There’s an old business adage that says, “If you’re standing still, you’re falling behind” – and no one knows this more than an entrepreneur trying to grow a small business.
Yet, it’s hard to keep moving forward if you’re spending too much time dealing with regulatory setbacks on the home front, such as stalled municipal permits, nonconforming sign violations, or street parking regulations that chase away customers.
With 565 municipalities in New Jersey, each with its own rules, businesses must navigate a complex local regulatory environment. This is why NJBIA launched the Municipal Assistance Program (MAP), a new service available through our Member Action Center. The MAP provides members with a connection to find solutions for local zoning, permitting, rent control, traffic regulations and more. When further professional services are needed, a referral to a reputable firm can be provided, taking the guess work and legwork out of the equation.
The former executive director of the New Jersey League of Municipalities, Bill Dressel, Jr., is NJBIA’s lead consultant for the MAP. Bill’s many years of experience working with local officials makes him the ideal person to help our member companies traverse the maze of local regulations so they can keep their businesses moving forward.
The new MAP service broadens the mission of the Member Action Center, which, over the past year, has been helping members resolve state and federal regulatory issues.
NJBIA has the largest and most influential government affairs staff of any business organization in New Jersey. Our extensive government contacts have enabled the MAC to assist small businesses so they’re not bounced around from one government agency to another. Now, NJBIA is expanding this member benefit to include assistance with municipal hurdles.
Additional resources were created this past year through our partnership with the human resources law firm Jackson Lewis, which offers our members up to 30 minutes of free legal consultation monthly on “real time” employment issues. This is a great, quick “go-to” for our smaller businesses and sole proprietors, who often wear the hats of the CEO, CFO, COO and HR director, and do not have access to in-house legal counsel when personnel issues arise unexpectedly. Leveraging on this support is our Lawyer Referral Program for those more proactive and long-term human resource issues. Again, we are doing the legwork – finding the right experts so you don’t have to.
The MAC resolved more than 8,000 member issues in its first year, helping businesses successfully navigate complex laws related to employee leave, unemployment claims, procurement opportunities and more.
And we provided results. For example, when the state shut down a member company while it investigated an anonymous complaint made by a business competitor, NJBIA served as a liaison between the state and the company to help it reopen. When a builder encountered difficulty renewing his state contractor registration license, NJBIA looked into the holdup and resolved it quickly. When the owner of a small plumbing business told us he was looking for grant money to hire more staff, we provided him with a list of all the grants he was eligible for and the requirements for each.
From Fortune 500 companies to sole proprietors, all of our members can expect the same prompt, top-notch assistance on municipal issues that the MAC has been providing on federal and state issues. NJBIA members can reach the MAC at 1-800-499-4419, ext. 2, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us answer your questions or help resolve any regulatory issues that are keeping you from focusing on moving your business forward.