OCEAN TOWNSHIP – Senator Vin Gopal, who serves as Senate Chair of Military and Veterans Affairs, introduced new legislation that would make New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) economic assistance programs for traditional nonprofit organizations available to 501c19 veterans’ organizations. These programs would be available during periods of emergency declared by the Governor and for the duration of economic disruptions due to the emergency.
Under the bill (S2505), this assistance would include, but is not limited to:
- financing for land and building acquisition, building construction, equipment, furniture and fixtures, renovations, and leasehold improvements;
- the refinancing of existing, higher-interest conventional debt;
- access to capital and other State resources to meet expansion and program needs;
- pre-development loans for feasibility and related planning studies, as well as engineering, architectural, land assembly, site improvement, and other costs associated with development projects; and
- access to technical assistance.
“Right now, 501c19 organizations like Veterans of Foreign Wars posts or the American Legion are falling through the cracks of our state’s assistance programs,” said Gopal (D-Long Branch). “Often, these organizations support themselves by providing venues for events or serving refreshments to customers, but under the current quarantine, that’s been out of the question.
“Even after being shut down like other hospitality venues, however, they’ve been shut out of the programs that are helping small businesses and other nonprofits through these difficult times. That’s not right, and that’s not fair. These veterans’ organizations provide essential services and support to the men and women who courageously fought to defend our country’s freedoms. We must make sure we stand by them in turn, especially in the midst of a crisis.”