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Legislation

New and revised legislations affect every type of OCNJ business. Stay current on the newest laws and regulations pertaining to OCNJ commerce with these legislation reports.

Friday, January 15, 2021

SBA Re-Opening Paycheck Protection Program to All Eligible Lenders

The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, will re-open the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal to PPP-eligible lenders with $1 billion or less in assets for First and Second Draw applications on Friday, January 15 at 9 a.m. EST. The portal will fully open on Tuesday, January 19 to all participating PPP lenders to submit First and Second Draw loan applications to SBA.

Earlier in the week, SBA granted dedicated PPP access to Community Financial Institutions (CFIs) which include Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), and Microloan Intermediaries as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to reach underserved and minority small businesses.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Action Requested - Help Our Restaurants

Dear Chamber Members,
Please help our restaurants by emailing Governor Murphy through the link below encouraging him to sign legislation to allow restaurants to continue outdoor dining.
The NJ Restaurant and Hospitality Association has been working on this bill with the sponsors and the Governor’s office since last Monday when the governor vetoed the original bill.
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Monday, January 11, 2021

PPP Available This Week

The PPP for first time applicants opens today, and the 2nd draw loan program starts on Wednesday. For more information, please see the below press release that came out on Friday, as well as these summary documents:

Top-line Overview of First Draw PPP (1.8.2021)-508

Top-line Overview of Second Draw PPP (1.8.2021)-508

The SBA website has also been update, so you can view all things PPP by visiting www.sba.gov/ppp.

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Monday, January 11, 2021

Legislation Signed to Reduce Unemployment Insurance Payroll Tax

Legislation Signed to Reduce Unemployment Insurance Payroll Tax

New legislation will reduce the amount of an employer’s unemployment taxes through Fiscal Year 2023 in an effort to continue supporting small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn More

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Monday, January 11, 2021

Minimum Wage to Rise to $12/Hour for Most Employees Goes into Effect

Minimum Wage to Rise to $12/Hour for Most Employees Goes into Effect

The New Jersey minimum hourly wage increase announced in September 2020 went into effect on January 1, 2021. The change brings the minimum wage for most employees up from $11 to $12, from $10.30 to $11.10 for seasonal and small business employees, and from $10.30 to $10.44 for agricultural employees. The Department of Labor & Workforce Development outlines the changes in this chart.

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Friday, January 8, 2021

Murphy signs Economic Recovery Act: Here’s breakdown of 6-year, $14B package of programs

Murphy signs Economic Recovery Act: Here’s breakdown of 6-year, $14B package of programs

By Tom Bergeron, ROI-NJ

Governor trumpets return of incentives, saying they will provide relief for small businesses while fundamentally changing economic development

Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law Thursday morning the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020, a six-year, $14 billion package of incentive programs that he feels will provide economic support for small businesses, while propelling the state’s economic recovery and growth for much of the next decade.

“These programs are the product of nearly three years of hard work, during which we received input from hundreds of voices on how best to structure our state’s recovery and growth,” Murphy said. “I am immensely proud of the result, which will not only provide much-needed relief for our small businesses, but will also fundamentally change economic development in our state while creating thousands of high-paying jobs for our residents.”

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Friday, January 8, 2021

Governor Murphy Signs Historic Economic Recovery Legislation

Governor Murphy Signs Historic Economic Recovery Legislation NJ.gov

Bill Will Provide Aid to Small Businesses and Usher in New Era of Economic Development

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed into law the landmark New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020, which will provide economic support for small businesses, while propelling New Jersey’s economic recovery and growth for much of the next decade.

“These programs are the product of nearly three years of hard work, during which we received input from hundreds of voices on how best to structure our state’s recovery and growth,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “I am immensely proud of the result, which will not only provide much needed relief for our small businesses, but will also fundamentally change economic development in our state while creating thousands of high-paying job for our residents.”

Read more here

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Help Support New Jersey Restaurants

The NJ Economic Development Authority recently announced It will provide grants of $100,000 or more to organizations so they can support restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The program is open to organizations legally registered to do business in New Jersey and have a track record or capability to purchase bulk meals from New Jersey restaurants 

Learn more and start your application at https://business.nj.gov/covid/eligibility-for-sustain-and-serve.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Coronavirus Update for New Jersey Businesses 12/30/2020

Today's News:
Be prepared to apply – more forgivable business loans are coming from the feds. State minimum wage will automatically increase by $1 on Jan. 1. Christmas air travel broke pandemic records. 
Be Prepared. More Forgivable Loans Under the Federal Paycheck Protection Program are Coming – The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce has been receiving questions about the new federal COVID-19 relief legislation, specifically about changes to the PPP forgivable loans. The PPP program will resume soon thanks to new funding from the relief legislation. We were informed by the N.J. district director of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that it could take up to 10 days before the new application forms for PPP loans are ready. We suggest that any organization interested in applying begin discussions with their bank now so they can be ready to fill out the application as soon as it is available.  
State Minimum Wage to Automatically Increase by $1 on Jan. 1 – When the calendar flips over to 2021, New Jersey's minimum wage will increase by $1, to $12 per hour, as part of a law signed in early 2019 that calls for yearly increases leading up to an eventual minimum wage of $15. “We realize that there are a lot of people out there who are going through some difficult times, a $1 increase will help them dramatically,” said Tom Bracken, president of the N.J. Chamber of Commerce. “But at the same time, businesses are suffering dramatically and they're going to incur an increased expense.” (NJ 101.5) 
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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021

