Murphy announces $100 million in new coronavirus aid for N.J.

A medical worker collects a sample after a patient self-administered a COVID-19 nasal swab test at a Walgreens pharmacy, Friday, July 31, 2020, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A medical worker collects a sample after a patient self-administered a COVID-19 nasal swab test at a Walgreens pharmacy, Friday, July 31, 2020, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday that the state was doling out another $100 million in aid to help residents and business owners recover from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“All of this will help us keep our economy moving ahead and our families working even as we continue our work to not only defeat the virus, but to deliver even more critical aid to our families and our small businesses,” Murphy said.

The money will be distributed through several existing programs:

  • $70 million for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program (Half of the funding will be targeted toward food service industry firms while $15 million will be set aside to help microbusinesses with five or fewer employees.)
  • $10 million for the EDA’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Access Program
  • $15 million for the state’s ongoing rental assistance program
  • $5 million in aid for “food banks, soup kitchens, and other hunger relief”

Murphy also highlighted a $12 million program announced by the Department of Human Services last week that will provide rent and mortgage payment assistance to struggling families who did not previously receive aid.

All of the funding came from money the state received through the federal CARES Act, which was signed into law in March.

Last week President Donald Trump called off negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over a new round of coronavirus relief aid until after the election, a move that drew sharp criticism from Democrats.

“To me, that’s pretty outrageous,” said U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ. “If we can take the time to consider a Supreme Court justice literally a couple of weeks before an election, we can take the time to pass a relief package that will help millions of Americans across the country.”

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