Sarlo ‘Main Street Business Assistance Program’ Bill Advances

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Paul A. Sarlo which would establish the “Main Street Business Assistance Program” to support local small and mid-sized businesses in the State was approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today by a vote of 9-0, with 4 abstentions.

“During this time of nearly unprecedented economic crisis, we need to encourage small and mid-sized businesses to continue to invest in our communities and expand economic development in the Garden State,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic, and Vice Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. “Without the continued support of our business industry – and especially small and mid-sized businesses – our communities would crumble, unable to meet infrastructure needs or provide jobs for a willing workforce. Our economic salvation during the current national recession is going to come in the form of small and mid-sized business growth and continued local economic growth.”

The bill, S-4, would appropriate $50 million from the Surplus Revenue Fund to the Economic Recovery Fund to establish the “Main Street Business Assistance Program.” The program is designed to provide loans and guarantees to small and mid-size businesses and not-for-profit corporations to encourage community investment and grow the State’s economy during the current national economic crisis. Under the bill, the program would be administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) for a period of two years, and would be required to promulgate emergency rules to expedite the implementation of the program.

“This program is specifically designed to encourage short-term business growth that will get us through the worst of our national economic crisis,” said Senator Sarlo. “Locally, our economies are composed of mom-and-pop shops, and mid-sized businesses which are built by New Jerseyans, and for New Jerseyans. These businesses need to be sheltered from the worst of the national crisis, and encouraged to expand, to make sure that we have a healthy and vibrant job climate for the future of the Garden State.”

The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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