Dear Chamber Members,
We have been receiving questions about the COVID Relief legislation that was recently signed into law, specifically about the changes to PPP. We were just informed by the NJ District Director of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that it could take up to 10 days before new application forms for PPP are ready. In the interim, we suggest that any organization interested in applying begin discussions with their bank now so they can be ready to fill out the application as soon as it is available.
Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021
The Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021 was signed by the President December 27, 2020, containing the most recent COVID-19 relief provisions as well as many tax provisions.
Following is a summary of the individual and business tax provisions included in the proposed Act.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Federal COVID-19 Relief Bill Passed

Federal COVID-19 Relief Bill Passed
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill Monday night that provides $600 stimulus payments to individuals, adds $300 to extended weekly unemployment benefits, and provides more than $300 billion in aid for small businesses. The bill now awaits action by President Donald Trump to become law.
 
Below is a quick look at the federal stimulus package for businesses. A special thank you to the New Jersey Business Action Center for providing the following analysis:
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Monday, December 21, 2020

Federal Stimulus Package Update

Federal Stimulus Package Update
You may have heard or read over the weekend that Congressional leaders have reached an agreement on a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill. While the legislation has not been passed or signed into law yet, here are some highlights:
·        Stimulus Checks: A second round of direct payments up to $600 per adult and per child.
·        PPP Extension: Additional $284 billion, and allows for a second loan.
·        Small Businesses: $20 billion for businesses in low-income communities and $15 billion for struggling live venues, movie theaters and museums.
·        Tax Breaks: Allows businesses to deduct expenses associated with their forgiven PPP loans, in addition to expanding the employee retention credit intended to prevent layoffs. Increases the Earned Income Tax Credit and extends a payroll tax subsidy for employers offering workers paid sick leave.
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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Coronavirus Update for New Jersey Businesses 12/2/2020

Today's News for New Jersey Business:

They're back: New drive-thru COVID-19 test sites open in New Jersey as cases rise. First COVID-19 vaccine shots can be given within days of FDA approval. First doses should go to health workers and long-term care residents, CDC Panel says.

New Drive-Thru COVID-19 Test Sites in New Jersey Open Amid Rising Demand – With cases of COVID-19 increasing, public demand for testing is growing. To meet the need, counties are once again opening drive-thru testing sites, a déjà vu from this spring. (NJ Spotlight News) 

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Learn About the State News Impacting Your Business 12/1/2020

New Jersey Business Update

Stock Up on PPE With New Discounts

Sign up for the NJ Economic Development Authority’s PPE Access Program to receive discounts on PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) purchases made through partnering online retailers: Boxed, Staples, & Office Depot.

  • All NJ Businesses are eligible for a 10% discount. 
  • Businesses and nonprofits with 100 or fewer employees can receive additional discounts up to 65%.

Apply for discounts by December 10, 2020, at covid19.nj.gov/ppeaccess.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Coronavirus Update for New Jersey Businesses 12/1/2020

Today's News for New Jersey Business:

Indoor sports ban applies to games and practices for youth, school and adult recreation. Some businesses resist Newark's 10-day lockdown. The stats are in: Travel was down on Thanksgiving 2020.

N.J.’s Indoor Sports Ban Applies to Games and Practices for Youth, School and Adult Recreation – All indoor organized sports at the youth, high school, and adult recreation levels – both games and practices – will be suspended for four weeks to battle the pandemic, Gov. Murphy announced Monday. It takes effect Saturday and lasts until Jan. 2. College and professional sports are not included. (nj.com) 

The Fine Print – Here are the new rules on indoor sports and outdoor gatherings. Outdoor gatherings are now limited to 25 people, with exceptions for wedding ceremonies, funerals, memorial services and religious and political events. Athletes, coaches, referees and other individuals that are necessary for a professional or collegiate sports competition are not counted towards the 25-person limit. 

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Murphy Announces Additional $60M for Small Business Grants

