MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – A salon in Chatham Borough and a Montville Pre-School were each handed $15,000 checks from the Morris County Small Business Grant Program Wednesday, as the Morris County Board of County Commissioners continued to assist shops and nonprofits hit hard by the pandemic.
Les Cheveux Salon in Chatham Borough was visited by Commissioner Director Tayfun Selen at noon, and Commissioner Thomas Mastrangelo dropped by the ABC’s of Learning School in the Towaco section of Montville in the late afternoon, as both delivered $15,000 grants to assist the small businesses.
“As a preschool, we were severely impacted by COVID-19,” said Allyson Marzan, who has operated ABC’s of Learning on Jacksonville Road in Towaco since 2002.
“We had a reduction in student attendance and we spent a significant amount of our funds for personal protection equipment and other measures to ensure our school was safe and sanitized. Thank you so much for this grant,” she added.
In Chatham Borough, Lisa Widocki has been operating Les Cheveux for 34 years, and the pandemic has been only one of the challenges faced by her business. Her salon on Main Street was damaged by the two-alarm February fire that destroyed the 40-year-old Chatham Sandwich Shop and damaged the Sunnywoods Florist next door.
“We had to close during the pandemic for three months, and after we opened again we only had about 50 percent of our normal business return. I think we had been at about 85 percent of our business when the fire happened,” Widocki said.
Luxe on Main, a different salon located a few shops east on Main Street from Les Cheveux, graciously provided space in its shop for Widocki to operate since February. Her business continues to operate there today.
“Thank you for this. It does help,” Widocki told Director Selen of the grant program.
Chatham Mayor Thad Kobylarz, along with Councilmembers Len Resto and Karen Koronkiewicz, joined Director Selen in the visit.
Commissioner Mastrangelo, who lives in Montville, was joined in visiting the ABC’s of Learning School by Montville Township Committee Members Richard Conklin and June Witty.
More than 575 small businesses and nonprofits have applied for grants under the unique Morris County Small Business Program since it was launched on Valentine’s Day. 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. While the remaining applications are still being reviewed, the program remains open to new applications.
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.