New Jersey small businesses can now purchase discounted Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through the NJ Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) program uses an innovative public-private partnership model to provide automatic discounts on PPE purchased through NJEDA-approved “Designated Vendors.” Small businesses can purchase discounted PPE and apply for grants at https://covid19.nj.gov/ppeaccess.
“Ensuring equitable and reliable access to affordable personal protective equipment is vital to helping businesses reopen and operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The PPE Access Program takes an innovative approach to solving this problem that will make it easy for small business owners to determine what protective equipment they need and to purchase that equipment at an affordable price. This addresses multiple, overlapping economic challenges associated with the pandemic and sets us on the path to a stronger, fairer recovery.”
“Personal protective equipment is a powerful tool in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of PPE can help keep businesses safe as they continue to reopen as well as residents who are in the workplace or returning to work,” said New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli. “The NJEDA’s PPE Access Program is an important support that will help business owners learn what equipment they need to protect the health of their employees and customers and purchase that equipment at an affordable price.”
The NJEDA developed the NJ Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program in response to consistent concerns emerging from the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission, the nine sector-based committees of the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Advisory Council, and input from numerous small businesses indicating the need for readily available, fairly priced PPE.
The NJEDA has approved two “Designated Vendors” for the launch of the Program, including Boxed, an online shopping club that delivers household essentials in bulk, and Office Depot. These Designated Vendors have created “microsites” where New Jersey-based businesses can register and purchase a curated selection of PPE products at a 10 percent discount. Links to these microsites are available at https://covid19.nj.gov/ppeaccess.
“Boxed is proud to do our part to support hardworking business owners as they make the changes they need to keep their employees and customers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dave Taft, Boxed Spokesperson. “The PPE Access Program provides essential support for businesses and workers and we are proud to play a role in this vital initiative.”
“Office Depot is dedicated to helping hardworking business owners start, manage, and grow their business,” said Stephen Mohan, EVP, BSD for Office Depot. “We’re proud to be a part of the new NJEDA program to offer small business owners great savings on our wide assortment of PPE, dividers, floor decals, and more to help them reopen and keep business going during these unprecedented times.”
To help businesses understand what PPE they need to purchase, the NJEDA has also created an interactive Small Business PPE Planning Tool. Developed in consultation with the New Jersey Department of Health, this tool helps businesses understand PPE product requirements and estimate their organizational PPE needs. The online tool can be accessed at https://covid19.nj.gov/ppeaccess.
A second phase of the PPE Access Program will make $20.4 million available to subsidize small and micro businesses’ PPE purchases from Designated Vendors. Launching soon, this phase of the program will allow businesses with 100 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) to receive grants equal to 25 percent of the cost of purchases made through Designated Vendors. All eligible businesses can receive up to $400 in discounts, and businesses in one of the 715 census tracts that were eligible to be designated as Opportunity Zones can receive up to $500. These grants will be applied in addition to the 10 percent discount offered to all businesses, meaning small businesses will be able to save more than a third of the cost of their PPE purchases. Small businesses and organizations interested in receiving the additional 25% discounts can sign up for alerts on their availability at https://covid19.nj.gov/ppeaccess.
In addition to the PPE Access Program, the NJEDA administers a variety of grant, low-cost financing, and technical assistance programs for small and mid-sized businesses impacted by COVID-19. Comprehensive information about these programs and other State support for businesses impacted by the pandemic is available at https://cv.business.nj.gov.