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Eustace, Mazzeo & Lagana Introduce Bill to Create Small Business Action Center

(TRENTON) – Assembly members Tim Eustace, Vince Mazzeo and Joseph Lagana have introduced legislation that would create the Small Business Action Center (SBAC) within the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) to serve as a direct resource for small businesses with less than 50 employees.

“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 SBAC will provide information to small businesses, after the effective date of the bill, concerning: 1) State financial and incentive programs; 2) state taxes; 3) permits, licenses, certificates, and other governmental-approvals; 4) state regulations 5) international trade assistance programs; 6) workforce development programs; 7) construction projects within New Jersey that need small business services; and 8) 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 SBAC 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 economic incentives for small businesses with the criteria for each program; and 3) the contact information for the authority and the SBAC.

As an incentive for new small business creation, the bill provides corporation business tax credits and gross income tax credits for the first two years a small business becomes established and receives assistance from the SBAC. The credits are equal to 50 percent of the cost employee compensation expenses related to meeting the employment criteria under the definition of a small business in the bill.

“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 EDA is to provide an annual report to the Governor and the legislature on the SBAC’s activities. It would also establish within the EDA a “Small Business Task Force” to advise the EDA with respect to the functioning of the SBA and to foster the development and assist the needs of small businesses. The task force is the be comprised of eight ex officio members and seven public members, including: 1) the chief executive officer of the EDA; 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 has not been referred to committee.