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NJEDA Issues Request for Ideas and Best Practices to Assist Small Businesses

Continuing its efforts to better foster a dynamic, supportive environment for New Jersey’s entrepreneurs and small businesses, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced that it is seeking ideas and best practices to identify more effective delivery models for technical assistance to support growing companies in the state. This action helps to advance key goals outlined in Governor Phil Murphy’s economic development plan and follows other recent efforts of the NJEDA focused on increasing access to growth capital for historically underrepresented businesses, including a new dedicated small business unit and the creation of the $15 million Access Program, which offers low-cost financing in the form of direct loans or loan participation and guarantees.

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), other local lenders, and community and business organizations are encouraged to respond to the Request for Ideas (RFI) via Assistance may take the form of entrepreneurial assessment tools and training, topical workshops, business mentoring, resources, referrals, or marketing and outreach. The purpose of this RFI is to collect facts, information, and ideas that will help the NJEDA better understand the current marketplace for these services, including innovative and best practices.

“Small and mid-sized businesses are a primary driver of New Jersey’s economy, and the NJEDA, in alignment with Governor Phil Murphy’s plan for a stronger and fairer New Jersey, recognizes the importance of supporting, developing, and financing emerging and expanding businesses in New Jersey,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan. “We welcome new and innovative ideas and encourage respondents to think creatively about how to help today’s businesses overcome obstacles to growth and achieve success in this competitive market.”

Responses to the RFI should address how the respondent would develop and deliver a continuum of technical assistance services that support the diverse and varying needs of businesses across the commonly recognized stages of business growth lifecycles, which according to the National League of Cities, are as follows:

  • Self-employed (startups): The earliest stage of development, where aspiring entrepreneurs are attempting to turn a good idea into a business.
  • Stage One (microbusinesses): Commonly referred to as “mom and pop”, these businesses are experiencing young growth and are focused on building a market share and customer base, developing a product or service, and securing financing to address startup costs and/or expansion
  • Stage Two: Second stage companies have a proven product, established a niche in the marketplace, and are ready to begin expanding and hiring more employees.

Respondents may also consider approaches to Technical Assistance that account for geographic regions and specific industries across the state.

“This RFI represents another step in the NJEDA’s efforts to better understand the needs of businesses and adapt in ways that are relevant and nurturing,” said NJEDA Senior Vice President of Finance & Development Lori Matheus. “We look forward to learning about fresh ideas and innovative concepts for supporting New Jersey’s small businesses.”

Potential RFI respondents are welcome to submit clarifying questions to [email protected] by 11:59 PM EST, January 4, 2019. Answers to these questions will be publicly posted on the Authority’s website on or about January 8, 2019. Complete responses to the RFI are due by January 31, 2019 on or before 11:59 PM EST. The RFI is available at

Responses to this RFI may be used to prepare a subsequent Request for Qualifications and Proposal (RFQ/P) in which price and other factors will be considered in making a contract award to provide technical assistance. Should the NJEDA move forward an issue a RFQ/P, a bidder need not have submitted a response to the RFI.

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