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Government Wage Mandates Are Bad for New Jersey’s Economy

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By Tony Russo, CIANJ President

Ridgewood NJ, There has been a lot of discussion recently on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.  Governor Murphy would like to see $15 an hour this year but the Legislature introduced a bill which would phase in the increase over several years.  The reason given for increasing the minimum wage is the high cost of living in New Jersey.

What is missing from the current discussion are the reasons why New Jersey has such a high cost of living. The major reasons for such a high cost of living are the taxes and fees paid by New Jersey’s residents and businesses.  Property taxes, sales taxes, fuel taxes, income taxes, the corporate business tax — New Jersey is a heavily taxed state.   Also absent from the discussion is why $15 an hour would somehow make New Jersey affordable.

Government needs to appreciate that most private sector jobs in New Jersey are with small businesses.  These business owners take on risks daily as competition is fierce. Most work hard to make ends meet but unfortunately some do not survive.

Employees are a business’ number one resource and keeping good talent is a top priority.  An hourly wage is just one part of how a business compensates employees.  Many offer fringe benefits including paid time off, healthcare insurance, 401(k) contributions, short- and long-term disability, bonuses and life insurance.  When the Legislature focuses on only the hourly rate and not the total compensation paid, it is not reflective of the total amount spent by employers.

More importantly, Trenton lawmakers should not look toward the private sector to make New Jersey affordable but rather look inward to reduce the size of government and make New Jersey a business-friendly State.  New investment will create new jobs, more competition and innovation which in turn will improve the quality of life of residents as well as increasing the coffers of the state government. This would reduce the current pressure on New Jersey’s existing businesses.

A government wage mandate on the private sector is the wrong approach and will only lead to higher prices and job losses, ultimately hurting the very people they are trying to help.  Finally, New Jersey voters already weighed in on this matter in 2013 when they approved an amendment to the state constitution tying any increases to the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index or CPI.By Tony Russo, CIANJ President

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New Jersey Economic Development Authority has generated no known economic benefits for main street New Jersey and state taxpayers

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Cherry Hill NJ, New Jersey Main Street Alliance released the following statement today in response to a state Comptroller audit finding that $11 billion in tax breaks given to mostly large corporations between 2005 and 2017 by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority have generated no known economic benefits for main street New Jersey and state taxpayers. The EDA’s corporate tax incentive program was meant to spur economic growth, attract new business and create thousands of new jobs. But the audit found the EDA has been grossly mismanaged, resulting in improperly awarded incentives, inflated and misleading job counts, and corporate tax incentive recipients taking advantage of the agency’s lack of oversight, accountability and internal controls.

“While small business owners like me struggled for years to obtain loans and secure capital, an incompetently managed state EDA gave away billions of dollars in tax breaks to enrich CEOs and corporate shareholders,” said NJMSA Steering Committee Member Kelly Conklin, owner of Foley Waite LLC in Kenilworth. “Instead of giving tax breaks to large corporations, the EDA could have invested in main street and small businesses, who would have re-invested their profits in their communities. Small business owners create more jobs and create more GDP for the economy than a company that wants tax payers to subsidize them. We call on a full investigation of the state EDA and echo Governor Murphy’s call to overhaul the agency. Our businesses and communities deserve nothing less.”

https://www.insidernj.com/press-release/nj-comptrollers-nj-economic-development-authority-audit-pdf/

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Gottheimer Wraps Holiday Gifts at Bookends in Ridgewood

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

RIDGEWOOD NJ, On Saturday, December 22, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) wrapped holiday gifts for North Jersey families at Bookends bookstore in Ridgewood.

“The holidays are such an important time for small businesses across the country and here in New Jersey, ” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I am so proud that there are so many great businesses in my district, like Bookends here in Ridgewood. I want to thank Walter Boyer for having me at his store and I encourage everyone to go check Bookends out, whether for the book selection or the author events they regularly host.”

Congressman Gottheimer went on to say, “Small businesses play a vital role in our economy in the Fifth District and neighborhoods across the country, especially during this key retail season. The federal government shutdown hurt small businesses, because it impacts small business loan applications. We can prevent that by getting folks to the table to finalize a deal to reopen the government, just like business owners do every day.”

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, New Jersey boasts 1.7 million small business employees working for over 820,000 small businesses. 98.3% of the state’s businesses are small businesses and they employ more than half of New Jersey’s workers.

Bookends in Ridgewood has been a staple in the community and a renowned bookstore for more than thirty years. They have hosted over 1,000 authors in the last fifteen years from politics, pop culture, and fiction. During the holiday season, they wrap gifts in their store free of charge.

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3 important Things You Need to Start Your Own Small Business!

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Many people dream of starting their own successful business and ruling their own empire. However, it’s not always that easy, and there are a few important things that you need in place before you can begin to open up shop. In fact, there are at least three very important things you need before you can start your own small business, and they are:

Start-Up Money

Perhaps the most important thing that you’ll need to start your own small business is money. You know how they always say that you need to spend money to make money, and that saying holds true. If you don’t have any money saved to start a business with, you may want to look into obtaining a small business loan. This is a loan for a lump sum of money that will be loaned to you for the purpose of starting a small business. Once you have the money to start your own business, you’ll be able to move on to the next step of becoming your own boss and building that empire.

A Location

One of the most important things about owning a small business is having a location for that business to be run from. Even online businesses much allocate proper space for all they’ll need and for general operations to take place within. However, this becomes even more crucial if the small business you plan on opening is a store or an eatery of some sort. Finding a location to run out of is sometimes stressful, though very possible. Remember to take time and consider the best location before deciding to rent or buy one.

