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May of each year would become New Jersey’s “Small Business Month” recognizing the vital importance of small businesses in the state and local economies under a joint resolution passed by the Assembly Thursday.

AJR-61 (DeAngelo, Tully, Swain)/SJR-27 (Gopal, Corrado) would annually request the governor to urge citizens to patronize small businesses in observance of Small Business Month and engage in activities and programs to support them.

“The term small business may accurately describe the individual organizations, but collectively, their impact on New Jersey’s economy is as big as any large corporation,” said NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka. “New Jersey is home to 820,000 small businesses that employ 1.7 million workers or nearly half of the entire private sector workers.

“But perhaps the biggest contributions of small businesses cannot be measured in numbers, but in what they bring to our communities,” Siekerka said. “They populate our downtowns with restaurants and boutiques; they provide important services from dry cleaning and healthcare; and they drive innovation and entrepreneurism.

“Virtually every industry sector benefits from what small businesses bring to the table,” Siekerka said. “That is something worth celebrating.

“Great businesses make great communities,” Siekerka said. “Small business owners are the ones who coach the local sports teams, lead the Scouts and volunteer in their communities. Not all of their contributions are economic ones. That’s something we should remember yearround.”

The resolution notes that the federal government recognized the importance of small business in 1953 by founding the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Also, New Jersey’s celebration would coincide with National Small Business Week, traditionally held in the first week of May. Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing Small Business Week, which honors the small business owner of the year in each state and highlights the programs and services available through the SBA and other government agencies.