The U.S. Small Business Administration New Jersey district office reported that state small manufacturers received 72 loans backed by the SBA for a total of $59 million during the agency’s Fiscal Year 2019, the period of Oct. 1, 2018 thru Sept. 30, 2019.
According to SBA New Jersey District Director Al Titone, his office saw small manufacturers receive 7% more loans than they did in Fiscal Year 2018. “Small manufacturing is alive and well in New Jersey,” said Titone. “We’re seeing small manufacturers incorporating new technologies, working smarter, getting leaner and staying competitive.”
“As we celebrate National Manufacturing Day, it is important to note that SBA is playing a vital role in supporting manufacturers throughout the country and here in New Jersey,” said Titone. “Small Businesses account for 62% of all manufacturing in New Jersey, by employing slightly over 136,000 employees. The 72 loans that we approved this year to manufacturers helped to retain 892 jobs and create another 229 jobs around the state.”
According to SBA’s Office of Advocacy, there are a total of 13,545 small business manufacturers in New Jersey. Of those firms 6,647 employ between 1-499 employees. “What’s interesting is that 4,890 of those firms employ between 1-19 employees,” said Titone. “We’re talking the bulk of those manufacturers are extremely small and we’re not counting the other 6,989 firms that have no employees.”
The top five counties where small manufacturers received the most SBA loans were Bergen County with 8 loans for $10.4 million; Monmouth County with 8 loans for $3.8 million; Burlington County with 8 loans for $3.5 million; Camden County with 7 loans for $5.4 million and Essex County with 6 loans for $6.5 million.
In addition to the loans, SBA awarded $125,000 prize money to the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s (NJIT) Makerspace. That prize money earned in SBA’s MaTCH Competition will be used to provide an Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics Training program.
The program will consist of 22 meetings every Monday evening and Saturday morning from November 2019 thru February 2020 and is seeking:
“Last week SBA Regional Administrator Steve Bulger and I toured the NJIT Makerspace and were totally impressed by this premier manufacturing facility” said Titone. “Not only is this space dedicated to training students for future manufacturing jobs, existing manufacturers can also lease/rent space at a significant cost savings, helping them to develop prototypes while keeping their research and production costs down.”
“We realize that capital isn’t the only answer to keeping manufacturing going in New Jersey,” said Titone. “A big part of the solution will have to come from workforce development. Having enough qualified and trained workers for future job openings in the manufacturing sector is critical to the success of small manufacturers in the state. Partnerships, like the one we share with NJIT, will go a long way to changing the culture. I believe it is going to reinvigorate and strengthen manufacturing in New Jersey.
“Made in New Jersey still means something to our economy,” he added. “Despite some of the challenges small manufacturers face, they continue to be major contributors to job creation and the total gross state product here in New Jersey.”
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