Trenton – In an effort to foster the growth of minority-owned businesses around the state, the Senate today passed legislation sponsored by Senators Troy Singleton and M. Teresa Ruiz aimed at supporting their development.
“The Federal Reserve found that by the end of April about 50 percent of all minority-owned businesses had closed permanently due to economic hardships brought on by the pandemic. Historically, many minority-owned businesses have been left out of government assistance programs,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “As we rebuild the state’s economy, we must ensure the recovery is inclusive and equitable by putting policies in place that will give these minority-owned businesses an opportunity to thrive.”
“For far too long, state and federal programs have left behind minority-owned businesses, contributing to the wealth gap we see today,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “As we work towards achieving equity in our society, it is important we think critically about the opportunities we are affording our small business owners and entrepreneurs. This legislation will provide meaningful assistance to foster the growth and success of minority-owned businesses.”
The bill, S-2769, would establish the “Minority Business Development Program” within the Economic Development Authority (EDA). The bill would also appropriate $50 million in federal funds to the EDA for the new initiative. The program would provide grant funding and technical assistance services to nurture the development of minority-owned businesses in New Jersey.
The bill is part of a larger bill package introduced by Senator Singleton last summer to support minority, women-owned and rural businesses, in addition to improving relationships between them and other established small businesses and state and local governments.
The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 30-1.