New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced today that he will dedicate $10 million from the American Rescue Plan (COVID-19) funds to help small businesses hire and train employees. Governor Murphy is calling it “Return and Earn.”

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You simply don’t see a restaurant or local business that has been able to fill their staffing needs as America recovers from an unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are the basics of the program as follows:

  • Pay up to $10,000 towards the salary of each new employee for a six-month, on-the-job training program.
  • Each business is eligible to receive up to $40,000 per business.
  • Each returning employee will be incentivized with a $500 bonus.

Governor Murphy said, “...[We] have always recognized that on the other side of the pandemic, we must have a state economy that is stronger, fairer, more equitable and more inclusive than the one that we had pre-pandemic.”

Further, The Governor said that the new program “...[Will] assist unemployed workers in their return to work, and it will help small businesses fill positions they need.”

To be eligible, a company must have 100 or fewer current employees and are required to pay their employees a minimum of $15 per hour to qualify, according to Governor Murphy.

Additional information is available at
This website also provides information and help in filling out the required paperwork to enter the program.
The New Jersey Department of Labor expects that the program will begin in the near future.

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