Updated: August 17, 2021
Thank you for your interest in this grant program. Please review the following information carefully.
The New Jersey Community Stage Relief Grant Program provides grants up to $300,000 to for-profit venues, businesses, and sole proprietors that host, organize, promote, produce, or manage live events or performances by performing artists.
Applications for the New Jersey Community Stage Relief Grant Program are now open. Apply now. The application is first come, first served. Applications will close at 5:00 p.m. on September 7th, 2021.
To help potential applicants prepare to apply, the NJEDA hosted an informational webinar on Wednesday, August 11, 2021. Watch a recording of the webinar. View the presentation slides in English, or see the presentation slides in Spanish.
Nonprofit organizations are not eligible. A separate program for nonprofit establishments is being administered by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
The New Jersey Community Stage Relief Grant Program will provide grants up to $300,000 to eligible venues and businesses.
Qualified applicants could receive grants of up to 30% of their decline in operating revenue from 2019 to 2020, up to a maximum grant award of $300,000.
The New Jersey Community Stage Relief Grant Program is open to New Jersey-based for-profit venues and businesses (including sole proprietors) that host, organize, promote, produce, or manage live events or performances by performing artists.
Examples of eligible businesses include:
- Venues that host live performances,
- Event promoters,
- Managers and management companies that work with live performers,
- Booking agents,
- Other businesses and sole proprietors who are paid to organize, manage, promote, or host live events.
Venues’ capacity cannot exceed 2,500. There are no capacity restrictions for non-venue businesses and sole proprietors such as promoters, managers, etc.
Venues, businesses, and sole proprietors must meet one (not both)of the following baseline eligibility criteria:
- Has one of the following NAICS Codes: 711410, 711310, 711320, 711110, or 711130. Your NAICS can be found on the top right of your NJ 1040 or corporate business filing.
- Makes 50% or more of operating revenue from the organization, hosting, promotion, production, or management of live performances. Venues, businesses, and sole proprietors that make less than50% of their revenue from live performances are not eligible. For example, restaurants that host live music events but make most of their money from food sales are not eligible for grants through this program.
Additional Program Requirements
Businesses, venues, and sole proprietors must also meet ALL of the following requirements:
- 25% or greater operating loss between Q2 2019 and Q2 2020.
- Involvement in an average of at least two live performances per week, or a total of at least 26events, over any consecutive 13-week period beginning January 1, 2019. For venues, this means hosting performances. For promoters, producers, agents, and other businesses or sole proprietors, this means helping to organize or promote performances. Events featuring multiple artists can count as multiple “performances,” with each artist counting as one performance (i.e. an event with three performers would count as three “performances”).
- Admission fees were collected at events.
- Artists were paid for events.
All applicants must also be in good standing with the New Jersey Department of Treasury-Division of Taxation, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD), and the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) (if the applicant is regulated by the ABC).
All applicants will be required to fill out an affidavit identifying all funding sources the applicant entity has received related to COVID-19, such as other NJEDA COVID-19 relief, insurance, Small Business Administration loans and grants, Shuttered Venues grants, forgivable portions of Payroll Protection loans, and Economic Injury Disaster grants.
Eligible Funding Uses
Funds received through the New Jersey Community Stage Relief Grant Program can be used for working capital expenses. Examples of working capital expenses include:
Applications for the New Jersey Community Stage Relief Grant Program are now open. Apply now. Applications are first come, first served. Applications will close at 5:00 p.m. on September 7th,2021.
If you have questions or need assistance with the application process, email NJCommunityArts@njeda.com or call the NJEDA Call Center at 844-965-1125.
All applicants for the New Jersey Community Stage Relief Grant Program will need to provide the following information as part of the application:
- Contact information (phone number and email address) for an Authorized Representative
- Official business name and DBA/trade name (if different from official name)
- Business address and primary business location
- Business formation date and date operations began (may be different from business formation date)
- Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Business ownership structure (i.e. Sole Proprietor, C-Corporation, S-Corporation, etc.)