Move Will Enable Funding of Approximately 13,000 Additional Grants
Gov. Phil Murphy announced a commitment of at least $60 million in additional Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to fulfillment of grants under Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA’s) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. This funding is in addition to $70 million in federal funds already allocated for the current phase of the program and will enable the NJEDA to fulfill grants for the entire pipeline of eligible businesses that applied for Phase 3 funding prior to the application deadline. Without this supplemental funding, approximately 13,000 of the nearly 22,000 businesses that applied for Phase 3 grants would have been declined based on the program being oversubscribed.
“COVID-19 is above all else a severe health crisis, but its economic impact has been incredibly difficult for New Jersey’s small business community,” said Governor Murphy. “Small business owners have been diligent in their efforts to protect the health of their employees and customers, and they deserve our support. This new round of funding will help ensure that many more businesses emerge from the pandemic stronger than before.
The NJEDA’s suite of COVID-19 relief programs provides a variety of resources for businesses of all sizes, including grants for small businesses, zero-interest loans, support for private-sector lenders and CDFIs, and funding for entrepreneurs. Its largest COVID-19 relief program is the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, which provides grants to small businesses impacted by the pandemic. To ensure equitable distribution of funds, the NJEDA set aside one-third of the funding for this program to support qualified businesses located in one of the 715 Census tracts that were eligible to be selected as a New Jersey Opportunity Zone. This targeting has helped to ensure minority- and women-owned businesses that were hardest hit by the pandemic’s economic impact were able to get the support they need.
To date, more than 22,000 small businesses have been approved for grants worth a total of more than $64.9 million through Phases 1 and 2 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. The average grant award has been roughly $3,000, which indicates the average approved business has three full-time equivalent employees.
Phase 3 significantly expands eligibility for the Grant Program and increases the amount of funding businesses can receive. Any business or non-profit located in New Jersey, including home-based businesses, with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) is eligible to receive grant funding during Phase 3, including businesses that received funding in previous phases of the program. To ensure funding goes to businesses hit hardest by the pandemic, Phase 3 sets aside funding for restaurants, micro-businesses, and businesses based in the state’s 715 Opportunity Zone-eligible Census tracts. The application period for Phase 3 grants closed earlier this week, and to date, 873 businesses have been approved for grants totaling more than $10.9 million.
“The NJEDA shares Governor Murphy’s commitment to supporting small businesses and we are delighted to be able to assist many more deserving businesses than anticipated,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “We continue to focus all available resources on processing grants and getting funding into the hands of hardworking small business owners as quickly as possible.”
“These additional EDA grants could not come at a better time,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “Small businesses have been hit hardest by the pandemic and are facing an uncertain winter with coronavirus infection rates spiking. These grants will help thousands of small businesses on city corners and suburban Main Streets stay open, keeping their employees on the payroll and providing the services their communities want and need.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of New Jersey’s economy. This funding is a critical lifeline as we face an alarming uptick in COVID-19 cases,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. “We must do all we can to ensure our small business community can weather the storm of this pandemic and be poised to thrive as we recover. I applaud Governor Murphy for allocating this CARES Act funding to these businesses which will also serve to keep more New Jerseyans working for their families.”
Sullivan noted that Governor Murphy has now allocated more than $250 million of funding to support small businesses through the COVID-19 crisis, with a significant focus on ensuring those dollars get where they are needed most – restaurants, micro-businesses, and minority- and women-owned firms.
In addition to the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, the NJEDA administers a variety of technical assistance and low-cost financing programs for small and mid-sized businesses impacted by COVID-19. More information about these programs and other State support is available at https://covid19.nj.gov.
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Friday, November 6, 2020

N.J. Mandates COVID-19 Safety Rules for Workplaces

N.J. Mandates COVID-19 Safety Rules for Workplaces

Beginning November 5, employers that require or permit their workforce to be physically present at a worksite must abide by the following requirements, at a minimum, to protect employees, customers, and others who come into contact with its operations:

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Monday, October 19, 2020

NJEDA Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program - Phase 3 Pre-Registration Now Open

NJEDA Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program - Phase 3 Pre-Registration Now Open
Information for Phase 3 of the NJEDA Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant
Mandatory Pre-Registration and Application Periods
Pre-Registration Opens at 9am EST on October 19, 2020 and Closes 5pm EST on October 27, 2020. To be Eligible for Phase 3 funding your business MUST pre-register. Access the Pre-Registration here.
Phase 3 of the Grant Program will likely be oversubscribed. To streamline the application process, the Authority is requiring all applicants to pre-register online. Applications will become available on a rolling basis following the pre-registration period. Pre-registered applicants will need to return to complete an application based on the following schedule:
  • Restaurants – 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 29, 2020
  • Micro businesses – 9:00 a.m. on Friday, October 30, 2020
  • All other businesses, excluding restaurants and micro businesses – 9:00 am on Monday, November 2, 2020
Applications for each category will be open for a period of one week will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
To prepare for the pre-registration process, please review the Sample of the Pre-Registration Process.
Phase 3 Program Overview and Eligibility
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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

SBA and Treasury Announce Simpler PPP Forgiveness for Loans of $50,000 or Less

The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, today released a simpler loan forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of $50,000 or less. This action streamlines the PPP forgiveness process to provide financial and administrative relief to America’s smallest businesses while also ensuring sound stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

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Friday, September 18, 2020

NJBIA Criticizes Decision to Raise Income Taxes as Policymakers Confirm They Weren't Needed to Fill Budget Gaps

This tax increase in exchange for suggested middle class relief is a gimmick that further verifies what we have said all along – increased taxes were always completely unnecessary as part of the FY2021 budget that already includes billions in bonding.

We note that the relief tied to this tax increase is undermined by other non-budget hikes for tolls and gas and other proposed taxes in the budget. Our taxpayers need real tax reform that includes property tax relief, while this does not really improve our overall affordability crisis or remove us from the edge of our fiscal cliff. 

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