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An Assembly committee on Thursday released four NJBIA-supported bills that would support innovative entrepreneurs by making it easier for startups to access state resources already available, as well as raise their business’s profile to make the connections needed to grow.

“Investing in and supporting New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem is critical to growing our state economy and creating well-paying jobs,” said NJBIA Director of Economic Policy Research Kyle Sullender. “We support these bills to help entrepreneurs promote and grow their businesses because when innovation succeeds it has a multiplier effect on the entire state economy.”

Sullender authored NJBIA’s recent Indicators of Innovation report that recommended strategies for how New Jersey could reclaim its stature as the innovation hub of the Northeast. He said the four bills before the Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology aligned with that goal.

Assemblyman P. Christopher Tully (D-38), the legislation’s sponsor and committee chair, noted the bills also reflect concerns raised by businesses, higher education leaders and others in the innovation ecosystem who spoke at the panel’s public hearing last fall at the New Jersey Bioscience Center.

The four bills released by the committee on Thursday include:

  • A-5158 – Requires the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to create a grant program for emerging New Jersey businesses to support advertising and marketing costs.
  • A-5159 – Establishes the Office of Financial Assistance in NJEDA to develop a common online application platform to help businesses and nonprofit organizations more easily access financial assistance from various state agencies.
  • A-5160 – Requires NJEDA to create needs-matching website for entities engaged in innovation, including businesses, real estate professionals, medical institutions, research facilities, nonprofits, professional organizations, universities, and investors.
  • A-5161 – Requires the state Director of the Division of Housing and Community Resources to establish a grant program to encourage local governments to install street pole banners promoting local and regional achievements in various fields of science, technology, and engineering. The bill appropriates $100,000 for this purpose.