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Gov. Phil Murphy has signed legislation, strongly supported by NJBIA, that helps small businesses avoid costly regulatory fines by allowing a 60-day “cure period” to resolve minor first-time violations without penalty.

The legislation, A4753/S3208, sponsored by Assemblyman Roy Freiman (D-16) and Senator Vin Gopal (D-11), is part of a three-bill package signed into law late Monday to bolster small business resiliency. The other two bills, A4748/S3195 and A4749/S3204, will enhance customer service at the New Jersey Business Action Center by establishing a publicly available small business manual and by collecting and disseminating customer assistance information.

“The laws signed by Governor Murphy today are great steps to help bring flexibility and ease the challenges of running a business in the state of New Jersey,” NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka said in a statement on Monday night after the bills were signed.

“Cementing the strong work of the state Business Action Center by statute is a positive,” Siekerka said. “And the signing of bill A-4753, in particular, will allow the state to be less heavy-handed when regulating small businesses which may have committed a minor rule violation.”

Specifically, A-4753/S-3208, allows a state agency, department, or authority to waive the fine for a first-time violation committed by a small business provided the matter is resolved within the cure period and the offense involved does not harm employees, public safety, or environment. Small businesses are defined as those with 50 or fewer employees.

“As inflationary pressures and other economic uncertainties continue to linger for business owners in New Jersey, the last thing they need to worry about is a steep fine or punishment for a minor, often unintentional violation,” Gopal said. “This law will give them a little breathing room and reasonable extra time to come into full compliance.”

All three bills signed into law are part of a larger package of bills pushed by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19) to support small businesses in New Jersey.

“I thank Assembly Speaker Coughlin for leading the preparation of this comprehensive bill package, which will ensure that we continue to respond to the needs and concerns of small business owners as effectively as possible,” Murphy said. “This legislation will enable us to attract, retain, and inspire small businesses to expand in a state that remains at the national forefront of economic vitality and innovation.”