com/s/?language=en_US
Mercer County Small Business Investment Program, which is funded using federal money from the ARPA program. Free grant money will help businesses that have been impacted by COVID. Applying businesses need to be disadvantaged, meaning they were unable to get loans, equity, or other financial help. In effect, Mercer County will help businesses owners with bad or no credit history as well as a number of minority and women owned companies. Apply to the Mercer County African Chamber of Commerce here. https://www.aaccnj.com/
Cannabis Equity Grant Program is run by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. Up to $10 million dollars is offered statewide to cannabis businesses, focused on women and minority as well as other disadvantaged operators. Up to $250,000 will be provided in the form of a free grant from the state of NJ to each qualified applicant. The details on the soon to pbe open grant is here. https://www.njeda.com/njeda-announces-launch-of-new-cannabis-grant-program/
Ocean County Cultural & Heritage Commission is providing grants for non-profits. They applicants need to be focused on the Arts and History of the region. It will be encourage the growth of creative people, including those of color or women. Or encouraging the ongoing growth of the cultural climate in Ocean County. Get details here. https://co.ocean.nj.us/OC/ch/frmGrants.aspx
October and November 2022
New Jersey Manufacturing Voucher Program is for small to mid-sized manufacturing businesses. The free government grants will help them pay for the equipment they need. A major focus is on helping small manufacturing companies in NJ that need capital to grow. That will focus the funds on women and minority owned businesses as well as those owned by BIPOC. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will be accepting applications over the next few months. More details here. https://www.njeda.com/smallbusinessservices/
The NJ FAM Fund (New Jersey 40 Acres and a Mule Fund) is available statewide, including in Newark and the NYC region. Minority owned small businesses and those who lack fair and equal access to capital (bank loans) credit, etc.) can get help. Most of the assistance will be in the form of equity an debt investments, with some loans. Black and Latinx business owners will get priority on this financial aid program, and learn more here. Read more here. https://njfamfund.org/
Mosaic Empowerment Program, which is funded by NJ Advance Media, provides free services to a small, select number of minority-owned businesses. There is help in Essex and Mercer Counties, with free grants provides, marketing resources (at up to $25,000), webinars and more. Each year there may be a few MWBE companies selected. Learn more here. https://www.njadvancemedia.com/mosaic/
Bergen County is providing free $2,500 grants using federal American Rescue Plan funds. The money will be for businesses that had some type of partial or full shut down from COVID. The funds are for small and/or micro-businesses – those with under 5 employees. Some grant money will be reserved-prioritized for women, veteran, immigrant and businesses owned by people of color. The grants can pay for inventory, rental costs, utilities, working capital and other critical expenses. Apply here for the Bergen County ARP Small Business Grant Program. https://bergencountyarp.org/index2.html?ver=2
May and June 2022
Microbusiness loans, which are interest free for a year and then have a very low interest rater of 2%, are being issues in New Jersey by the Economic Development Authority. The financial assistance Main Street Micro Business Loan, and up to $50,000 can be borrowed by applicants for working capital. A major focus is on helping women, minority, and veteran owned businesses as well as anyone owned by people of color, including immigrants. Applicants can have a poor credit score, but there are minimum requirements. Apply here for microloans. https://www.njeda.com/microbusinessloan/
January and February 2022
Morris County Small Business Grant can help everyone from non-profits to entrepreneurs as well as existing small businesses, with a focus on minority, veteran, Black owned (including women) and other MWBE companies. Up to $15,000 in free government money may be offered, with the criteria being a small company (or non-profit) that has less than 25 employees. In addition, the business needs to have been impacted by the pandemic, such as higher expenses or loss in revenue. Learn more on the free Morris County NJ grants here. https://solixconsulting.force.com/MorrisCountySBG/s/
Bayonne New Jersey is providing $5 million dollars (in aggregate) to small businesses in the city, including those that lack access to capital (which are mostly women, businesses owned by people of color, disabled, etc.) The funds will be for companies impacted by COVID. Note in some cases small businesses may be given an emergency loan. The government funds can be used to pay a wide variety of bills as well as operating costs, and read more here. https://www.bayonnenj.org/News/View/8678/small-business-loans-and-grants
Black Owned businesses in Morris County can apply for free government grants. Only a few small businesses will be provided the funds. Applicants need to have under $2 million in revenue and less than 10 employees. The Morris County Chamber of Commerce, New York Jets, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, and Visa are all partnering on the program to provide the funds. Apply here. https://www.morrischamber.org/jetsgrantprogram.html
Microbusinesses in Jersey City can apply for free grants of up to $50,000. The funds will emphasize disadvantaged businesses, such as those in low income areas as well as MWBE and veteran owned businesses. All applicants need to have under 5 employees. A wide variety of businesses can apply, including beauty salons, barbers, grocery stores, food trucks, restaurants and more. The financial assistance program is run in partnership with Jersey City Economic Development Corp. Learn more. https://jcedc.org/
Morris County small businesses, including MWBE and veteran owned, can apply for free grants. The Fortis Foundation as well as the Morris County Economic Development Corporation are partnering on the financial aid program and free advice service. While the funds are for small to mid-sized businesses, applications need to have at least 10 employees and have been hit by the COVID crisis. Other criteria are in place too, and apply for free non-profit as well as government grants here at https://www.morrischamber.org/fortisagencygrants.html
Minority, LGBTQIA+, Veteran, women, or “low income” businesses can apply for free small dollar grants from Founders First. The Job Creators Quest Grant is intended for businesses in New Jersey to grow, hire more employees, or pay key operating costs. All businesses need to be “for-profit” companies. Apply here. https://foundersfirstcdc.org/pa-nj/
Businesses located in the Philadelphia Metro region (Camden County or Mercer County New Jersey and Essex County) can apply for a grant from Founders First. In order to receive the financial support, the business needs to commit to hiring a certain number of people at a certain wage. The businesses maximum revenue can’t be more than $3 million dollars, and applicants also need to be in low income area or owned by Indigenous, Person of Color, Black, LGBTQIA+, Military Veteran, Latino or Woman. Learn more. https://foundersfirstcdc.org/pa-nj/
May and June 2021
Wells Faro Open For Business is distributing millions of dollars in grants to small businesses. New Jersey Community Capital will be accepting applications. A major focus will be on giving the free Wells Fargo grants to small businesses located in low income parts of New Jersey. In general, each qualified business owner, including minority, LGBTQ, veteran and women owned company, can receive up to $25,0000. Read more on the Wells Fargo fund. https://www.wellsfargo.com/biz/help/open-for-business-grants/
April and May 2021
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is providing additional grants to small businesses, including cultural centers, microbusinesses (under 5 employees), free grants for restaurants and more. The funds are part of law A-A5446. The government funds are aimed at helping businesses that have been hit by the COVID pandemic, and more information is here. Note minority, veteran, and women owned businesses will be allocated funds. Read more. https://www.njeda.com/
March and April 2021
Black-owned businesses can get funding from a program known as Equitable Small Business Initiative. Non-profits, companies, and lenders, including African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey and New Jersey Community Capital as well as the Pascale Sykes Foundation are all participating to help Black women and male owned small businesses. All of the financial assistance will be in the form of a low interest loan, but qualified businesses can borrow up to $70,000. Read more. https://www.newjerseycommunitycapital.org/2021/02/njcc-launches-equitable-small-business-initiative/
Pandemic relief microloans are being offered by Pascale Sykes Foundation, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, and Community Capital. The emergency funds are only for Black male or women owned businesses. The aim is to provide capital to disadvantaged Black owned companies of small to medium sized in New Jersey. Dial 609-610-6310.
Small to mid-sized businesses in Atlantic County can apply to the New Jersey’s Atlantic County Improvement Authority forgivable loan program. Is is a form of COVID relief, with priority given to Black, minority, veteran, women owned businesses as well as the disabled. The cash from the government and SBA backed loans can be used to pay a wide range of operating expenses, including rent, inventory, utility bills, payment and more. Learn more on how to apply. https://www.acianj.org/applications/index.asp#bus
NJEDA Entrepreneur Support Program is for minority and female startup companies. The goal of to provide capital to businesses that would otherwise struggle to get the money they need to launch small business. The financial aid is in the form of a loan. The small business needs to also keep operations in the state, and apply here. https://www.njeda.com/small_midsize_business
Minority and women owned businesses in South New Jersey can apply for financial assistance or free grants from the Pro-NJ Grantor Trust. The funds are from energy companies (Off shore wind). The funds are targeting for green energy companies, solar, wind farms, and others, whether small or mid sized businesses. Learn more. https://oceanwind.com/benefits-to-the-community
Over 10,000 grants will be funded to small businesses that have been impacted by COVID. Some of the funds will be allocated to minority, veteran, and female owned businesses in New Jersey as well. The free grants are part of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, and it is part of Phase 3. This is part of a toolbox that is offered by the state for small to mid sized businesses. There are CARES programs, partnerships with non-profits, tax breaks and other financial assistance programs. A focus is on service industries, such as hotels and restaurants, as well as minorities and female owned or disadvantaged businesses. Apply here. https://faq.business.nj.gov/en/collections/2198378-information-for-nj-businesses-on-the-coronavirus-outbreak
Small Latino and Black owned businesses in Newark can apply for grants. The city is raising tens of millions of dollars, and the funds will be provided in partnership with local charities, non-profits, businesses, and even “celebrities”/investors such as Shaquille Oneal. Companies such as AT&T, PSEG, local community action agencies and others will be helping disadvantaged businesses as well. The program is called the NWK FAM Fund, or Newark 40 Acres and a Mule Fund. Read more. https://www.newarknj.gov/departments/economichousing
The New Jersey Redevelopment Authority Small Business Lease Emergency Assistance Grant Program will allow small businesses in 64 eligible municipalities to apply for free grants. Grants will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis, with funds allocated to disadvantaged, Black owned businesses and minorities. https://www.njra.us/Small-Business-Lease-Emergency-Assistance-Grant-Program
By Jon McNamara