HILLSBOROUGH, N.J. — Another round of federal funding is headed to New Jersey businesses and families struggling financially from the coronavirus pandemic.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Sen. Bob Menendez and Rep. Tom Malinowski took a brewery tour and made the announcement of $100 million in new funds in Hillsborough today.
This family owned small business they toured, Flounder Brewing Company, has survived the pandemic.
"The biggest problem was uncertainty," said the owner, Jeremy Lees. "People couldn’t drink on site and restaurants were closed."
But Lees' business is now planning to expand from his current facility into a 6,000-square foot barn.
"People started buying beer to drink at home more and that helped out," said Lees.
Unfortunately, many other businesses that deal with food or beverages are sinking. Nationally, about 100,000 restaurants have permanently closed.
This latest round of $100 million in federal funding for New Jersey businesses will include $35 million in emergency aid specifically for the food service industry.
Micro businesses, which have five employees are less, are also among those most vulnerable and $15 million will be earmarked for them. The rest of the aid will extend New Jersey's small business emergency assistance grant program and will also help businesses buy PPE.
Another $20 million will go directly to families who are in danger of losing their homes or who are facing food insecurity due to the pandemic.
"I can't tell you how many times I've now met a New Jerseyan who for the first time in their entire life, who have worked hard and played by the rules, are on line at a food pantry to get food assistance," said Sen. Menendez.
Menendez stated today that he hopes to get another round of federal funding passed through Congress that would specifically aid struggling restaurants.