Lampitt Bill to Boost Creation of Small, Women- & Minority- Owned Businesses Gains Assembly Panel Approval

Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt to expand the scope and reach of small, women- and minority-owned businesses throughout New Jersey by providing loans through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority was approved Monday by an Assembly panel.

“Statistics show that women- and minority-owned businesses generate noticeably less revenue than small businesses as a whole,” said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). “This isn’t because they aren’t as bright or innovative as other business owners. Many times it’s because loans and investment capital are harder to come by, putting these businesses at a disadvantage from the get-go. Rebuilding our economy depends on our ability to invest in small, women- and minority-owned businesses in surrounding urban regions.”

Under the bill (A-3168), when the Economic Development Authority makes direct loans to small, women and minority-owned businesses, manufacturers, redevelopers or nonprofit organizations in areas designated by the State Development and Redevelopment Plan as urban centers, it must also include such businesses located in “regional centers” surrounding these urban areas.

The Urban Plus Program provides financial support in the form of loans from the EDA with a below-market interest rate to qualified community and economic development projects, manufacturers, redevelopers and not-for-profit organizations in the following endorsed New Jersey municipalities: Camden, Trenton, Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, East Orange, New Brunswick, and Atlantic City.

Under this bill, small, women – and minority- owned businesses in the following surrounding regional centers would now qualify for loans: Ocean City, Wildwoods, Bridgeton, Millville/Vineland, Woolwich, the Princetons, Long Branch, Red Bank, Stafford Twp, Salem City, Bridgewater-Raritan and Newton.

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