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New legislation aims to streamline financing process for small firms

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New legislation is aimed at making it easier for small companies to find state financing programs, according to a business advocate.

"One of the things we keep hearing is that there are many programs that could benefit companies, but business owners just haven't heard about them," said Bob Loderstedt, CEO of the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program. "It would be nice if there was a place we could find out about them all."

A measure signed into law Thursday by Gov. Chris Christie establishes a program within the Department of State's Business Action Center "to assist small businesses in identifying all of the financial assistance programs for which those businesses may be eligible," according to an announcement from the governor's office. "This program will help small businesses navigate the numerous finance, incentive and assistance programs administered by various state departments and entities that are available to these businesses."

The new program could be very successful "if it's widely communicated to people and put together in plain English — with the name of a person to contact for information, and the steps a business has to take to access it," Loderstedt said. "It would also be great if, before going live, they asked small businesses across a number of sectors to test it out and give them feedback."

Details of the new program are still being worked out, said Business Action Center spokesman Fred Snowflack.

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