Bill establishing EDA loans for small businesses passes assembly

* Measure would offer loans to improve energy efficiency

A bill aimed at helping small businesses go green passed the Assembly in Trenton on Monday.

The legislation passed by a 60-14-1 vote. The measure would allow companies to qualify for New Jersey Economic Development Authority loans to cover the costs of improving a company's energy efficiency.

The EDA, in partnership with the Department of Community Affairs and Board of Utilities, would have the power to establish and administer low-interest loans to small businesses. These loans would cover the costs of doing an energy audit conducted by a licensed contractor. The bill also covers expenses related to improvement in energy efficiency that the audit considered necessary, such as the installation of equipment.

According to a Jan. 23 fiscal estimate, the legislation does not establish a funding source for the loan program or its overall size. That is up to the discretion of the EDA.

Assemblyman Tim Eustace, D-Maywood, a chiropractor at Family Chiropractic Center in Maywood, was a co-sponsor of the bill.

"Smaller businesses don't get paid attention to," he said in a phone interview Monday. He added that because energy costs make up a large part of a company's expenses, "this is a way to help [small-business owners] jump-start."

According to Assemblyman Troy Singleton, D-Burlington, a primary sponsor of the bill, the measure would help reduce operating costs for small-business owners.

"Energy efficiencies have been shown to improve operating costs," he said in a phone interview Monday.

Other local sponsors of the legislation include Shavonda Sumter, D-Paterson; Marlene Caride, D-Ridgefield; Gary Schaer, D-Passaic; and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, D-Secaucus.

Eustace said he expects the measure to be considered in the full Senate before the end of the current session.

The bill advanced to the Assembly last month.

 

original article

TROY SINGLETON
ASSEMBLYMAN, 7TH DISTRICT
400 NORTH CHURCH STREET, SUITE 260
MOORESTOWN, NJ 08057
 
Tel: 856-234-2790
Fax: 856-234-2957
Email: AsmSingleton@njleg.org