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The Lakewood Development Corporation (LDC) is rolling out a brand new web portal which will provide information to the public regarding their various grants and loans, - including brand new programs - and very soon, businesses will be able to apply directly online for these programs.

New Jersey's Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) Program was enacted in 1983, in the Department of Community Affairs, to foster an economic climate that revitalizes designated urban communities - including Lakewood Township - and stimulates their growth by encouraging businesses to develop and create private sector jobs through public and private investment. 

The program is known mostly for the half-off discount it provides off the sales tax to customers of participating businesses. It also offers the participating businesses incentives that encourage business growth and stimulate local economies, including a tax free purchases on certain items such as capital equipment, facility expansions, and upgrades, and financial assistance from agencies such as NJEDA.

In Lakewood, the LDC which is the Township division which administers the UEZ program in Lakewood, uses the annual UEZ grant money to offer their certified UEZ businesses loans and grants as well as numerous other business encouragement incentives such as business-to-business networking events (and new trash compactors around the downtown area!).

To assist businesses in learning about the available financial assistance, as well as to enable them to easily apply online for the financial assistance, the LDC has just rolled out a brand new web portal here.

Currently, businesses can view the existing programs, as well as new programs for which online applications will be available on November 10th at 12:00pm.

Under the current UEZ revolving loan programs, LDC offers businesses a Standard Microloan of up to $35,000 per loan with incentives including no closing costs and a low 3.5% interest rate, and LDC also offers businesses negatively impacted financially by the Coronavirus pandemic a COVID-19 Emergency Loan up to $10,000 per loan with no closing costs and an even lower 1% interest rate. Both loans are for a term of 10 years.

Using the additional state funding which the LDC received this year, the LDC is now rolling out new programs including the UEZ Business Low-Cost Expansion Loan Level I which promotes business expansion by offering a 5 year, $20,000 loan with incentives including no closing costs and a low 2.5% interest rate; the UEZ Business Low-Cost Expansion Loan Level II which further promotes business expansion by offering a 5 year, $50,000 loan with incentives including no closing costs and a low 2.5% interest rate; the Small Business Technology Incentive which promotes modernization of businesses by assisting them with needed funds for equipment, software, and training; as well as the Employee Retention Incentive Program which will assist businesses in creating and retaining jobs for their employees.

Applications for the current programs are available now by downloading and completing the forms and sending them by email to As of November 10th at 12:00pm, businesses will be able to apply on the new web portal for both the existing and new programs.

Eventually, the web portal will be expanded to be a state of the art business customer web portal that will make interaction between Lakewood UEZ and its registered businesses more robust, seamless, efficient, and convenient by allowing UEZ registered businesses to perform online all the functions they are currently forced to perform manually, including to access forms, make application to loans, grants, and other programs, make payments, access account information, general program information similar to a traditional bank website.

The LDC recently awarded the contract for the development of this web portal to Duvy's Media. The $25,000 contract includes all programming, design and related work which is billed at $195 per hour and $295 per hour for consulting, as well as maintaining the site for one year.

The contract award amount is below the threshold for the requirement to be publicly bid out in accordance with the Local Public Contracts Law, therefore, the contract was awarded under the "Non Fair and Open Process" to Duvy’s Media, who is "a trusted and experience vendor that developed and maintains Lakewood township’s website", stated David Klein.

In compliance with the provisions of the Non Fair and Open Process, Duvys Media LLC has completed and submitted a Business Entity Disclosure Certification which certifies that it has not made any reportable contributions to a political or candidate committee in the Lakewood Township Committee in the previous one year, and that the contract will prohibit them from making any reportable contributions through the term of the contract.

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Chaya Goldberg said...

Of note is that the LDC does not use Township employees to do the legwork of providing information to businesses regarding various available loans and grants, consulting prospective grant and loan applicants and processing their applications, rather, the LDC contracts out these services, as well as for the marketing and coordinating of their business-to-business networking events, for $164,152 annually, to the Lakewood Community Services Corporation (LCSC) which is headed by Rabbi Moshe Zev Weissberg, who also just so happens to be a board member of the LDC.

This is in addition to the $122,400 annual salary which LDC Director David Klein receives for his portion of the job.

Anonymous said...

A web portal? On the shmutzy internet? For "business"? Feh! No one in Lakewood should have any need to use the internet.