This is a press release from Essex County. Press releases are official statements that have not been independently verified.

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced that $474,450 in grant funding is being made available to not for profit agencies through the Essex County COVID-19 Assistance Grant for Public Service Not for Profit Agencies. The program is aimed to support not for profit agencies and the programs they provided to assist clients who were negatively impacted during the pandemic. The deadline to apply for the first round of funding is Tuesday, July 21st at 6 p.m. Applications can be accessed at EssexCountyNJ.org and selecting the link for “Essex County COVID-19 Assistance Grant for Public Service Not for Profit Agencies.”

“Not for profit agencies play a major role in providing a safety net for our vulnerable communities and that role was magnified during the pandemic. This grant program will help not for profit agencies that expanded their services or saw an increased demand for support during these unprecedented times,” DiVincenzo said.

Public service not for profit agencies must deliver services to income eligible residents located within one of the 18 municipalities that are part of the Essex County CDBG consortium. This includes all municipalities except Newark, East Orange, Bloomfield and Irvington which receive CDBG grants on their own. All applicants also must achieve a HUD National Objective and document the income eligibility of the people to whom they provide services.

The funding can be used to support programs and activities that prevent, prepare for and respond to the pandemic. Applications will be assessed based on how the program or activity:

* meets an eligible need of the community,
* achieves the CDBG directive of preventing, preparing for or responding to the pandemic,
* is not being supported by another pandemic relief fund,
* and necessary application documentation is provided.

Some accepted uses that would be eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, overtime wages or hiring additional staff to meet the demand for expanded or new services; new or expanded services for public health, housing and legal aid counseling, child care, job training, education, supporting senior citizens, domestic violence and sexually assaulted victims, mental health and substance abuse counseling; renovations or materials to provide secure, separate or a centralized area for clients who are diagnosed with COVID-19; and supplies and materials necessary to carry out the public service activity during the pandemic.

Costs that would normally be incurred in a non-COVID scenario are not eligible. Duplication of benefits received will not be allowed. Eligible costs must be incurred since October 1, 2020.

Applications will be accepted until Tuesday, June 21, 2021. A second round of grants will be made available if funding remains after the initial awards are made.

This is the latest public assistance program initiated by Essex County to help residents and small businesses during the pandemic. Essex County offered two programs that helped small businesses pay for expenses, payroll and leases, two rental assistance programs for individuals and families and a mortgage assistance program for homeowners.