Jobs for New England Member Frequently Asked Questions
Members who are seeking answers to some frequently asked questions about Jobs for New England, please refer to the below.
What is the Jobs for New England Program?
Jobs for New England (JNE) has two components: Traditional JNE and the JNE Recovery Grant Program.
Traditional JNE is an interest-rate subsidy program designed to enhance our members’ economic development lending activities. The subsidy is used to write down interest rates to 0% on Classic Advances that finance qualifying loans to small businesses located in New England with a focus to create or preserve jobs in New England communities.
The JNE Recovery Grant Program was launched to help small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and owners of affordable housing developments that have faced significant losses and expenses related to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
What is the deadline to apply for JNE funds in 2021?
The Traditional JNE application and funding period opens March 8, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. and closes September 30, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. JNE advances are requested on a per-project basis. Members may submit multiple requests. Funds will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. The JNE Recovery Grant Program application period opens on April 12, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. and funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
By when do my JNE advances need to be disbursed?
Upon approval, Traditional JNE advances must be disbursed within 90 days or by October 29, 2021, whichever is sooner. Funds reserved through the JNE Recovery Grant program must disburse within 30 days.
Is there a prepayment fee on JNE advances?
Members will be subject to the Bank’s standard prepayment fee in the event they choose to prepay the JNE advance. However, fees for prepaid JNE advances will be net of any unamortized subsidy on the advance.
Traditional JNE Program FAQs
How does Traditional JNE work?
JNE provides 0% rate Classic Advances (principal paid at maturity) to members in terms from one- through 10-year maturities to support eligible small businesses in New England. In the current round, JNE funds are limited to $150,000 in subsidy per member.
How are Traditional JNE funds allocated?
Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis in this round. The subsidy represents the present value of FHLBank Boston’s cost to fund the 0% rate JNE advance. JNE advances may be requested through multiple project requests, provided that the aggregate subsidy allocated to all projects of a single member funded does not exceed $150,000 in a single funding round.
How does the application process work?
Members must submit individual project application(s) on behalf of eligible borrower(s) by logging in to FHLBank Boston's Community Lending website at housing.fhlbboston.com. New online users can easily create an account at this site. Please note that new account access approval may take up to 48 hours. Applications will be reviewed by FHLBank Boston within three business days. Members will have the sooner of 90 days to request disbursement of funds from approved applications, or by October 29, 2021. Members must call the Member Funding Desk at 1-800-357-3452 to request JNE advance disbursement(s). Small business loans funded by JNE advances must meet at least one of the requirements noted on this page.
What spread should we apply to the loan? Is there a cap?
The advances provided by FHLBank Boston for Traditional JNE loans empower you to offer business loans at below-market rates with spreads comparable to your other loans. The spread cannot be greater than the spread normally charged for a loan of comparable risk and term. For example, a borrower seeking a $1 million loan for a seven-year term was quoted a rate of 3.72% if it was based on funding with a seven-year Classic Advance. This rate included a member cost of funds of 1.27% and a spread of 245 basis points. With the JNE program, the member would be advanced the funds at 0%, and the borrower would now be given a rate of 2.45% for the seven-year term. This example would utilize $84,806 of the member’s allocated subsidy and pass the interest rate savings through to the borrower.
Are nonprofit borrowers eligible?
No. Nonprofits are not eligible for Traditional JNE advances. Your borrower must qualify as a small business, as defined by the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(a)) and implemented by the SBA under 13 CFR part 120 504, or any successor provisions. However, nonprofits may be eligible for the separate JNE Recovery Grant Program (see below).
Can my financial institution fund a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) or quasi-financial intermediary involved in small business lending?
Yes. Members may use Traditional JNE funds to capitalize a small business loan fund administered by a CDFI or other quasi-financial intermediary, provided the end loan made to the small business meets the general requirements of the JNE program. This includes meeting at least one of the Job Opportunity & Retention or Economic Development criteria, spread over JNE funds, and reporting requirements.
Can Traditional JNE funds be used for a refinance?
Yes. Refinance transactions are eligible for JNE financing if the refinance meets program requirements. The new loan must be at least 115% of the refinanced loan amount and proceeds must be reinvested back into the business. The new interest rate must be lower than the original rate and comply with other pricing terms of the Traditional JNE program. A minimum of 85% of the funds being refinanced must also have originated from expenses that would have been deemed eligible for JNE funding.
How does FHLBank Boston review and approve my application?
Traditional JNE project applications (potential borrowers or loans) are reviewed and approved based on the extent to which they satisfy program eligibility and interest spread requirements. Members will receive a notification of approval or a request for additional information within three business days of FHLBank Boston’s receipt of an application.
Are there any reporting or compliance requirements after taking down a Traditional JNE advance?
