Section: Approval for relocation of agency, branch office of foreign bank
2. The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. Micro-business loans are usually granted to those businesses that are mostly sole proprietorships with five or fewer employees, that require an initial capital outlay of less than $35,000 to start a new business or expand an existing business, utilize loans in amounts of less than $15,000 with most loans being paid back on time, and experience a default rate that is often no higher than on commercial loans;
b. Experience in numerous other states and in certain urban areas in New Jersey has shown that "micro lending," or carefully underwriting small loans to individual entrepreneurs with well-developed, realistic business plans, has been successful in helping individuals, without regard to geographical location, to start micro-businesses;
c. Nonprofit community-based development corporations have the experience of providing the training and technical assistance that is necessary for prospective entrepreneurs to establish a viable business;
d. While the New Jersey Economic Development Authority currently manages several programs to promote the development of micro and small businesses in the State and the New Jersey Development Authority for Small Businesses, Minorities' and Women's Enterprises has a peer group micro-lending program in place which targets urban areas of the State, there is a need to establish a separate micro-business credit program to provide new and innovative ways to assist more unemployed women and underemployed women in all areas of the State to enter or reenter the marketplace and to recognize that nonprofit community-based development corporations and certain Statewide women's business organizations have the experience of providing the training and technical assistance that is necessary for prospective entrepreneurs to establish a viable business; and
e. It is appropriate to establish a micro-business credit program that would target only those potential female entrepreneurs who have little or no prior business experience, are self-motivated and are willing to undertake an extensive training program and receive other kinds of technical assistance in order to gain the necessary experience to start a successful business through grants given to certified nonprofit community development corporations and certain Statewide women's business organizations, and the Department of Community Affairs which has experience in evaluating and monitoring community development corporations and which already manages a number of programs through its Division on Women to assist women to improve their lives is the appropriate State agency to accomplish these goals.
L.1999,c.239,s.2; amended 2004, c.176, s.2.
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