HAMILTON, NJ -- Legislation sponsored by Hamilton Assemblyman Daniel Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex) to help small businesses facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic was passed by the Assembly Appropriations Committee Monday. The measure would establish a State program that would provide relief to small businesses through a tax deferral program. 

 "We want small business owners and their employees to make it to the other side of this pandemic securely with their companies intact. That is why we must act quickly to provide this assistance," said Benson. 

"This pandemic has been financially disastrous for the vast majority of small businesses throughout the country, with more than 70 percent of owners being 'very concerned' about its impact and at least half reporting an inability to stay in business for more than a month or two - back in April," said Benson.  "New Jersey businesses are no exception, as our state has been hit harder by the current public health crisis than almost anywhere else in America. It is critical for the survival of our small business community that we provide financial relief wherever and however we can."

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Under Assembly Bill 4030 (A-4030), an Employment and Business-Related Tax Deferral Assistance Program would be created within the Economic Development Authority (EDA). The Program would help New Jersey businesses with 10 employees or less encountering financial issues as a result of lost revenue, supply chain disruptions, reduced hours, limited employee availability or having to shut down altogether because of the pandemic.

Businesses that apply and are approved for the program would be permitted to defer the payment of applicable employment and business-related taxes such as the sales and use tax, motor fuels tax, gross income tax and more. These businesses would then have until June 30, 2021 to pay 50 percent of the deferred taxes and until one year after that to pay the remainder of the deferred taxes.

"By allowing eligible small businesses to defer tax payments for the time being, we can offer some relief as they seek out ways to fulfill other financial obligations," said Benson.  "Stipulating that businesses must do everything in their power to keep employees on the payroll in order to receive this assistance will also help ensure that one of their most important obligations - paying employees - remains a priority in these unstable times."

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