A recent, past survey of SBDCs nationally indicated that the average state investment in SBDCs stands at $1.1 million. New Jersey falls significantly below that average. States like Georgia and North Carolina with a similar size population as New Jersey invest $3.0 million and more than $2.0 million respectively.
The New Jersey Small Business Development Centers network continues to advocate for restoration of its State Government match funding since the program brings back to New Jersey $3 million dollars in federal funding to provide comprehensive assistance for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
That state match is critical along with other non-federal funds it raises to obtain full federal funding for small business assistance services in all 21 counties.
Small business clients from around the state readily acknowledge that the guidance and knowledge they receive through this program has helped them stay in business, develop and grow. They are pushing for the State Legislature to allocate more resources. During 2014, 534 NJSBDC clients started a new business and the NJSBDC network helped its clients create and save 15,089 jobs. The network counseled and trained more than 12,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Clients maintain that this program is simply returning services they are already pre-paying for through the large amount of federal and state taxes they pay. “If the larger companies receive all sorts of tax incentives, grants and other subsidies, why isn’t the State of New Jersey providing the proper investment level for small business assistance through the NJSBDC program?” said Deborah Smarth, NJSBDC chief operating officer-associate state director. “After all, small businesses create the bulk of the jobs.”
During the last administration, the network received $1 million in state allocation, but, due to executive action, it was reduced to $500,000 even after the Legislature’s efforts to restore the full one million. Then mid-fiscal year, the Corzine administration froze the program to $250,000 which is where it is today. The Christie administration in its first year had tried to eliminate that modest funding level, but, the Legislature restored the funding and the $250,000 allocation has been stable for the past few years and the Governor’s proposed budget for 2015-2016 allocates the same level.
RELATED: NJSBDC Press Release – Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Receive Boost (7/1/2015)