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There are five scheduled legislative days left before the current lame duck session ends on Jan. 11.

NJBIA and other business leaders loudly highlighted some bad bills to avoid in a press conference this week. But there are some good ones that flow with the tide of affordability as the 219th Legislative session draws to a close. 

“We know that there are businesses that have done OK during COVID,” NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka said during Tuesday’s virtual press conference. “But I’m going to re-emphasize – we’ve lost a third of our main street businesses. We have business owners today who are staring down their future, not knowing how long they could continue to hang in. 

“Our employers are burnt out, as they’re the ones who are minding the shop and holding down the fort while they don’t have a workforce coming back to work. What we need right now is resources for these businesses. We don’t need continued added costs and mandates.” 

Here’s a list of bills currently advancing that will help bring more affordability for New Jersey small businesses if they become law:  

  • S-3759 (Gopal/Scutari)/A-5735 (Mazzeo/Verrelli/Sumter) 

NJBIA supports this legislation as it will provide targeted tax credits to small businesses in COVID-impacted industries that are also struggling to keep up with recurring annual minimum wage increases for some of their employees. It passed the Senate Economic Growth Committee on Dec. 9. 

  • A-6227 (Greenwald)/S-4218 (Madden) 

NJBIA supports this bill because it avoids unnecessary interest payments on federal loans and further increases in employer payroll taxes. 

  • S-4133 (Gopal/Oroho/Sarlo)

NJBIA supports this legislation because it allows for the continued use of natural gas and other needed fuels and prevents the state from mandating electric-only buildings, which would be a costly burden on businesses.

  • A-4747 (Mosquera/Vainieri Huttle/Lopez)/S-4192 (Vitale/Singleton) 

This bill requires the state Department of Human Services to develop incentives to encourage private investment in childcare deserts. NJBIA supports this legislation as it will create incentives to support the childcare industry, which will assist these small businesses and expand access to care for an entire workforce that relies on childcare. 

  • A-6110 (Benson/Mukherji/Bramnick)/A-6185 (Benson)/S-4068 (Sarlo/Oroho) 

NJBIA supports this bill as it corrects and improves the pass-through business alternative income tax that the association previously supported, further helping small businesses that pay their taxes through the income tax. 

  • S-3740/A-4958 (Lagana/Tully) 

This bill would allow businesses employing fewer than 20 full-time employees to claim a refund on sales taxes paid on products and services related to winterizing outdoor dining areas during the winter of 2020 and 2021. This includes tents and space heaters, as well as products to melt ice and snow. 

  • S-4254/A-6236 (Singleton/McKnight) 

Allows businesses with 50 or fewer employees to use a bonus depreciation allowance of up to $150,000 for capital expenditures they incurred to comply with the health and safety mandates required by COVID-19 executive orders.  

Bonus depreciation allows a business to immediately deduct a large percentage of the purchase price of certain property and would include items such as plexiglass barriers, outdoor seating and outdoor heaters. 

  • A-5218/S-3404 (Freiman/Gopal) 

Makes bonus depreciation allowance benefit available to owners of restaurants that have no more than 100 employees and are not chain restaurants. This narrower bill was the genesis of the broader depreciation bill, and NJBIA supports both bills as it is unknown which will get to the Governor’s desk and be signed. 

“We thank the sponsors of all these important bills and we encourage the Legislature to pass them by Jan. 22 to bring help to New Jersey businesses as quickly as possible,” said NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Christopher Emigholz.