EDA STRENGTHENS LENDING PROGRAMS, FORMS NEW PARTNERSHIPS TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS
Action Demonstrates Christie Administration’s Commitment to Growing Small Businesses in the Garden State
TRENTON, N.J. (Dec. 13, 2011) – In support of the Christie Administration’s commitment to economic growth and entrepreneurial development, the Board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) today took action on four items to further support small business development and encourage job creation in the state. This included doubling the EDA’s line of credit guarantee assistance from $250,000 to $500,000; increasing the number of banks from 15 to 44 that can participate in a new Premier Lenders banking program to expedite loan approvals; and awarding contracts to two firms to provide greater access to technical assistance for small, women and minority-owned businesses in New Jersey.
“The Christie Administration’s message has been clear from the start – we must provide small businesses with the tools they need to create jobs and help drive New Jersey’s economy forward,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Caren S. Franzini. “With today’s action, we have strengthened our capacity to lend and increased our ability to offer critical support to entrepreneurs by utilizing our strong partnerships with New Jersey’s banking community and technical assistance providers.”
Among the actions taken today, the Board voted to double the line of credit guarantee available through the Main Street Business Assistance Program from $250,000 to $500,000. The program provides financial support to commercial banks in New Jersey to assist in offering loans, guarantees and line of credit guarantees to small businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Additionally, the Board voted to reduce the interest rate for the program from 5-percent fixed to the Five Year U.S. Treasury plus 300 basis points with a 3-percent floor, fixed at closing.
The Board also voted to launch a new Premier Lenders program to be more responsive to the needs of businesses and bank partners. The new program will help to expedite approvals for small business loans and increase activity with all of the EDA’s banking partners. The streamlined loan approval process involves the EDA reviewing finance applications within five days, the result of which speeds the flow of capital to growing businesses in the state. Quick turnaround time from approval to closing provides a strong incentive for borrowers, while the EDA’s exposure by participating in or guaranteeing a portion of a loan reduces the lender’s risk.
To expand support of technical assistance for small, women and minority owned businesses in New Jersey, the EDA has dedicated two one-year, $25,000 awards to Rising Tide Capital, Inc. and the Latin American Economic Development Association (LAEDA). Rising Tide Capital is a not-for-profit organization focused on improving communities and lives by providing a variety of services to women, minority and immigrant entrepreneurs in Hudson and Essex counties. LAEDA is a not-for-profit organization that began its entrepreneurial training in 1990 and will help residents start small businesses and expand existing ones in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties. The EDA award compliments a $100,000 grant LAEDA received from the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development at the Department of State. The purpose of the grant is to provide technical assistance and grow Hispanic enterprises in economically distressed communities.
“Outreach to this very early stage entrepreneur in targeted communities will provide the skills, tools and information they need to start and grow into successful micro-enterprises,” Franzini said. “Our goal is to provide the necessary support to help these entrepreneurs sustain their families and build their own business, while also strengthening their communities.”
The EDA serves as New Jersey’s “bank for business” as part of the Christie Administration’s New Jersey Partnership for Action, a three-pronged public-private approach to economic development and the starting point for all initiatives, policies and efforts to grow the state’s economy and create quality, sustainable jobs in our communities. Through the New Jersey Partnership for Action, EDA works in conjunction with the Business Action Center, which reports directly to Lieutenant Governor Guadagno and provides the business community with a single point of contact, applying a proactive, customer-service approach to businesses’ interactions with state government, and Choose New Jersey, an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation created to encourage and nurture economic growth throughout the state.
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.