Registration opens for Phase 2 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA) Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program on Wednesday, February 10, at 9 a.m.

The $10 million program expansion will support New Jersey small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be capitalized by a U.S. Economic Development Administration Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act appropriation.

Any business or entity that intends to apply for a loan must first pre-register on the New Jersey COVID Business Information Portal during the pre-registration period, which runs from February 10 at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, February 22.

Only entities that pre-register will then be able to access the program application beginning 9 a.m. on Wednesday, February 24. The order in which final applications are received may affect funding availability.

The second phase of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program will make up to $100,000 in low-cost financing available to eligible New Jersey small businesses and nonprofits to help with recovery and reopening efforts as a result of COVID-19. The funding can be used to pay rent or mortgage, payroll and/or utilities. It can also be used to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) or COVID-related inventory, furniture, fixtures or equipment.

Program applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to applicants that have received no greater than $10,000 in government assistance from any program.

Most eligible businesses will be able to apply for up to $100,000, but if a business was approved for a loan under Phase 1 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program, it will be eligible under Phase 2 only for an amount that will not exceed $100,000 in the aggregate of the two phases. To promote equity, $3.5 million of the funding will be reserved for businesses in Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts.

To be eligible for financing through Phase 2 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program, small businesses and non-profit organizations must be in existence and in operation from at least February 24, 2020, have $5 million or less in annual revenue, and have a physical commercial location in New Jersey. They also must be able to describe how they were negatively impacted by COVID-19. Home-based businesses and real estate holding companies are not eligible for financing.

In line with the terms of Phase 1 of the program, Phase 2 loans will have 10-year terms with 0 percent interest for the first five years, then resetting to the NJEDA’s prevailing floor rate for the remaining five years, with a 3 percent cap.