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NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka issued the following statement regarding the signing of small business relief legislation by Gov. Phil Murphy today. The $135 million in federal funds will be made available to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

“NJBIA thanks Governor Murphy and the many sponsors of this legislation to help bring much needed relief and assistance to our small businesses.

“We have seen a marked decrease of small businesses open in New Jersey compared to January 2020, with small business revenue also down considerably in the same time frame. These long-awaited federal funds may help to prevent the closure of more surviving businesses after steep financial losses brought on by the pandemic.

“Targeting this assistance to those that have been hit the hardest, including microbusinesses, food and beverage businesses, nonprofits and childcare providers, will be a positive for New Jersey’s economy. But while capital is king, we are still calling upon our state leadership to address our current hiring crisis that continues to prevent many small businesses from fully reopening.”