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Eustace, Mazzeo & Lagana Bill to Create Small Business Task Force Approved by Assembly Panel

Bill Would Establish the “Business Action Center” under the Department of State

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly members Tim Eustace, Vince Mazzeo and Joseph Lagana sponsored to create the Small Business Unit (SBU) and the Small Business Task Force within the Business Action Center (BAC) in the Department of State to serve as a resource for small businesses with less than 50 employees cleared its first legislative hurdle on Thursday.

“These operations may be small in size, however, their businesses are a vital part of New Jersey’s economic engine,” said Eustace (D-Bergen, Passaic). “The Small Business Action Center will be dedicated to ensuring the success of small businesses as an important component in fostering a healthy state economy.”

Under the bill (A-4357), the BAC will provide information to small businesses, after the effective date of the bill, concerning: 1) State and federal small business assistance program; 2) state taxes; 3) permits, licenses, certificates, and other governmental-approvals; 4) state regulations; 5) workforce development programs; 6) construction projects within New Jersey that need small business services; and 7) any other subject than the SBAC determines would be valuable to a small business.

“Small businesses deserve a state resource that will help them navigate business ownership in New Jersey,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “Successful Mom and Pop shops and other small enterprises have always been the backbone of New Jersey’s communities. A small business action center is an opportunity to support small business, strengthen the economy, and create jobs and revenue.”

The BAC would be directed to create an interactive website to include, but not limited to: 1) a list of the resources available to small businesses; 2) a description of the financial incentives for small businesses with the criteria for each program; and 3) the contact information for the authority and the BAC.

“We want anyone who has a dream to build a small business to have the support they need to do it,” said Lagana (D-Bergen, Passaic). “A resource center dedicated to growing small business is just what New Jersey needs to ensure entrepreneurs every chance for success in their business endeavors.”

Also under the bill’s provisions, the Department of State is to provide an annual report to the Governor and the legislature on the BAC’s activities. The task force is to be comprised of eight ex officio members and seven public members, including: 1) the director of the BAC; 2) the dean of the business school at Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey; 3) the president of the UCEDC, a statewide nonprofit economic development corporation; 4) the directors of the city government department responsible for the economic development in each region. Additional requirements are provided in the bill.

The bill was approved by the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee.