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.
Year found financial assistance
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.
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/
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/
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/
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://business.nj.gov/covid/applying-to-the-njeda-entrepreneur-support-program?locale=en
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