TRENTON, N.J. – Governor Phil Murphy signed three bills into law to support New Jersey small businesses.
The legislation, signed on Monday, March 20, 2023, enhances the customer service experience at the New Jersey Business Action Center by establishing a publicly available small business manual and collecting and disseminating customer assistance metrics and information. In addition, a cure period will now be allowed for businesses to address and resolve certain violations.
Together, these bills will make life easier for small business owners while bolstering New Jersey’s standing as an attractive place for starting and growing a business, according to a prepared statement.
“Today we underscore once again that economic opportunity is abundant and accessible in New Jersey, especially for the small businesses that line our main streets and undergird our local communities,” said Governor Murphy, in a statement. “I thank Assembly Speaker Coughlin for leading the preparation of this comprehensive bill package, which will ensure that we continue to respond to the needs and concerns of small business owners as effectively as possible. This legislation will enable us to attract, retain, and inspire small businesses to expand in a state that remains at the national forefront of economic vitality and innovation.”
“The Business Action Center exists to help New Jersey companies navigate how state government rules and resources impact their operations,” said New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “This legislation strengthens the Business Action Center and ensures that it is responsive to the needs of the constituents we serve.”
“Helping New Jersey’s small businesses thrive and grow was one of the top priorities we identified at the outset of this session. These bills are essential to our efforts. We thank the Governor for signing these bills,” said Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin. “We also appreciate the valuable insights provided by business leaders to the Assembly members who crafted this legislation. From mom-and-pop shops to our tech start-ups, small businesses contribute to the unique and defining character that make New Jersey communities the kinds of places people want to live and raise a family.”
“As inflationary pressures and other economic uncertainties continue to linger for business owners in New Jersey, the last thing they need to worry about is a steep fine or punishment for a minor, often unintentional violation. This law [A-4753/S-3208] will give them a little breathing room and reasonable extra time to come into full compliance,” said Senator Vin Gopal.
“The Business Action Center provides invaluable guidance to business owners throughout the State,” said Senator Fred Madden. “This law would identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Center in responding to customer inquiries and formulate trainings or strategies to improve the services provided. Enhancing customer service will ensure that business owners are maximizing available resources.”
“Starting a small business and making a go of it, especially in that first year, can be daunting,” said Senator Andrew Zwicker. “Given our uncertain economic climate, even the most well thought out business plans can go awry. Fortunately though, there is useful information available to help new businesses navigate those challenges and gain a solid foothold for future success.”
“For small business owners, the fines associated with minor violations can be a significant setback,” said Assemblyman Roy Freiman. “By giving businesses the opportunity to fix harmless mistakes without being subjected to penalties, we make good on our commitment to create an environment that attracts new businesses to our State and allows those already here to prosper.”
“Being a good steward of taxpayer money means we need to maximize our investments into programs, like the Small Business Improvement Grant,” said Assemblyman Paul Moriarty.
For more information about New Jersey Business Action Center, visit https://nj.gov/state/bac/ or call the Business Helpline at 1-800-Jersey-7 (1-800-537-7397) or request a meeting at https://www.nj.gov/state/bac/request-a-meeting.shtml