FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TRENTON, N.J. (March 8, 2021) – Governor Phil Murphy (D) delivered his budget address for New Jersey’s upcoming fiscal year today, outlining the administration’s fiscal and policy priorities.
Eileen Kean, New Jersey State Director for NFIB, the state and nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, expressed frustration that the Garden State’s struggling small businesses don’t seem to be among the Governor’s priorities for the coming year.
“The Governor’s budget address unfortunately failed to even acknowledge the cascading challenges on Main Street, let alone present any solutions to address the state’s unemployment insurance time bomb, workforce shortages, historic inflation, or unprecedented supply-chain disruption,” Kean stated.
Earlier this week, Kean called on Gov. Murphy to follow the Legislature’s lead to stabilize New Jersey’s crippled Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund by appropriating remaining federal pandemic relief funds, as more than 30 other states have done. Kean noted that failure to do so could result in significant UI tax increases for small businesses. The entire statement from Monday can be found at NFIB.com/NJ.
Additionally, NFIB’s Small Business Research Center released February’s Small Business Economic Trends report (Optimism Index) on Tuesday morning, underscoring the depth of disruption that still exists on Main Street. Key findings include:
- Twenty-six percent of small business owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business, a four-point increase since December and the highest reading since the third quarter of 1981.
- The net percent of owners raising average selling prices increased seven points to a net 68% (seasonally adjusted), a 48-year record high reading.
- Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months decreased two points to a net negative 35%.
- Forty-eight percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, an increase of one point from January.
“While ‘no new taxes’ sounds great in March, significant work and dedication will be necessary to make sure that statement remains true in July when small business owners’ new unemployment insurance tax rates go into effect,” Kean concluded.
For more than 75 years, NFIB has been the voice of small business, advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit www.NFIB.com.