New Jersey Business Action Center: Helping Businesses Find Solutions

by Melanie Willoughby, New Jersey Business Action Center – March 20, 2024
New Jersey Business Action Center: Helping Businesses Find Solutions

New Jersey businesses can access reliable, free information and resources that can strengthen operations, boost productivity and increase profitability. The New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC), a division of the New Jersey Department of State, supports business owners, entre­preneurs and stakeholders in the statewide business community by ensuring access to accurate and relevant education and guidance. The business advocates at NJBAC are always available to field any question or talk through ideas to find solutions that keep businesses, particularly small businesses, moving forward and achieving revenue goals.

To further its mission to help businesses in the Garden State succeed, NJBAC provides free and confidential technical assistance, advocacy and a variety of other support services through its offices, comprised of business advocacy, export promotion and small business advocacy.

  • The Office of Business Advocacy (OBA) provides support and guidance for businesses of all sizes, at every stage of the development process. From site selection to expansion, from funding referrals to permitting assistance, OBA staff are committed to helping entre­preneurs and business owners quickly access efficient and relevant commercial real estate solutions across all industries.
  • The Office of Export Promotion (OEP) provides essential guidance and resources for businesses looking to start or expand their goods and services export offerings. From exporting basics about regulatory compliance to custom procedures to reporting, OEP can help businesses lay the groundwork for global success. This office is a Small Business Administration (SBA) partner, collab­orating at the state level for the New Jersey State Trade Expansion Program (NJSTEP). NJSTEP provides financial awards through a competitive process for New Jersey businesses that are new to export, as well as those businesses that currently sell their goods and services to other countries.
  • The Office of Small Business Advocacy (OSBA) provides real-time assistance for start-ups and small businesses seeking information about registration, annual reports, certifications, procure­ment and other business operations.

The division also oversees the Office of State Planning and the Cannabis Training Academy. By tapping into its deep understanding of the business landscape and its wide-reaching network, NJBAC connects businesses with who or what is needed to thrive and grow.

Additional Services 

Businesses can take advantage of following free services from the NJBAC: 

  • Mentoring assistance: Whether already in business or just starting out, having a mentor provides a valuable resource. From creating a business plan to preparing financial statements or developing valuable social media strategies, having a business mentor can help a business succeed. The OSBA can help businesses connect with programs around the state that offer one-on-one mentoring opportunities.

  • Financial resources: NJBAC advocates can refer businesses to a variety of financing options available through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and community-based micro-lending organizations. They can identify the specific programs for which a business may be eligible and help locate the resources that best meet their needs. They can also assist businesses with credit repair services to help position a favorable application process. 

  • Licensing and professional certifications: NJBAC offers services that can help a business troubleshoot issues they may encounter with licensing or professional certifications. 

  • Navigating regulatory processes: Advocationg on their behalf, NJBAC can coordinate with other state departments to quickly identify any challenges and formulate a sound and effective solution.  They can also provide redevelopment guidance and coordination for municipalities and developers.

  • Labor and workforce issues: Hiring and retaining the right people is crucial to the success of a business. NJBAC can guide companies through the variety of state training grants and resources to help recruit the best staff or train new and current employees. Advocates can help provide information on issues regarding employer responsibilities. 

  • Procurement assistance: When it comes to government contracts, New Jersey offers a variety of resources to help small companes take advantage of these important opportunities. From training and technical assistance to email notification of requests for proposal (RFPs) NJBAC adocates can provide businesses with essential information and help them to be better positioned to compete for government contracts.

To connect with a business advocate, call the helpline at 1-800-JERSEY-7 or access the live chat at

Melanie  Willoughby

Melanie Willoughby

Melanie Willoughby is the executive director of the New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC).

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This article appeared in the Spring 2024 issue of New Jersey CPA magazine. Read the full issue.