Small businesses face tremendous challenges in today’s global economy. Foreign competition, rising costs and regulatory burdens make it difficult for small businesses to succeed. Yet more than 28 million small businesses nationwide have overcome these challenges to employ nearly 57 million people. That’s why NJBIA acts as a partner to our smallest member companies.
Advocacy. When examining legislative initiatives like mandatory paid sick leave and a $15 minimum wage, NJBIA considers the impact these proposals would have on small businesses. Many legislators recognize this, and agree that small businesses need relief from such initiatives.
Similarly, many tax policies have a direct impact on small business. NJBIA advocated for the elimination of the estate tax because it was driving small business owners out of the state before their retirement. With the estate tax being eliminated in 2018, small business owners who would have otherwise moved out of New Jersey can now stay.
The creation of new businesses is key to economic growth, so NJBIA advocates for policies that spur private-sector investment. In May, Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation expanding the Angel Investor Tax Credit Program, which helps high-tech startup companies by allowing investors to deduct a portion of their investments from their income taxes. Last year alone, the state approved 251 applications through the program, which represented over $96 million in private capital invested into technology and life sciences companies.
Access to capital. The NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA) is the main state agency for financing, loans and loan guarantees, and providing access to capital. While much of the discussion in the news focuses on large companies, the EDA has a long history of support to small and mid-sized businesses. The authority runs the above-mentioned Angel Investor Tax Credit Program, which offers a 10 percent refundable tax credit against New Jersey corporation business or gross income taxes for qualified investments. Additionally, EDA offers a number of loan programs and financing options designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Direct assistance. Small business owners wear a number of hats – HR administrator, compliance officer, operations manager and more. That’s why NJBIA has added new resources to help business owners sort through regulations and figure out just what they have to do. The Association offers members an HR legal hotline, providing up to 30 minutes a month of free consultations with an attorney from Jackson Lewis. Similarly, NJBIA’s Member Action Center can track down answers to specific questions posed by members, and the new Municipal Assistance Program can help businesses with local regulations.