By David Madden

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) — New Jersey is offering street level small businesses in Camden, Trenton and Atlantic City some help in expansion and improvement, along with Passaic and Patterson in North Jersey.

Each city has sections designated as Garden State Growth Zones by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. CEO Tim Lizura says each town was asked to pinpoint retail areas in need of assistance. But it’s a balancing act.

“You’re really trying to find those transitional areas of the city where a little bit of support in getting a cluster of retail and storefront and foot traffic going can really be meaningful to help the city revitalize,” Lizura told KYW Newsradio.

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The agency has set aside $3 million over the next three years to help fund improvements in two ways.

“One is a lease subsidy program which allows us to provide a reimbursement per-square-foot based on the amount of retail space that’s being leased over a two year period,” Lizura added. “The other is a one time payment of lease improvements, facade or interior improvements, that are actually construction costs.”

There are limits on how much the state is willing to fork out, and consider that grant money is going to five cities.

More information is available online at their website: