New Jersey's 26th Legislative District

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Senator Joe Pennacchio

Now Law: Pennacchio Bill to Help Small Businesses Compete

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Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-Essex, Morris, Passaic) designed to help small businesses grow and lower costs for taxpayers is now law after it was signed by Governor Chris Christie.

Sen. Joe Pennacchio watches as Gov. Chris Christie signs his legislation at the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey headquarters in Trenton, N.J. (

“We have many small businesses that are more than capable of undertaking public projects here in New Jersey, but they aren’t afforded the same opportunities as larger businesses when regulations prevent them from even entering the bidding process,” Senator Pennacchio said. “With this law, we can start to cut away some of that red tape and create new chances for these local companies to grow and create new jobs in areas of need.”

The legislation, S-123, establishes a “Small Business Bonding Readiness Assistance Program” through the Economic Development Authority, which would provide support to small businesses and help them meet surety bonding requirements so that they can qualify for government contracts.

The program is designed to increase the capacity of small businesses by improving their financial presentation, operational efficiency profitability, bonding capacity and knowledge through consulting sessions and workshops. The authority would be required to establish a special nonlapsing revolving fund to provide grant funding to small businesses that participate in the program.

“I have no doubt that if these small businesses can get their foot in the door of the bidding process, they will offer serious competition for public contracts,” Senator Pennacchio said. “More competition means lower costs and less of a burden on the state’s taxpayers. I want to thank Senator Ron Rice for his support of this new law, making it a truly bipartisan effort to strengthen New Jersey’s small business community.”

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