Efforts are being ramped up to help small business across the Garden State.

According to Tim Sullivan, the chief executive officer of the NJ Economic Development Authority, the EDA has rolled out several programs over the past few months to complement efforts that are underway to assist smaller companies.

He said the Access program “is a new $15 million pool of capital to support lending to small businesses because small businesses still report very significant barriers, including a lack of capital to help grow and sustain their businesses.”

He pointed out the EDA also maintains a network of 26 lenders in the state.

“We call it the Premier Lender program where we essentially have an expedited approval process if a bank isn’t able to do the full size of the loan, EDA is able to come in for a piece of it, therefore provide more capital," he said.

“Just last week we announced and our board approved the expansion of a program that supports bringing more small businesses to distressed downtown commercial districts that need the investment in eight different communities across the state.”

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is an independent agency that finances small and mid-sized businesses, administers tax incentives to retain and grow jobs, helps to revitalize communities through redevelopment initiatives, and supports entrepreneurial development by helping to provide access to training and mentoring programs.

Sullivan said the EDA is also working with a technical assistance contractor to provide expanded classes, training and mentorships to small businesses all across the state.

Sullivan said these programs are being offered because small businesses “represent a huge chunk of both the establishments that are in existence in New Jersey and a significant portion of the jobs that are created.”

He said a wide range of different small businesses contribute a very significant amount to the state economy.

“What we want to do is provide both technical assistance and be a resource to help small businesses access other government programs or lending programs the EDA might maintain," he said.

"We’re trying to be more nimble and dynamic in standing up new programs that address gaps in the marketplace, whether it’s for minority-owned businesses or LGBT-owned businesses or veteran-owned businesses, women-owned businesses.”

For more information on these and other programs, you can visit www.njeda.com.

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