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Morris County small business grant forum draws Parsippany business owners

PARSIPPANY-TROY HILLS, NJ (Morris County) – A town hall was held Thursday at the Chand Palace restaurant in Parsippany-Troy Hills, where small business owners and nonprofits were provided a demonstration on how to apply for up to $15,000 under the Morris County Small Business Grant Program.

Several business owners stayed for the event, while others dropped in to pick up information about a program launched by the Morris County Board of County Commissioners on Valentine’s Day with the Morris County Chamber of Commerce and Morris County Economic Development Corporation.

“I thank you again, the Commissioners and the Morris County Chamber of Commerce,” said Mickey Chopra, owner of i2i Indian Italian Fusion Restaurant in Boonton, who attended the forum to tell other business owners about his grant application success.

“Let me tell you, this $15,000 is really a shot in my arm to get my business going. It’s better than getting a COVID shot. Trust me. You, know, $15,000 is a lot of money. It helps so much,” Chopra said.

Several representatives of Solix Consulting Solutions, which is operating the grant portal under a contract with Morris County, were on hand to walk business owners through the application process. Among the Solix representatives were Eric Seguin, Salvatore Cooper, Matthew Byrnes and others who have hosted town hall forums in the past.

“Our grant fund began with $10 million, and we have just under $3 million not yet committed, so small businesses should not hesitate to apply. So many have told us they did not think they would qualify, then found they were cleared for the full $15,000. It costs nothing to apply, so why not try,” said Commissioner Director Tayfun Selen after the event.

Chamber Vice President Michael Stanzilis, who is also mayor of Mount Arlington, presided over the event, noting that that anyone needing assistance in filing an application need only go to the application portal. The information is explained and a hotline is provided.

“I appreciate the Morris County Commissioners, the Economic Development Corporation, as well as the Chamber of Commerce for having these grants available for the Parsippany residents. We have a lot of small businesses in town who suffered during the pandemic. As the mayor of Parsippany and a life-long resident, I really appreciated it,” said Parsippany Mayor Jamie Barberio.

He attended the presentation with Council President Michael dePierro, Council Vice President Loretta Gragnani and Councilman Justin Musella.

The Morris County Small Grant Program was the brainchild of the Morris County Commissioners, who developed a unique use of funds issued to the county through the American Rescue Plan Act. The funds are earmarked for pandemic recovery efforts that continued after March 3, 2021.

Federal guidelines covering the grant program will determine exactly which expenses qualify for coverage 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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