More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and small businesses create approximately two-thirds of the country’s new private-sector jobs. At the same time, over half of new businesses face significant and unique challenges within the first five years.

In New Jersey, the N.J. Business Action Center (NJBAC) helps small businesses grow by offering them specialized support.  Specifically, the center offers a checklist for small business owners, covering everything from choosing a company name to payroll and taxation. 

Here are the four most important resources that the NJBAC provides to small business owners: 

  • Real-time mentoring assistance: The NJBAC call center is a readily available resource for business owners seeking immediate assistance for issues including:  financing and incentives programs, permitting and regulatory processes, and site selection services. Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday, NJBAC advocates respond to entrepreneurs within seconds, fielding an average of 600 calls per week.  Last year, the call center (1-866-534-7789) counseled over 30,000 businesses. Spanish-speaking advocates are available. 
  • Financing and incentive programs:  Need a business loan to finance an expansion?  There are a variety of financing options available to businesses through the N.J. Economic Development Authority and community-based micro-lending organizations. NJBAC can identify the specific programs for which a business may be eligible — saving entrepreneurs valuable time. Furthermore, it assists with credit repair services to help position a favorable application process.
  • Export assistance:  Are you interested in marketing your business internationally? For exporting basics, regulatory compliance, customs procedures, grants and more,  NJBAC can put small businesses in touch with a team of International advocates who can help lay the groundwork for global success. Specifically, companies can apply for funding for international marketing initiatives including trade shows and translation costs through the NJ STEP grant program; click here for more details: NJSTEP.NJ.GOV.
  • “Resources for Business Growth” events:  Throughout the year, the NJBAC hosts events that match business owners with state and county representatives and community partners to learn more about available resources.  Next week, NJ BAC representatives will attend the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey’s event in Saddle Brook, NJ, offering small businesses the opportunity to meet face-to-face and receive direct consultation.

“Business owners are on the job every day and are often too busy to come to our offices in Trenton,” said Lauren Moore, NJBAC executive director.  “We frequently travel across the state to provide information on the resources we offer to help our state’s businesses succeed.”

For a full calendar of upcoming events, visit: https://www.njsbdc.com/ 

Don Newman is director of Small Business Advocacy at New Jersey Business Action Center.