The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced the first approvals under the Community Stage Relief Grant Program. To date, twenty businesses involved in promoting and producing live performances have been awarded a total of $2.9 million in grants through the program. The NJEDA anticipates approving funding for additional businesses in the coming weeks.
“New Jersey’s eclectic arts and cultural scene is an essential element of its economic success and Governor Murphy is committed to supporting performing arts businesses that were hit hard by the economic effects of COVID-19,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The Community Stage Relief Grant Program will ensure our communities remain vibrant places to live, work, and play by providing the funds performing arts venues and other businesses involved in live performances need to recover and reopen safely in the aftermath of the pandemic.”
Launched in August, the New Jersey Community Stage Relief Grant Program provides grants of up to $300,000 to businesses involved in the promotion and production of live events. Qualified businesses can receive grants of up to 30 percent of their decline in operating revenue from 2019 to 2020.
To ensure grants reach businesses in the hardest hit communities, including communities of color, one-third of the funding available through the Community Stage Relief Grant Program is targeted to businesses with a primary business location in a census tract that was designated as eligible to be selected as an Opportunity Zone.
A separate grant program administered by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts was created to provide COVID-19 relief to nonprofit arts venues.