NJEDA Establishes Small Business Unit

To help advance a key component of Gov. Phil Murphy’s comprehensive economic plan, the NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) announced it has realigned operations to better foster a dynamic, supportive environment for the state’s entrepreneurs and small businesses, including the creation of a new dedicated small business unit. This follows other recent efforts of the NJEDA focused on increasing access to growth capital for historically underrepresented businesses.

The EDA’s new small business unit is charged with providing financial, workforce, and technical support to the state’s small business community with a focus on historically underrepresented businesses and the organizations serving these enterprises.
“Making government work better is a pillar of Governor Murphy’s stronger and fairer economic plan, and the NJEDA is continuing to take steps to ensure that we are able to provide the most comprehensive and accessible assistance to small businesses in communities across the State,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan. “The NJEDA’s new small business unit will allow us to meaningfully engage with a broader group of stakeholders, and provide a dedicated resource entirely focused on creating new economic opportunities and strengthening communities.”  
To more efficiently and effectively reach target communities and sectors, the NJEDA also announced it is shifting its business development efforts to a geographic approach. The regional approach will help to maximize the NJEDA’s interaction with its diverse array of customers and stakeholders, including businesses and communities. 

Among the new resources that will be marketed to small businesses, the NJEDA announced last week that applications are now open for the $15 million Access Program. Access offers low-cost financing in the form of direct loans or loan participation and guarantees, providing more flexibility to businesses by placing greater emphasis on cash-flow with less reliance on hard collateral. In addition, the NJEDA acted to enhance its existing Premier Lender and direct lending programs, tripling the NJEDA’s loan term and amortization to 30 years and allowing for fixed interest rates for up to 30 years. 
Sullivan noted that the NJEDA is continuing to identify new and innovative ways to assist small businesses in support of Gov. Murphy’s economic development plan goals. This includes exploring more effective delivery models for technical assistance and identifying enhanced partnership opportunities with Community Development Financial Institutions.

The NJCUL met with senior EDA staff in September to explore existing resources available to credit unions as well as potential new programs. The discussion is ongoing.
Additional information about EDA resources for small businesses is available at njeda.com.