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$15,000 small business grant on tap for Jersey Girl Brewing Co.

Morris County Grant Called “An Angel” for Company

MOUNT OLIVE TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – Jersey Girl Brewing Co. was served up a $15,000 Morris County Small Business Grant Monday by the Morris County Board of County Commissioners, as they continued to invite other small businesses and nonprofits to apply for the program.

Commissioner Deputy Director John Krickus and Commissioner Stephen Shaw where joined by Mount Olive Township Administrator Andrew Tatarenko in visiting Jersey Girl Brewing in Budd Lake and President Charles “Chuck” Aaron.

“Because of this grant, we literally have a piece of equipment coming on Friday to filter the beers. The thing we don’t do, we’re not doing any filtering right now. You talk about shelf-stability and for the product to live as long as it needs to, that’s filtering … We are now going to put out better beers,” Aaron said

Aaron described the grant as one of the “angels” since 2020 that have helped his company survive the pandemic and move forward. The dark days of 2020, when New Jersey was locked down, required some fast thinking and quick action by Jersey Girl Brewing Co.

“We sold a lot of beer to go. To solution immediately was, we needed to start selling on line and we needed people to come in so we could deliver it to their car. We went to having no online store to 24 hours later, having an online store,” Aaron said.

The company had purchased a canning system just before the lock-down, and Aaron said he and a partner worked to assemble it themselves, with some outside assistance and a few Zoom meetings with experts.  Still, Jersey Girls had continuing expenses to meet, which included rising costs of ingredients.

“We deliver these grants in person when we can to learn about the challenges faced by small business and, also, to spread the word that we still have funds available and that businesses need to apply,” Krickus said.

Aaron said the application process was detailed, but that people on the county application hotline were very helpful with any questions. Solix Consulting Solutions is operating the grant portal under a contract with Morris County.

“The reason some of the process is detailed is because these are federal funds, and the county must be careful to make certain they are used appropriately. The program, to date, has been successful. It is worth the time needed to fill out the online application,” Shaw said.

More than 600 applications have been filed since Morris County Small Business Program was launched on Valentine’s Day with the slogan, “Morris County Loves Small Business.” The Morris County Board of County Commissioners created the grant program from pandemic relief funding issued through the American Rescue Plan Act.

The Commissioners dedicated $10 million to the effort, and Morris County is still accepting applications. Most of applications heading for final approval will provide each of the qualified businesses and nonprofits the maximum grant amount of $15,000. There is no cost to apply.

The Small Business Grant Program eligibility requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • Business has 25 or fewer full-time employees (or equivalent)
  • In operation since Jan. 1, 2019
  • Located within Morris County
  • Less than $5 million in sales/revenue
  • Proof of a decline in sales/increased expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Federal guidelines covering the grant program will determine exactly which expenses qualify for coverage under the grant program and which applications may be  approved.

The grants are capped at $15,000 per applicant. However, business owners and nonprofits 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 consideration are not covered under the program guidelines. However, by submitting all expenses that may qualify, applicants increase the possibility of getting the maximum amount of grant dollars possible.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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