News Department

Commissioners Director Fantasia: Sussex County Chamber and Commissioners continue to partner to assist county businesses

NEWTON, NJ (Sussex County) – Throughout the close to one year period since the start of the pandemic, the Sussex County Board of County Commissioners have teamed up with the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber’s Economic Development Partnership to assist Sussex County’s small business community.

That synergy has included the exchange of vital information at Chamber meetings, the creation of an interactive business map for all Sussex County businesses and collaboration on a tri-county reopening plan with Hunterdon and Warren Counties that was sent to Trenton in May 2020.

“Our independently-owned local businesses are the lifeblood of Sussex County and each one is essential,” Sussex County Board of County Commissioners Director Dawn Fantasia said. “It defies logic that big box stores have been permitted to remain open and thrive without interruption, while small businesses have been literally choked out by the Murphy Administration edicts that choose winners and losers.”

“Our board has not and will not operate according to arbitrary ‘science,’” Fantasia said. “In response to Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 195 that empowered counties and municipalities to set deeper curfews and create further local restrictions for businesses, the Sussex County Board of County Commissioners instead pushed back at Trenton with a noninterference policy for Sussex County businesses.”

Among its commitments to small and independent businesses and organizations within Sussex County, Fantasia said the County of Sussex website posts relevant information about loans and programs that benefit Sussex County entities on the “news” section of its website.

Two of these latest releases includes the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department’s recent announcement of Paycheck Protection Program First and Second Draw Loans, now available to small businesses and organizations through March 31.

Additionally, the county website has the latest information about SBA Disaster Assistance for private non-profit organizations within Sussex County that were impacted by Tropical Storm Isaias in August 2020.

For more information about the PPP First and Second Draw Loans, visit, and for more information about SBA Disaster Assistance, visit,

According to the SBA, First Draw Loans can assist entities, including not-for-profit groups, with less than 500 employees, with payroll costs, employee benefits, rent, utilities, COVID-19 protection related costs and uninsured property damages as a result of looting or vandalism. The First Draw Loans incorporate full loan forgiveness during an 8-to-24-week period, contingent on maintenance of employee and compensation levels, with the loan able to defray the costs of eligible line items, as long as 60% of the First Draw Loan is spent on payroll. Existing borrowers who did not receive full loan forgiveness previously by Dec. 27, are  invited to reapply if some of their First Draw from the last round was returned or they did not take the first amount.

Like the First Draw Loans, Second Draw Loans have similar spending and full forgiveness requirements. Second Draw Loan applicants must demonstrate they have already used or plan to use their full First Draw Loan for eligible items, applicants employ no more than 300 individuals and can prove a 25% or greater receipt reduction between the same quarters in 2019 versus 2020.

“The second round of PPP will be equally as important to many of our businesses in Sussex County, as was the first round,” said Tammie Horsfield, president of the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Partnership. “In fact, for some, it may be a lifeline. However, unfortunately not all businesses will  qualify.”

Horsfield said, businesses who had not received a PPP loan previously or ones with a 25% revenue reduction in one quarter of 2020 versus 2019, are invited to apply. She also said businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors applying for loans of $150,000 or less and based on the same calculation as round one of the PPP do not have to submit new documentation if applying through the same lender.

First Draw PPP Loans will be available at participating SBA lenders, including many local banks Horsfield said, through March 31, or until funds are depleted.

“While we may have a challenging winter until the vaccine is more widely distributed, my hope is that the PPP will once again help many of our businesses across the county and keep them afloat and our residents employed,” Horsfield said. “I do however have to admit that I am somewhat concerned that some of our borrowers – I hope not many – will not be eligible or will choose to opt out due to the difficulty in getting the loan and the forgiveness.”

For the First Draw application, click here and for the Second Draw application, click here.

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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