Monmouth County announces coronavirus grant program

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FREEHOLD — The Monmouth County Freeholders have announced that a new grant program to help small business owners and non-profit organizations that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic will begin on Aug. 3.

The Monmouth County CARES Economic Assistance Grant was announced by Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone and Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley on Wednesday, July 29.

“The Freeholders have worked alongside chambers of commerce and mayors to deliver assistance to our small businesses and I am excited to announce that the Monmouth County CARES Economic Assistance Grant program will be ready to launch at 8 a.m. on Monday, August 3 at monmouthcountycares.com,” said Freeholder Director Arnone.

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“I encourage businesses to spend the next few days reviewing their COVID-19 costs and related paperwork so that they are prepared when the application process opens on Monday.”

The grant is funded by monies that the county had received from the federal government as part of the CARES act, totaling $10 million.

Businesses and non-profits that qualify for the grant program if they have been physically located in the county since Jan. 1 2019, have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, have less than $5 million in annual gross revenue and have 50 or less full-time employees, including the owner, as of March 1 2020.

Non-profit organizations need to be registered with the Internal Revenue Service as well as local and regional chambers of commerce in order to apply for the program.

The grant program does not extend to banking, education, governmental and medical service providers.

The county asks that those interested in applying for the grant submit information electronically through the application portal regarding the costs your business incurred due to COVID-19.

“Upon receipt of the application and required documents, each application will be reviewed for completeness and eligibility on a first-come, first serve basis,” said Director Arnone. “Applicants will be notified if their application is incomplete and will be given time from the incomplete notification to resubmit missing or incomplete information in order to hold their place in the submission process.”

Early this month the county has launched a free COVID-19 testing program, which so far has tested hundreds of residents.

“Since the program’s kickoff on Tuesday, July 21, more than 600 tests have been administered at various testing locations including Asbury Park, Freehold Borough, Keansburg and Long Branch. Free testing will begin in Neptune and Red Bank this Friday and Saturday respectively,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Kiley.

“Fortunately, out of the nearly 500 tests administered during the first week of this free testing program at the Asbury Park, Freehold Borough, Keansburg and Long Branch locations, only seven tests have come back positive.”

The testing site locations, dates and hours of operation are posted on the County’s website at www.visitmonmouth.com.

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