Camden is getting another economic development boost, this time from the state’s Economic Development Authority. The EDA has announced that it will give grants to small businesses to expand in or locate to selected areas of the city.
The expansion zone is on Market Street, Cooper Street and Fifth Street in Cooper Grant, roughly 12 blocks of Federal Street and downtown neighborhoods, according to an announcement by the EDA and the office of Camden Mayor Dana Redd.
The small business grants will be given as part of the EDA’s Business Lease Incentive and Business Improvement Incentive programs that were launched when the state’s legislature approved of the creation of Garden State Growth Zones under the Economic Opportunities Act of 2013. The Act was passed to give approval and incentives for big-ticket projects across the state.
So far, it has helped cities such as Newark, Camden, Trenton and Jersey City engage in major economic development projects.
The grants represent the most recent round of good news for Camden in terms of economic development and business growth. In July, the Sixers Innovation Lab was opened to four new startup companies. Last month, developers of a newly planned, 180-room waterfront hotel received $18.3 million in tax breaks from the city.
“The owners of many businesses that have grown in Camden with support from the prior BLI and BII programs will attest to their value,” Redd said in a prepared statement. “We encourage all eligible business owners to seize this opportunity to either start a business or expand in Camden at this exciting time.”
The programs are capitalized with a $3 million, and of that, $1 million will be available per year over the three-year life of the programs, evenly divided and reserved for projects in GSGZs.