Yes. We will ask members to supply a copy of the promissory note within 30 days following JNE funds being disbursed. As part of this submission, members will complete a short, one-time online report describing how the funds were used and demonstrating that the spread did not exceed the member’s typical spread for a loan of comparable risk and term.
JNE Recovery Grant Program FAQs
What is the JNE Recovery Grant Program?
Local small businesses and micro-businesses are under tremendous financial stress, especially Black-, Latinx-, and women-owned businesses. These businesses need additional capital to navigate through the pandemic and reopening efforts in accordance with CDC and state guidelines. The JNE Recovery Grant Program targets small businesses, nonprofits, and owners of affordable housing that have faced a significant COVID-related drop in revenue or unexpected operational costs. Members will be eligible for up to $50,000 in grant funding to make awards of between $5,000 to $15,000 to qualifying businesses, nonprofits, and affordable housing owners. FHLBank Boston will allocate $1.75 million to the 2021 JNE Recovery Grant program.
How does the JNE Recovery Grant Program work?
The JNE Recovery Grant Program provides up to $50,000 of grant funding to members to support eligible small businesses, nonprofits, and affordable housing owners in New England that have faced a significant negative financial impact due to COVID-19. Members reserve grant funds on a first-come, first-served basis. Following the subsidy reservation period, members will have 30 days to identify eligible grant recipients and submit a lump-sum funding request.
How are grant recipients selected?
Members will determine their own award methodology provided grants fall into a range of between $5,000 and $10,000 to individual SBA-defined small businesses, nonprofits, and affordable housing owners. Awards of between $5,000 to $15,000 may be made to majority-owned women-, minority-, or veteran-owned small businesses or nonprofits with a majority woman, minority, or veteran board of directors. All grant funding must be passed through to the recipient.
How does the application process work?
There are two key steps in the process to reserve and utilize JNE Recovery Grant funds. First, members must submit a request for a lump-sum grant amount. The funding request period opens at 9:00 a.m. on April 12, 2021, and funding will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Specific grant recipients DO NOT need to be identified at this time. Members will request the funds by logging in to FHLBank Boston’s Community Lending website at housing.fhlbboston.com. New online users must create an account at this site prior to submitting an application. Please note that new account access approval may take up to 48 hours.
The second step is to identify and submit a list of recovery grant recipients. FHLBank Boston will notify members via email confirming their allocation and provide instructions for identifying grant recipients and requesting disbursement. Submission of the grant recipient list is due within 30 days of funding allocation award notification.
How is a grant recipient’s eligibility determined?
Eligible grant recipients must demonstrate that they have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 in one of the following ways:
- Demonstrate need for funds as a result of COVID-19 (reduction in revenue by at least 25%) or other negative impacts that have resulted in expenses that exceed the grant amount
- Owners of affordable housing must document rental losses from reserved affordable units due to COVID-19 that exceed the grant amount
How must grant funds be used?
Grant funding must be used in a manner that supports the sustained operations of the business, nonprofit, or affordable housing owner. Eligible uses include all forms of working capital, including payroll, and COVID-related expenses such as modifications to comply with state and CDC guidelines or personal protection equipment. Inventory and nonprofit program delivery costs not directly related to the organization’s administration/operating expenses are an ineligible use.
How are funds disbursed?
Once FHLBank Boston approves a member’s lump-sum award, the member must identify eligible grant recipients and submit a list to FHLBank Boston along with a Certificate of Good Standing, or comparable third-party verification, for each business. FHLBank Boston staff will review the list for compliance with program guidelines and either approve the funding disbursement or contact the member for clarification and/or revision. Members may only submit one funding request with all recipients identified. Once the recipients are approved, the funds will automatically credit to the member’s IDEAL Way account. Disbursements generally occur on the same day of approval or next business day
What happens if grant funds requested are not allocated to qualifying businesses/nonprofits?
Funds allocated to a member during the funding reservation period that are not awarded to eligible businesses, nonprofits, or affordable housing owners will not be disbursed to the member and will be returned to the JNE funding pool.
Is there a reporting requirement?
Members have 30 days following disbursement to complete a single follow-up report that consists of a confirmation of all JNE funds being passed through to the grant recipients identified in the application. Evidence of the funding transfer to the recipient, such as an account credit or canceled check, will also be uploaded to the report.
Are there additional eligibility criteria for nonprofits?
Yes. Nonprofits are eligible for the JNE Recovery Grant Program if they have an annual net revenue of less than $5 million.
Can awards be made to businesses and nonprofits that received grants from the 2020 program?
Yes. The borrower maximum applies only to funding awarded in the current program year.
May eligible businesses or nonprofits receive awards from multiple members?
Yes. Grant recipients may receive multiple awards provided the total grant funds do not exceed the program cap for a single award. Awards made to a single business/nonprofit will be approved in the order in which they are submitted. Members will be contacted if intended recipient(s) have reached the funding cap. Substitution awards are permitted.