First Hope's Response to COVID-19

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Assistance for Businesses Affected by COVID-19

The Government recently enacted a $2 trillion stimulus package known as the CARES Act to assist those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of particular interest to our small business clients are two SBA programs aimed to assist those who have suffered financial hardships because of COVID-19 – the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)


Due to the enormous demand for the PPP and volume of applications we have received thus far, we are not able to accept further applications, at this time. Please continue to check back for any further updates and visit for additional information and resources.

Paycheck Protection Program Provisions:


  • Available to small businesses with less than 500 employees.
  • Includes sole proprietorship's, independent contractors and self-employed persons, private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by coronavirus/COVID-19.
  • Small businesses in the hospitality and food industry with more than one location could also be eligible at the store and location level if the store employs less than 500 workers. This means each store location could be eligible.
  • All eligible entities impacted by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020 may apply.  

Terms and Amounts:

  • Maximum loan size is up to 2.5 times average monthly payroll costs over the prior 12 months for most businesses, or over a more targeted period for seasonal businesses up to $10 million. Seasonal businesses may have an alternative calculation.
  • Part or all of loan may be forgiven if the proceeds are used for approved uses such as payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities. Other limitations may apply.
  • Principal and interest payments are deferred for at least 6 months but no more than 1 year.
  • Based on recent SBA guidance, the interest rate on PPP loans will be a fixed rate of 1.00% and the maximum term will be 2 years.
For further information, please visit:

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

If you have any questions, please contact us at with your name, telephone number and a brief description of your question and one of our knowledgeable lending team members will respond.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

Additionally, there is a separate provision for businesses that reside in declared emergency zone. These are low interest loans that may be used for items outside of the PPP. Below is a link with further details and how to apply:


New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA)

The NJEDA has created an Emergency Assistance Eligibility Wizard to assist businesses in determining whether they qualify for any programs:



Other Resources for Businesses


*Please note after publication of this document the PPP loan rate was changed from 0.5% to 1.0%


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