Senate passes Main St. assistance bill

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Legislation co-sponsored by Senator Steven Oroho (R-24) to create a Main Street Assistance Program aimed at incentivizing business development in small municipalities has passed the New Jersey State Senate.

Whether it’s a rural community or a small suburb with a bustling downtown, New Jersey’s municipalities all have the potential to be incubators for new businesses and eager entrepreneurs,” Oroho said. “Empowering small business owners creates jobs and helps us grow our ‘Main Street’ economies. The program established under our bipartisan bill will get the dollars flowing back into county seats like Newton and Belvidere. Bottom line – revitalizing ‘Main Streets’ will help revitalize New Jersey.”

The bill would establish a Main Street Assistance Program to encourage business development in small municipalities with a population of 20,000 or less. It also provides for incentives, loans, and loan guarantees for businesses within those towns. The program would be initiated by the municipality and administered by the State Economic Development Authority.

Recent amendments proposed by Senator Oroho would expand the qualification threshold to include county seats with a population less than 11,000. Rural towns in Senator Oroho’s legislative district, specifically Newton in Sussex County and Belvidere in Warren County, could now qualify for assistance from the program, as a result of amendments proposed by Senator Oroho, and accepted by the prime sponsor, Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-5). Both towns are county seats, also known as the administrative center of county government.

“Economic development and community development can go hand in hand,” Oroho added. “This program will stimulate investment and smart growth throughout New Jersey’s small towns, including the rural county seats within my legislative district. The successful implementation of the Main Street Assistance Program will be another tool to help foster economic growth in smaller communities.”

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