NJEDA creates small business unit to support historically underrepresented businesses

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority announced Friday it has created a new small business unit to better support an environment for New Jersey entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The new unit will help advance Gov. Phil Murphy’s economic plan, the NJEDA said, by increasing growth capital for historically underrepresented businesses.

“Our vision for a stronger and fairer economy in New Jersey includes removing the barriers that small businesses face in growing and creating jobs here,” Murphy said. “Offering greater pathways to capital and providing step-by-step support through a dedicated NJEDA unit staffed by a diverse and experienced team will help ensure that companies have the tools they need to thrive and succeed in New Jersey.”

The small business unit will be responsible for providing financing, workforce and technical support to the Garden State’s small businesses community with a focus on women-, minority-, veteran-, disability-, and LGBTQ-owned businesses.

Christina Fuentes, who has served as a senior business and community development officer at the NJEDA, will lead the new unit.

“Making government work better is a pillar of Gov. Murphy’s stronger and fairer economic plan, and the NJEDA is continuing to take steps to ensure that we are able to provide the most comprehensive and accessible assistance to small businesses in communities across the State,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said.

“The NJEDA’s new small business unit will allow us to meaningfully engage with a broader group of stakeholders, and provide a dedicated resource entirely focused on creating new economic opportunities and strengthening communities.”

The NJEDA also announced it is shifting its business development efforts to a geographical approach. The approach will help maximize the NJEDA’s interaction with its customers and stakeholders.