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$4M NJEDA Program Has Helped 150+ Small Businesses Expand Online Presence

Earlier this year, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) launched a new $4 million pilot program that provides free e-commerce and digital marketing consulting services to New Jersey small businesses. Since the Small Business E-Commerce Support Program launched, the NJEDA has connected 152 small businesses to consulting firms, representing over $1.1 million in assistance. To date, 76% of the funding has supported minority-owned small businesses. The program aims to help small businesses adapt to the growing e-commerce economy, which has boomed since the pandemic.

The program offers up to $11,400 in consulting services to eligible restaurants, retailers, and personal care businesses to assist with web page design and development, online ordering implementation, online appointment booking implementation, e-commerce design and development, and online marketing plan development. Restaurants and personal care businesses can receive up to $11,400 in consulting services, while retail stores can receive up to $10,800.

Francis Henri, a baby boutique located in Westfield, was able to launch a brand-new website with the services provided by the Small Business E-Commerce Support Program. The baby boutique sells high quality clothing and accessories from international brands in Europe, the United Kingdom, and Australia. On the businesses new website, customers can browse, shop, place orders, and have it shipped nationwide.

“With the help of the NJEDA’s Small Business E-Commerce Support Program, we have a brand-new, highly professional, user-friendly website that will help us grow our business,” said Francis Henri owner Katherine Oyer. “Our consultants were so patient and diligent and asked the right questions to ensure our needs and priorities were met. I cannot think of anything they could have done differently to make us happier.”

The Small Business E-Commerce Support Program also helped Robin’s Nest Restaurant revamp their website. Although the Mount Holly-based restaurant, bakery, and catering service had a well-constructed website, the consulting firm helped the business add Google search words and social media to their website in order to increase traffic, and the owners learned how to use analytics to track success.

“We were fortunate enough to be included in the NJEDA’s highly beneficial Small Business E-Commerce Support Program,” said Audrey Winzinger, Marketing Manager of Robin’s Nest Restaurant. “We were paired with a consulting firm that was able to help us promote the three distinct aspects of our business – restaurant, catering, and bakery. The services provided were worth thousands and will serve us well for years to come. We are grateful to the NJEDA for the opportunity.”

Through a competitive selection process, the NJEDA has contracted with seven consulting firms to provide e-commerce and digital marketing services to small businesses until the funding is exhausted. Interested businesses should contact the consulting firm of their choice directly.

The firms include:

  • Beyond Media Global, Paramus
  • eGrove Systems Corporation, East Brunswick
  • Masterpiece Advertising, Atlantic City
  • New Frontier, Millburn
  • Positive Solutions, Robbinsville
  • Tara Dowdell Group, Jersey City
  • 360 Marketing and PR, Camden

Small businesses interested in the program can click here to learn more.

This program is funded by the Main Street Recovery Finance Program, which was established under the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA). The ERA created over 15 programs, including the $200 million Main Street Recovery Program. Since the Main Street Recovery Program launched in October 2021, the NJEDA made nearly 4,000 approvals for grants, loans, and technical assistance for small businesses totaling $132 million. 45 percent of Main Street funding has supported minority- and/or women-owned small businesses. The Small Business E-Commerce Support Program is the fifth pilot program the NJEDA approved under the Main Street Recovery Finance Program.

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