America’s SBDC New Jersey Leads in Comprehensive Small Business Assistance Support

Once again, America’s SBDC New Jersey leads the way in supporting small businesses through one-on-one management consulting, training, loan packaging and other technical assistance to ensure that small businesses make headway to retain and create jobs in New Jersey.

Official statistics for 2014 show that this small 12-center non-profit program, which is part of a national network of SBDCs, provided one-on-one counseling for more than 5,200 small business clients, delivering more than 20,000 total counseling hours. The network’s client portfolio is split almost evenly with about 50 percent being established employer small businesses and pre-venture clients who aim at starting new businesses. The program also sponsored 618 training seminars on business development and growth topics around the state, with more than 7,500 attendees.

With the assistance that the network provided, its small business clients created and saved more than 15,000 jobs in 2014. The New Jersey Small Business Development Centers network helped facilitate more than $78 million in financing for its diverse client base from all industry sectors. In addition, 534 NJSBDC clients started a new business. The network’s clients conservatively generated almost a billion dollars in sales revenues returning approximately $50 million in sales tax revenues, notwithstanding additional business and income tax revenues to the state treasury.

“The program has a great return on investment,” says Brenda Hopper, chief executive officer and state director. “By helping small businesses, we deliver strong impact to the state’s economy.”

The program receives federal dollars on the basis of population through annual congressional appropriations but in order to obtain full federal funding, each state SBDC network must raise non-federal funding to match the federal amount dollar-for-dollar.

“In recent past surveys of SBDCs around the nation, New Jersey invests far lower amounts than the average $1.1 million that states allocate to their state SBDCs nationally,” said Deborah Smarth, chief operating officer and associate state director. “New Jersey should be doing more for its small businesses since they drive job creation.”

In recent past studies of the non-partisan Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C., New Jersey ranked last among the states in terms of its business tax climate. The most recent Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC) study indicated that New Jersey ranked 49th in terms of its small business policy friendliness.

“In light of these latest studies, New Jersey should be leading the way for more small business support,” Hopper said.

“Our experts help small businesses cut costs and find efficiencies so in that way they can bring their costs down in operating productive businesses,” said Smarth. “New Jersey is a high cost state for doing business, but we’re helping our clients to compensate for that environment.”

America’s SBDC New Jersey, on behalf of the thousands of small businesses it serves annually, calls on New Jersey’s state government to provide greater support for small business assistance since in-depth assistance has a strong return on investment in business retention, expansion, and the generation of jobs. Governor Chris Christie will be proposing his state budget to the state legislature next week.

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