Toms River is offering a  free seminar for small businesses to learn how to take advantage of Micro-enterprise grants.

The seminar will be held on Tuesday June 19th at  6:00 pm in the L. Manuel Hirshblond Meeting Room located on the 2nd floor of the Township Municipal Complex.

The Township has $72, 102 earmarked from funds it receives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the form of Community Development Block Grant.

The grants are only offered to businesses with fewer than five employees that are looking to start up or expand. The grant amounts must be matched dollar for dollar and the maximum that a business can request is $15,000 dollars.

Businesses must follow all Federal and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regulations. Including labor laws dealing with minimum wage, discrimination policies, and be eligible under HUD guidelines.

In a press release issued by Toms River "Grant funds can be utilized for any associated start-up cost, façade improvements (including new signage), supplies, equipment, payroll, and other such business related costs."

Erika Stahl,  Assistant Planner with the Toms River Department Division of Community Development says businesses themselves can apply as low/moderate income business, which means the owner themselves qualifies as low/moderate income.  She notes that it's based on their household income and HUD's guidelines to qualify for "moderate" (which is the highest amount allowed) is 80% of median income.

"So for a one person household it's about forty five thousand, so it's not super low, which is good because many businesses will be able to qualify."

Additionally businesses where the owner does not qualify as low/moderate income but 51% of its new hires qualify as low moderate income and businesses that retains workers of which 51% of the retained jobs are low/moderate income also qualify.

"A lot of retailers hire younger workers and they're not going to be paying them forty five thousand dollars a year so a lot of them single workers and a lot of them would qualify as low and moderate income workers because they're just starting out."

Grant applications may be picked up in person at the Division of Community Development, 2nd floor,Toms River Township Municipal Complex 33 Washington Street Toms River, NJ 08753 and the Toms River Business Improvement District 218 Main Street Toms River, NJ 08753

Application copies can also be downloaded at

The deadline will be July 16th at 4:30 pm, no late fees will be accept.