NJSBDC assists businesses impacted by COVID-19

The New Jersey Small Business Development Centers network announced on Tuesday it has been providing resources to businesses on the front lines in all of New Jersey’s 21 counties amid the coronavirus health and public safety crisis.

NJSBDC, which has 12 regional centers providing assistance to small businesses, said the volume of calls its been receiving over the past few weeks has increase substantially as businesses are closing and laying off workers due to economic impact of the virus.

Vincent Vicari, regional center director for Bergen County, talked of what center offers.

“Small businesses need a lot of counseling, especially with loan and grant applications right now,” Vicari said. “The phones are ringing off the hook and our center helps assess each small business case to provide the best solutions for financing and other turnaround strategies at this time.”

The network, which has been serving small businesses for 42 years, provides up to 1 million entrepreneurs and small businesses with one-on-one management consulting, training and technical assistance.

“While we typically focus on helping New Jersey small business grow, our mission now in this national crisis is response, recovery and resilience,” Leon Fraser, NJSBDC interim CEO/state director, said.

The SBDC also assists small business owners in applying for various U.S. Small Business Administration disaster assistance loans. The program also aids state agencies, like the New Jersey Business Action Center and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

“Our state partners, legislators, and Governor’s Office were informed about the swell of business inquiries,” Deborah Smarth, chief operating officer, associate state director, said. “We see the human toll as a result of this crisis and we’re assisting the best we can.”