CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO SPUR SMALL BUSINESS LENDING AND JOB CREATION IN NEW JERSEY
TRENTON, NJ – Governor Chris Christie today announced that the State of New Jersey has been approved by the U.S. Department of Treasury for $33.8 million in funding through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), part of the federal Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, to encourage small business lending and job creation in the state. The intent of the SSBCI, which is to create jobs and strengthen state lending programs, mirrors New Jersey’s recent efforts to enhance its support of the state’s small business community.
“Small businesses are the job creating engines of New Jersey’s economy and we’ve made support for small business a top priority through targeted tax cuts, regulatory relief and lending programs,” said Governor Christie. “This funding being made available through the State Small Business Credit Initiative will strengthen our ongoing efforts to help small businesses succeed and grow in our state and create good paying, lasting jobs for New Jersey families.”
Governor Christie has made economic development a top priority by ensuring that New Jersey becomes a business-friendly state. Through the New Jersey Partnership for Action, under the direction of Lt. Governor Guadagno, the Christie Administration has implemented an aggressive economic development agenda, including overhauling state government’s regulatory system and reducing the red tape that stifles economic growth and imposes costs on businesses and citizens. The Governor’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget provided for $185 million in targeted, job creating business tax relief and incentives to spur growth. When fully phased in over 5 years, the Governor’s tax policy changes will provide $2.35 billion in job creating tax relief. By implementing these policies, Governor Christie has ensured that New Jersey will once again be “Open for Business.”
The funds from SSBCI will be received by the New Jersey Department of Treasury in three tranches over two years, based upon at least an 80-percent commitment of the first and then second distributions. Through a Memorandum of Understanding, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) will use the funds to deploy loans, credit guarantees and loan participations through its existing small business lending programs, and to make a venture capital investment. Funds will be targeted to small businesses, small manufacturers, and women and minority-owned enterprises, with a particular focus on businesses that are located in underserved communities throughout New Jersey.
As part of this effort, the EDA Board today took action to enhance its portfolio by expanding access to capital for small businesses. The Board approved an increase in the funding available through the EDA’s Fund for Community Economic Development (FCED) to support micro lenders, Community Development Financial Institutions and Urban Enterprise Zones that have a successful lending track record in their local communities. Under the “Loan to Lenders” component of the FCED, organizations with a successful EDA history will now be able to qualify for up to $750,000, an increase of $250,000 from what was previously available; new customers may qualify for up to $500,000. The loan term has been extended to up to 15 years, with interest-only payments for up to five years. Previously, terms were available for up to ten years, with interest-only payments for up to three years. Additionally, the use of funds has been expanded to also include lines of credit.
“As the state’s ‘bank for business,’ the EDA has a successful history of partnering with financial institutions to leverage its resources and ensure small businesses have access to the capital they need to remain and grow in New Jersey,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “By utilizing EDA’s existing partnerships within the lending community, New Jersey will be able to strengthen its current portfolio of assistance and help our small businesses secure the funds they need to expand and create jobs.”
For information on EDA’s small business programs, visit http://businesslending.njeda.com. To learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at www.NewJerseyBusiness.gov or call the Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789.