Frequently
Asked Questions
 

Is my small business eligible for a NJ Capital Access Fund loan?

To be eligible for a NJ Capital Access Fund loan, a small business must meet the requirements detailed below. Please note that the pre-application should be completed and submitted by the owner of the business with the largest ownership interest or the executive director or equivalent senior officer of the nonprofit. All owners with more than 20% ownership will be required to attest to the information provided.  

To meet the pre-eligibility requirements, your business or nonprofit must: 

  • Operate in the state of New Jersey
  • Have fewer than 50 employees
  • Have an annual revenue of $10 million or less
  • Have been in business for at least one year prior to the date of application
  • Demonstrate the ability to repay the loan through cash flow
Are certain types of businesses ineligible for a loan through this program?

Yes. Ineligible businesses include, but are not limited to:  

  • Transient merchants
  • Christmas tree sellers
  • Outdoor storage providers
  • Gambling businesses, including gambling facilities
  • Lenders, except for certain CDFIs and Tribal enterprise lenders
  • Businesses engaged in any of the ineligible business activities listed under the question below  

Any loan applicant with outstanding tax liens or judgments over $10,000 within the last 10 years is ineligible to apply unless there is an active payment plan in place. Any loan applicant that has an active bankruptcy, unpaid child support, or has been the subject of a repossession or foreclosure within the past 36 months is also ineligible.

Will I be prohibited from using the loan for certain activities?

Yes. Borrowers are prohibited from using proceeds from a NJ Capital Access Fund loan for certain activities. Ineligible business activities include, but are not limited to:  

  • Construction, renovation, or tenant improvements
  • Equipment and/or machinery financing
  • Any purveyance of “adult” (that is, pornographic, lewd, prurient, obscene, or otherwise similarly disreputable) activities, services, products, or materials
  • Any auction, bankruptcy, fire, “lost-our-lease”, “going out of business”, or similar sale or activities
  • Any activity constituting a nuisance
  • Passive real estate investment
  • The purchase of securities
  • Lobbying activities
  • Pyramid sales schemes
  • Purchasing any portion of the ownership from any owner of the business
  • Speculative activities that benefit from price fluctuations
  • Activities prohibited by federal and/or New Jersey law
Does my business need to be based in New Jersey to apply?

Yes, organizations must have existing operations in New Jersey to be eligible, and the proceeds of the loan must be used in furtherance of the organization’s activities in New Jersey.

What can I use my loan for?

NJ Capital Access Fund loans can be used for a full range of business needs including payroll, supplies, rent, utilities, marketing and advertising, and other business expenses. You will be required to detail the proposed use of loan proceeds when you complete your application.

What are the loan terms?
  • Between 36- and 60-month repayment periods
  • Loan amounts up to $250,000
  • No origination fees
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Fixed interest rates for the life of the loan — As of July 27, 2023, rates range from 9.5% to 12%, depending on length of the loan
  • No specific collateral required
Who are the nonprofit lenders?
  • Ascendus
  • Grow America Community Impact Loan Fund
  • Pursuit
  • Renaissance
Do I need collateral?

No specific collateral is required to be eligible. You do not need to have access to any specific real estate or equipment. However, a blanket lien will be filed on business assets. Personal guarantees will be required from individuals who own 20% or more of a business.

Will I be penalized if I make prepayments?

No. Borrowers may prepay the loan at any time without penalties or fees.

Will I need to pay any fees?

Depending on which lender you work with, you may need to pay some closing costs of up to $750. These fees cover the cost of the UCC filing, credit report costs and application fee. No other fees will need to be paid, including origination fees or prepayment fees, although late fees may be applied if you do not repay your loan on time.

Is a NJ Capital Access Fund loan forgivable?

This is not a forgivable loan. NJ Capital Access Fund borrowers will be expected to pay back the full amount of the loan at their fixed rate of interest.

Am I guaranteed approval for a loan if I am eligible to apply?

No. Depending on the number of applications, it is possible that not all applicants will be able to receive a loan. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. In addition, all loans are subject to underwriting review and approval by participating nonprofit lenders, who are responsible for their own credit decisions.

Please note that being matched with a prospective lender does not constitute an offer or a commitment to lend. All rates and loan terms may be subject to change.

What information will be required to apply?

As part of your full loan application, you will need to provide the following documentation to the nonprofit lender:

  • Loan and Security Agreement with accompanying notes
  • Evidence of legal formation of business entity (Articles of Incorporations and/or Bylaws)
  • Schedule of ownership (name, address, Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number, phone number, email, percentage ownership for any owners with more than 20% ownership)
  • Personal guarantee from any person that owns 20% or more of the small business
  • A personal credit check is required for every guarantor. Note: There is no minimum credit score required to apply for a loan
  • Two most recently filed tax returns, if available and required by the lender; if not available, internally generated financial statements or other proof of revenue
  • Executed Borrower Attestation Form and SEDI-Owned Business Certification (to be provided by lender)
  • Copy of lease agreement and/or recent utility bill (if applicable or required by the lender)
  • Current New Jersey Tax Clearance Certificate
  • Duplication of Benefits Affidavit (to be provided by lender)
  • Other documentation required by the community lender at or after the time of application

A participating community lender will reach out to you to collect the required documentation, conduct any credit checks, and finalize the application review process.

What if I need help with the loan application?

Our nonprofit lenders are available to assist you with every step of the application and can connect you with additional support services, if needed.

What happens after I submit my pre-application?

If you meet the initial eligibility requirements, you will be matched with one or more nonprofit lenders after completing the pre-application and will need to click “connect” next to the lender you would like to work with. Lenders will then request additional documentation to determine if your business is ready for a loan. If so, they will determine the loan terms that are best suited to your business.

Can I apply for a loan more than once?

Applicants should only submit one pre-application. Borrowers will not be prohibited from receiving multiple loans from the New Jersey Capital Access Fund, but it is up to the originating lenders to approve additional loans. A borrower must have only one application for a loan open at any given time. Each loan must have a separate, defined use of proceeds, and such loans shall be subject to any applicable maximum or minimum sizes or other terms and conditions.

What happens if I miss a payment?

If you do not make a loan payment on time, you may be assessed a late fee. A failure to pay may result in the loan being declared in default. During the loan application process, your community lender will discuss the full terms of your loan agreement to ensure you understand the details regarding late payment and default.

NJ Capital Access Fund lady working on a craft

Ready to apply?

Complete the pre-application to find out if you are eligible for a loan.
Eligible applicants will be connected to a nonprofit lender.