PARSIPPANY – Two more $15,000 checks were handed out to small business owners in Morris County this week as the Morris County Small Business Grant program prepared to complete and close the application period on Friday, 30 September.
Morris County Commissioner Stephen Shaw introduced the checks during visits yesterday to the Empire Diner and PJ’s Plumbing Supplies, a venerable heating and plumbing parts store on West Clinton Street in Dover that took new ownership three years ago.
“We bought the business in 2019 – right before the pandemic – a difficult year to start a new business. It was difficult, so we are very grateful for the grant. We’re just starting to move forward with new marketing,” said Holly Mastrian, who runs PJ’s with her brother, John G. Hosking.
The family business is owned by their father, John F. Hosking. Empire Diner is also a family business, owned by Bobby Shizas.
“We are very grateful for that. It’s very helpful,” said Frank Shizas, his son, noting that the restaurant industry was hit hard by the pandemic and establishments are still working to recover.
Parsippany City Council Vice President Loretta Gragnani joined Commissioner Shaw in presenting the grant to Frank Shizas at the dinner yesterday.
Offering grants of up to $15,000 per unit, the Morris County Board of Commissioners will have approved 723 applications by the time the program closes for submissions on Friday, September 30.
Commissioners dedicated $10 million to the program, which opened on Valentine’s Day, and designed the grants to help small businesses and nonprofits with pandemic-related expenses incurred after March 3, 2021, including rent and mortgage payments . The Morris County Small Business Grants Program has been a unique use of federal funds released to the county through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was designed to provide pandemic relief.
The federal guidelines covering the grant program will determine exactly which expenses qualify for coverage and which applications can be approved. Grants are limited to $15,000 per applicant. However, business owners and nonprofit organizations are encouraged to submit applications that include all costs they believe may qualify for the grant, even if the total amount of a single claim exceeds $15,000.
A final review may determine that some costs submitted for review are not covered by program guidelines. However, by submitting all eligible expenses, applicants increase their chance of receiving the maximum possible amount of grant dollars.
For more information on the Morris County Small Business Grant Program, click here.
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