James Cobb

How NJBIA Membership Benefits Your Business

Association goes the extra mile for companies of all sizes with robust advocacy and benefits.

It has been said that prosperity is a great teacher. 

And one of the big lessons to be learned on the way to success is to use all of the tools at your disposal to make it happen.

The New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), the state’s largest business association, provides its members with a wide range of exclusive benefits and programs, on top of the powerful advocacy it advances every day on behalf of New Jersey businesses. So, when NJBIA President and CEO Michele N. Siekerka is told by member businesses how they took advantage of the organization’s offerings to get ahead, it makes her day.

“We have a lot of tools in the toolbox, so I’m thrilled when I hear how something we provide turns into tangible results or just makes life easier for our members,” Siekerka says. “What we try to do from there is take those great stories and relay them to the members who maybe aren’t taking full advantage of everything we have to offer.”

Member Appreciation

At the hub of NJBIA’s benefits is its Member Action Center (MAC), which provides extensive government contacts and legal, municipal and business assistance. NJBIA members can call a toll-free number to get guidance or information on urgent business issues, or receive answers to basic or complex questions like, “How do I appeal an unemployment claim,” or “How do I comply with the federal Affordable Care Act?”

The MAC is also the home of the NJBIA Free Legal Hotline where NJBIA members are allotted 30 minutes of free legal consultation on employee related issues monthly. Members can also get to resolve difficult business issues with municipal officials through NJBIA’s Municipal Assistance Program.

“These are valuable services because we receive a lot of positive feedback,” Siekerka says. “All different types of members take advantage of these services from the sole proprietor to the Fortune 500 company.”

Other MAC benefits include access to networking events, exclusive webinars and human relations seminars, and regularly updated Fast Facts – which address a host of business-related issues. Another signature offering is access to NJBIA’s online Member-to-Member Marketplace, which provides searchable business listings available to all members.

“We know how expensive it is to run a business in New Jersey, so we have taken care to provide a full menu of money-saving opportunities for businesses,” Siekerka notes. These include deeply-discounted and quality shipping, payment technology, access to capital, energy management and office supply programs. NJBIA members are eligible to apply for personal and commercial auto insurance, renters and homeowners insurance and workers’ compensation insurance through NJM. NJBIA also provides access to state-mandated disability insurance to its members through Arch Insurance.

Health Kick

The latest benefit for NJBIA members may be the most valuable. NJBIA has partnered with Association Master Trust (AMT) to offer access to a comprehensive group health benefits solution with all the advantages of network services and modern claims administration, but at much lower costs.

AMT offers PPOs, HMOs, EPOs and Direct Access plans as well as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) through the NJBIA Health Benefits Plan. Healthcare coverage is provided through Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Delta Dental. Life insurance benefits are also available. About 1,550 employers participate in AMT. The largest has approximately 1,200 employees, but the very smallest companies and even sole proprietors can participate.

“In response to our annual member survey, we continually hear from our members that healthcare costs are the No. 1 business concern today,” says NJBIA Chief Business Relations Officer Wayne Staub. “This is something NJBIA has been working on for many years, and we were able to bring it to a conclusion and offer a benefit that I think is outstanding. We’re rolling this out this fall and we’re seeing a lot of enthusiasm for this product.”

For Your Information

Keeping NJBIA members updated on issues impacting their business is critical. To do so, NJBIA provides access to practical, online information and strategies to deal with New Jersey laws and regulations. A subscription to New Jersey Business magazine and the daily New Jersey Business Today newsletter – often providing statewide business news before it makes headlines – is also included.

Networking is also a big piece of the NJBIA membership puzzle. NJBIA hosts more than 100 events and seminars annually, most of them featuring business leaders, industry peers and government decision makers.

For those concerned about state business policies, NJBIA offers participation in online Issue Communities. Community members can discuss legislation involving businesses. There are also Employer Legislative Committee (ELC) meetings in every county throughout the year. The ELCs were first established by NJBIA in 1959. Business owners can discuss important issues with legislators, cabinet members or local officials, not to mention NJBIA government affairs experts, all in an intimate setting.

In Your Corner

It is NJBIA’s advocacy that represents members’ greatest benefit. NJBIA’s lobbyist and research department works exclusively for its members. The issue areas forcing employment and labor policy, education and workforce development, health affairs, taxation and economic development, manufacturing, energy and environment, innovation and technology and legal affairs.

While specific issues in each area vary, the overall mission of NJBIA’s Government Affairs staff, led by Chief Government Affairs Officer Melanie Willoughby, is to fight legislation that increases the cost of doing business and rally for new laws that will help New Jersey businesses grow.

In 2016, NJBIA enhanced the state’s economic climate by fighting for the prevention of cost-increasing policies, such as the $15 minimum wage, mandatory paid sick leave and a constitutional amendment to fund the state pension as a super priority before all other budget priorities.

“The power in the relationships we’ve established with lawmakers over years and decades is truly our greatest strength,” Siekerka says. “Everything we do is behind thousands of hours of data-driven research and analysis. With that, we’re able to give member businesses perhaps the biggest tool in the toolbox – a voice to be reckoned with.”


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