Small Business

Small Business Guide: State and Federal Agencies

This profile on four leading government sponsored organizations reveals the exceptional resources available to New Jersey small businesses and entrepreneurs to help boost their respective trajectories towards success.

NJ Small Business Development Center|973-353-1927

The New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) is the premier provider of strategic, growth-focused business training and technical assistance services to established small businesses and start-up entrepreneurs in New Jersey.

Established in 1977, the NJSBDC was one of the first national SBDC pilot programs, which justified to Congress the need for robust small business assistance and guidance in communities across the country. The NJSBDC network comprises a state office at Rutgers Business School in Newark and 11 full-service regional centers across 21 counties. It also operates an additional 28 affiliate (or satellite) offices located throughout New Jersey. Regional centers are hosted by – and affiliated with – a two or four-year college or university business program.

Each center provides management consulting, training and other technical assistance to established small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. We hire expert business consultants to provide guidance and valuable insights at no cost, covering a vast array of needs.

The NJSBDC also works with more than 50 economic development stakeholders to ensure each business owner has the resources and support needed to succeed in today’s climate. We recently developed a Capital Team to help streamline the financing process for targeted businesses and launched the “Not-So-Small Business” podcast and webcast to provide essential and relevant information and insights to the business community.

Since early 2020, the NJSBDC network has counseled more than 11,000 small and mid-sized business owners, helped create and retain more than 7,800 jobs, trained more than 15,000 people on various business management skills, and attained $85 million in capital formation.

To learn more about the NJSBDC, please go to To become a small business client, go to

—Kelly Brozyna, CEO & State Director

NJ Business Action Center (NJBAC)  1-800-JERSEY-7

The New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC) is a business-first resource that can help you get answers from government agencies, all at no cost and strictly confidential. Located within the New Jersey Department of State, NJBAC is a business advocacy team dedicated to solving problems, providing resources, and maximizing growth opportunities for businesses of all sizes.

NJBAC’s business advocacy experts provide start-up and existing businesses with assistance in site planning and technical support, guidance and direction in professional licensing, business certification, procurement opportunities, workforce development, identifying funding sources, and more. In addition, they can assist with facilitating responses from government or regulatory agencies, directing businesses to appropriate officials, or providing updates about new legislation and statutory changes affecting businesses.

Experts at the Office of Small Business Advocacy focus on serving the needs of New Jersey’s small business community.

NJBAC’s Office of Export Promotion team works with companies to develop exporting plans to reach new global markets. The team also administers the New Jersey State Trade Expansion Program (NJ STEP) grants, which fund participation in trade shows and other export-related programs. Funded in part by the Small Business Administration (SBA), NJ STEP provides financial awards to eligible domestic small businesses to export their goods and services to other countries.

The New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission (NJMPTVC) works with production companies and New Jersey municipalities to encourage the use of Garden State locations to film commercials, movies, television shows, and other digital media.

NJBAC encourages businesses to take advantage of the free and valuable service and helpful guidance offered by its team of business experts. A dedicated team operates the popular Business Helpline at 1-800-JERSEY-7 and the online Live Chat feature on New Jersey’s business-friendly website, The Helpline and Live Chat are facilitated by trained business experts weekly from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

—Melanie Willoughby, Executive Director

NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA)|(844) 965-1125

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), the Garden State’s primary agency driving economic growth, is armed with a strong reform package known as the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act (ERA) of 2020, which Gov. Phil Murphy signed in 2021. It provides the NJEDA with the resources necessary to build programs and drive transformative change that uplifts communities, supports small businesses, and create new opportunities for everyone.

One of the ERA’s initiatives is the $150 million Main Street Recovery Program, which supports the growth and success of small businesses with a variety of offerings. The Small Business Lease Grant delivers grants to eligible businesses entering new or amended leases, and the Small Business Improvement Grant provides funds to reimburse qualified businesses for a portion of the costs associated with improvements and/or the purchase or installation of furniture and fixtures.

Combined, more than 500 businesses have received more than $13 million in grants through these products since October 2021. Meanwhile, the Main Street Lenders Grant offers New Jersey-based community development financial institutions, minority depository institutions, and other eligible lenders up to $1 million to create new or supplemental existing business loan products.

The Micro Business Loan – launching soon – will help the state’s smallest businesses overcome some of the longstanding hurdles associated with accessing capital. Forty percent of program funding for all these products is set aside to support businesses and nonprofits in Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts.

The NJEDA also contracts with the African American Chamber of Commerce (AACCNJ) and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SHCCNJ) to administer the Small Business Bonding Readiness Assistance Program. This program provides small-, minority-, and women-owned businesses with the educational tools needed to compete for state and federal government contracts through a series of workshops and strategic counseling sessions.

In addition to these, the NJEDA continues to offer traditional lending products, including low-cost financing such as direct, low-interest loans, and loans in partnership with more than two-dozen banks. Tax-exempt bond financing is also available for manufacturing companies.

—Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer

US Small Business Administration|973-645-2434

New Jersey small businesses have played a key role in our economic recovery and will continue to play a role as we work to achieve a strong and stable economy. The main conduit to this has been the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Our agency delivered $42.2 billion in SBA-backed loans and awards to New Jersey small businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

These businesses saw an influx of $26.6 billion in loans funded by private dollars and guaranteed by the federal government through the forgivable Paycheck Protection Program. That’s in addition to more than 133,000 COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advances totaling $15.3 billion.

The SBA is working to meet today’s challenges and the vestiges of what COVID has left in its wake. The agency provides small businesses and entrepreneurs with access to capital, even if they do not have a pre-established relationship with a lender. Just visit, describe your needs and get matched with potential lenders who are interested in your loan. Once you speak with them, you can apply and submit applications and paperwork. Like our marquee Paycheck Protection Program, each of these traditional funding options are offered directly by SBA-participating lenders using private funds. The SBA guarantees the loan to mitigate the lenders’ risk.

A former administrator frequently called the SBA “America’s best kept secret.” Well, the cat is out of the bag – everyone knows about the SBA – and we intend to ensure that we continue to meet your needs.

The SBA is committed to providing the capital, counseling, contracting assistance, and other support to help small businesses thrive and strengthen the resiliency of supply chains. Reach out to the SBA New Jersey District at 973-645-2434 or via e-mail at for more information or to see how we can best help you start, grow and expand.

—John M. Blackstock, SBA New Jersey District Director

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

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