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Christie Signs Bill To Help Small Businesses

Governor Christie signs the legislation
Tim Larsen/Governor's Office

Governor Christie has signed legislation to help small businesses in New Jersey.

Christie says the measure directs the state Economic Development Authority to support small businesses and assist them in securing surety bonding.

"This is an important but little discussed issue. When you're going for federal and state contracts, you need to have that bonding, and small businesses often don't have access to it. The EDA is now going to provide opportunities for that so these entities can now more easily bid on federal and state contracts."

Christie expects the legislation will create a more diverse pool of minority-owned businesses that perform public services.

"We want more diverse companies to be able to have access to all levels of business in the state. I want businesses that are owned by African Americans, by Hispanic Americans, by Asian Americans to be able to feel that they have the exact same opportunity as anyone else if their idea is good and their effort is there."

John Harmon is president and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey.

“Today marks a new beginning for small business owners across the state of New Jersey who prior to today lacked access to a critical resource that could expand their potential to grow and sustain their enterprise.”

Christie says increased competition for those government contracts can lead to lower costs for taxpayers.

The governor says a record-high 103,000 new businesses filed applications in 2016 to start operating in the Garden State. He says that shows they have confidence the economy is going in the right direction.