- 2019 and 2020 annual revenue
- 2019 and 2020 business operating revenue, including specific figures for Q2 2019 and Q2 2020
- NAICS code
- Estimated revenue loss as a result of business closure as of December 31, 2020
- Information about all prior federal, state, local, or non-profit COVID-19 relief that the venue, business, or sole proprietor has been approved for or received
- Intended uses for grant funding
Businesses and venues will also need to provide the following documentation. All documents should be saved in a digital format that will be easy to upload (PDF, PNG, or JPEG).
The NJEDA strongly encourages all applicants to compile these documents before the application opens.
- Current New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate. Certificates may be requested through the State of New Jersey’s online Premier Business Services (PBS) portal. Under the Tax & Revenue Center, select Tax Services, then select Business Incentive Tax Clearance. If the applicant’s account is in compliance with its tax obligations and no liabilities exist, the Business Incentive Tax Clearance can be printed directly through PBS.
- 2019 and 2020 income statements. Applicants that do not have 2019 and 2020 business income tax filings can provide quarterly income and expense statements for all quarters of 2019 and 2020 with a breakdown substantiating the operating revenue numbers specific to their venue or business. Examples of documentation that would fulfill this requirement include management prepared financial reports, financial reports generated by an accounting system or software package, or financial reports prepared by a third-party (i.e. a CPA, accountant, or bookkeeper).
- 2019 and 2020 New Jersey business tax returns.
- Documentation demonstrating involvement in an average of at least two live performances or events per week (a total of at least 26 events) in any consecutive 13-week period beginning January 1, 2019. Events featuring multiple artists can count as multiple “performances,” with each artist counting as one performance (i.e. an event with three performers would count as three “performances”). Examples of acceptable documentation include ticket system reports, payment processor reports, receipts, dated marketing materials, media reports on events, tickets, ticket stubs, box office reports, ledgers, income statements, and live event calendars.
- Documentation demonstrating the collection of admission fees for events. Examples of documentation include reports provided by a third-party ticket seller or payment processor, copies of receipts or tickets/ticket stubs sold at an event, in house administrative documentation, marketing materials, and third-party media.
- Documentation showing mutual agreements between four (4) different artists or their representatives and the applying entity or host venue that clearly demonstrate the performing artist was paid. Examples of documentation include a contract executed by both the performing artist and the hosting venue that clearly stipulates the basis by which the performing artist is paid, or written or electronic copies of agreements such as copies of emails, electronic messages, and dated text messages if it is clear that the compensation was mutually agreed upon and is consistent with program requirements.
- Venues only: New Jersey Certificate of Occupancy.
In addition to providing the above information and documentation, the chief executive officer or equivalent officer of the applicant must complete a legal questionnaire.
This includes certifying that:
- The applicant will make a best effort not to furlough or lay off any individuals from the time of application through six months after the end of the declared state of emergency. Businesses and venues that have already furloughed or laid off workers from the time of application must make a best-effort pledge tore-hire those workers as soon as possible.
- Grant funds will be used to replace revenue lost as a result of a business interruption caused by COVID-19 between March 1, 2020, and the date of the grant agreement.
The NJEDA will review applications first-come, first-served in the order in which they are received. Only applications that are fully completed will be considered for funding. In the event that an application is missing information, applicants will be given five (5) business days to correct or preserve their application by providing missing documentation. Applicants who fail to provide the requested application information will be rejected on the basis of insufficient or incomplete documentation.
Commitment to Equity
In line with Governor Phil Murphy’s commitment to a stronger, fairer recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, 33% of total funding available for the New Jersey Community Stage Relief Grant Program will be set aside to support establishments that have a commercial business address in a census tract that was eligible to be selected as a New Jersey Opportunity Zone.
- Eligibility Flow Chart / Eligibility Flow Chart (Spanish)
- Sample Application / Sample Application (Spanish)
- Document Checklist / Document Checklist (Spanish)
- Webinar Slides / Webinar Slides (Spanish)