Legislation to create a state Small Business Loan Program to provide low interest loans to New Jersey small businesses that commit to increase their workforce was approved by the Assembly Monday and sent to Gov. Chris Christie for consideration.
The proposal (S-3052) would direct the state Economic Development Authority to establish the program and provide 2 percent or lower interest loans of up to $250,000 to small businesses which commit to increase employment levels by at least 10 percent within the next four years. The loans could be used for capital purchases, employee training and salaries for new positions.
In order to be eligible, a small business must be independently owned and operated; be for-profit with a place of business located in the state; be primarily operated within the state; not be dominant in its field; employ less than 100 full-time employees; have not raised $10 million or more in equity financing; and have not received $10 million or more in financing from any source.
The loan program would be self-sufficient and based upon loan repayments, and not require the state to incur any cost.
“By providing low interest loans to New Jersey’s small businesses, we have real potential to create new jobs and stimulate the growth of small businesses and the economy throughout the state,” Sen, Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic), a co-sponsor, said. “Small businesses have been hit hard during these tough economic times and are finding it difficult to obtain financing to expand their workforces. This program will provide these businesses, who want to help employ New Jerseyans, an option for financing.”
“With unemployment still over 9 percent, we would not only help small businesses looking to expand, but would also create new jobs and opportunities for many of New Jersey’s unemployed,” Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) the other co-sponsor, added. “By increasing their workforces by 10 percent, these small businesses are helping to revitalize our economy and put New Jerseyans back to work.”
The bill previously passed the Senate 39-0.
— TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM