Ensuring small businesses are connecting to opportunities offered by federal, state and local government agencies, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter sponsors legislation that would create a business matchmaker program in New Jersey.
The measure was approved Wednesday by the Assembly Community Affairs and Development Committee.
“Business matchmaker programs have been successful in other states around the country. Small business owners with aspirations to grow their businesses need access and a conduit to these important connections in various government agencies,” said Sumter (D-Bergen, Passaic). “A program like this one will be especially crucial as we begin to rebuild Main Street, small business communities and local economies post-pandemic.”
The bill (A-5243) requires the State Business Action Center (BAC) to collaborate with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to establish the “Biannual Business Matchmaker Initiative,” where the BAC is to host a biannual business matchmaking event with the purpose of connecting eligible small businesses with representatives of federal, State, and local government agencies for access to subcontracting prospects.
“These challenging times call for us to do more to support small businesses and their growth in the coming years,” continued Sumter. “Small businesses are the backbone of our communities; and we rely on them as much as they rely on us to help rebuild and stabilize our local economies.”
Ohio began a similar Business Matchmaker program ten years ago which works to connect small businesses to government contracting opportunities. Businesses of all sizes interested in meeting with federal, state or local government representatives to market and sell their goods and services attend the events.
The bill will now go to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.