New Jersey lawmakers push bill to help small businesses

Business owners have enough headaches without the hassle of cutting through mounds of regulatory red tape. Dealing with suppliers and making customers happy never gets easier, but a new bill in the New Jersey Assembly may help alleviate some of that red tape for small companies.

The bill would amend the New Jersey Regulatory Flexibility Act. If passed, the bill would require state agencies to minimize the impact of all regulations on small business when developing rules unless it would endanger the public health, safety or general welfare. Currently, state agencies need only keep in mind that small businesses have limited resources for compliance.

In addition, the bill would establish a process for small businesses negatively impacted by state agency rule-making to protest. The objecting company can do so by filing a petition objecting to the provisions of the rule the business disagrees with. If the agency rejects the petition, the business would have the right to appeal. However, businesses should be careful when appealing. The bill provides for sanctions for frivolous appeals.

Legislators say the measure is necessary because small businesses drive the economy and create jobs. Given the importance of both of those things, lawmakers are trying to do whatever they can to promote economic growth.

The bill defines a small business as employing less than 100 full-time employees or having under $6 million in gross annual sales.

The measure is one piece of an economic development effort put forth by the Assembly Democrats. A similar effort was pocket-vetoed by Governor Chris Christie at the end of the previous legislative session earlier in the year.

Source: New Jersey 101.5, " NJ Bills to Protect Small Businesses, Create Jobs Advance Assembly," Stacy Proebstle, June 13, 2012

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