On the Issues

Small Businesses


Small businesses have always been the backbone of New Jersey’s economy and the heartbeat of its communities. Jersey shops and restaurants – and the Main Streets many of them call home – were slammed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Phil Murphy has deployed relief to help hard-hit small businesses get back on their feet and encourage new ones to grow. 

Through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, 55,000 small businesses have received a lifesaving grant or loan as of February 2021. Phil’s efforts helped launch several other initiatives during the pandemic, including the Small Business Lease Emergency Assistance Grant program that helped 1,000 businesses and commercial property owners stay afloat and the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Access program that supported some 9,000 businesses. Phil also made sure that small businesses didn’t have to pay taxes on the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) assistance and that expenses paid with PPP funds are tax-deductible. These steps have helped businesses keep employees on the payroll, pay their bills, and keep their taxes down during this trying time. 

Phil has also changed how New Jersey provides economic incentives to companies that want to call the Garden State home. Instead of a system that favors the biggest and wealthiest corporations, New Jersey now has a program that supports homegrown small businesses and creates good jobs in their communities. These reforms also guarantee that state funds only go to companies actually creating jobs — not ones that try to scam taxpayers.

Phil has proposed nearly $200 million in grants, loans, and other tools over the next two years to help Main Street small businesses, especially as they recover from the pandemic, as well as a series of initiatives to expand access to capital for underserved communities across the state.