The economic turmoil of the past 18 months has been hard on New Jersey’s small businesses. With things now starting to return to something closer to normal, many of these businesses have struggled to return to the level of service their customers expect. One reason for this has been a labor shortage.
The causes of this shortage are complicated and somewhat controversial, but several new initiatives by state and local government take aim at the issue, while helping both employers and employees.
In September, New Jersey ended its expansion of unemployment benefits and Gov. Murphy announced a new program to boost employment for the state’s small businesses. Under the governor’s plan, businesses that pay their employees at least $15 per hour and employ fewer than 100 people can apply to join a program called “Return and Earn” which offers them up to $10,000 in subsidies for helping them to hire new full-time workers.
The workers can also receive a subsidy of their own through the program. If a worker takes a job of 32 hours a week or more with a business in the program, they will receive a $500 bonus. The money comes from the state program, which pays it to the employer, who pays it to the new hires.
Small businesses need help
The “Return and Earn” program is still in its early stages. Hopefully, it will help both workers and businesses get on a surer footing in the months ahead, but it also shows the fragility of New Jersey’s small business community.
Business owners need help to protect themselves and their businesses in difficult times, and to prepare their businesses to grow in better times. Attorneys with experience in small business law can help business owners with a wide variety of issues, from business formation to contracts, long-term planning, mergers and acquisitions and more.