Singleton Bill to Promote Cost-Cutting Small Business Improvements Approved by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Troy Singleton to facilitate cost-effective environmentally friendly improvements for small businesses was approved Thursday by an Assembly panel.

“Energy efficiency upgrades have the potential to save small businesses thousands of dollars each year,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “Small businesses are not churning out enormous profits. Keeping the costs of lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and other similar expenses at a minimum while increasing overall profitability can make a difference to their bottom line. Helping small businesses thrive not only benefits our business community but our economy.”

The bill (A-2547) would permit small businesses to qualify for New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) loans to cover the costs of conducting energy audits and making energy efficiency and conservation improvements.
In consultation with the Department of Community Affairs and the Board of Public Utilities, the NJEDA would be permitted to establish and administer low-interest loans to small businesses for 100 percent of any unreimbursed costs of an energy audit conducted by a licensed contractor and for 100 percent of any unreimbursed costs of the purchase and installation of energy or conservation equipment deemed necessary as a result of the energy audit.

The bill defines a “low-interest loan” as a loan for a maximum 10-year term at a maximum rate of either 3 percent or one-half of the prime interest rate reported in a financial newspaper published and circulating in New York City, whichever is greater.

“Making low-interest loans available to these small businesses can help them lower their operating costs while helping protect the environment,” added Singleton. “It’s a win-win.”

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