A Good Idea

While there are many very important aspects of opening up your own small business, a good idea is by far the most important. This is because not every small business will succeed, you can’t open an ice cream shop outside of Dairy Queen and expect to sell them out. Having a good idea, and then a better location is half of the success when it comes to owning a small business. While there are no original ideas, it’s wise to think out and flesh out every aspect of your new business, right down to the color scheme and how the name sounds when you say it very fast. A good idea will go a lot further than a boring, overused one. Being prepared is also half the battle when it comes to success.

Opening up a small business is a dream that many people try to achieve. Not everyone makes it, but many do and those that do have probably considered the three things that we have mentioned above. Starting a small business is hard work, though if you do it right, you’ll find it to be immensely rewarding. Remember to take time to cement your plans and to test out different avenues. The most successful small business are those who took the time to think of a solid plan and venture. The more you put into your small business, the more you’ll get out.

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How Can New Jersey Businesses Use Instagram to Their Advantage in 2019?

Ridgewood NJ, The economy of the United States has been performing well in recent times.  Whether attributable to the actions of the Trump administration or simply due to economic cycles, the fact of the matter is that business opportunities abound.  This is particularly the case when referring to the online community.  Still, times are changing and what might have worked well a few years ago could be outdated in the near future.  One of the most potent ways in which you can promote your business to an audience far beyond the borders of New Jersey is to use the power of social media to your advantage.  You might be surprised to learn that Instagram can play a very important role. Let’s take a look at why this is the case as well as what steps you can take in order to successfully promote your ongoing business operations.

Resultado de imagen de funciones de instagram

Why Instagram and Why Now?

The first answer to this understandable question involves the momentum of the social media community as a whole.  We are all aware that sites such as Facebook have gained a considerable amount of attention over the years. However, we are also witnessing a paradigm shift towards Instagram.  Why is this the case? One of the main reasons involves the very visual nature of this platform.  A growing number of users are accessing social media feeds with portable devices such as mobile phones and tablets.  As a result, they do not have a great deal of time to read lengthy blocks of text. The framework behind Instagram is particularly appealing, as images can be viewed in a matter of seconds and comments can be posted in even less time.  So, it only stands to reason that Instagram is gaining ground in relation to other popular social media circles. The main question now involves how you can leverage this increase exposure to your advantage. Let’s take a look at a handful of excellent steps to keep in mind at all times.

The Power of the Image

This first step is to choose an image that is relevant to your business.  There are two reasons behind this school of thought. The most obvious is the fact that irrelevant content will be frowned upon by your intended audience.  Keep it fresh and specific to the products or services that you are offering. Avoid “cookie-cutter” or otherwise generic image content and never use copyrighted photos.  There is nothing wrong with adding captions; particularly if they are funny. This is one of the ways that an Instagram post can go viral (think about the sheer variety of memes currently available).  If you can appeal to your target audience through an image, they are more likely to listen to what it is that you have to say.

What About Hashtags?

The character count associated with an Instagram post is limited.  This is one of the reason why you will often see #hashtags within the associated content.  The main reason behind a hashtag is to create a searchable term which can be used to highlight the content of your media.  These are easy to type and thanks to an HTML algorithm, such hashtags will be immediately hyperlinked back to your page. They can also be shared amongst other users; helping to increase your online exposure and digital clout.

Engaging With Your Audience

Still, knowing how to get followers on Instagram also must involve a proactive approach. If we think about it for a moment, this statement is absolutely true.  Some of the most popular channels (business or otherwise) are those which regularly speak with their audience members.  Otherwise known as client engagement, there are several advantages associated with this method:

– You will be able to appreciate the opinions of others (both positive and constructive).

– You can keep your finger on the proverbial pulse of your customer base.

– You can understand how your marketing strategies are performing.

– This is a great way to generate brand loyalty over time.

Above all, you will be able to make any changes on the fly while demonstrating to your clients that you care about what they may have to say.  They are more likely to comment in the future as a result.

Putting it all Together

Gaining followers on Instagram is arguably one of the best ways to reach a larger New Jersey audience.  After all, why limit your operations to Elizabeth or Camden when you can expand to entirely different markets?  As Instagram is absolutely free, you will not have to worry about increased overhead if you happen to be operating within a limited budget. The suggestions mentioned above will all come in handy and yet, never be afraid to experiment if you hope to discover even more interesting approaches to take.  2019 could be a great year if you are willing to take the next digital step!

Why Instagram and Why Now?

The first answer to this understandable question involves the momentum of the social media community as a whole.  We are all aware that sites such as Facebook have gained a considerable amount of attention over the years. However, we are also witnessing a paradigm shift towards Instagram.  Why is this the case? One of the main reasons involves the very visual nature of this platform.  A growing number of users are accessing social media feeds with portable devices such as mobile phones and tablets.  As a result, they do not have a great deal of time to read lengthy blocks of text. The framework behind Instagram is particularly appealing, as images can be viewed in a matter of seconds and comments can be posted in even less time.  So, it only stands to reason that Instagram is gaining ground in relation to other popular social media circles. The main question now involves how you can leverage this increase exposure to your advantage. Let’s take a look at a handful of excellent steps to keep in mind at all times.

The Power of the Image

This first step is to choose an image that is relevant to your business.  There are two reasons behind this school of thought. The most obvious is the fact that irrelevant content will be frowned upon by your intended audience.  Keep it fresh and specific to the products or services that you are offering. Avoid “cookie-cutter” or otherwise generic image content and never use copyrighted photos.  There is nothing wrong with adding captions; particularly if they are funny. This is one of the ways that an Instagram post can go viral (think about the sheer variety of memes currently available).  If you can appeal to your target audience through an image, they are more likely to listen to what it is that you have to say.

What About Hashtags?

The character count associated with an Instagram post is limited.  This is one of the reason why you will often see #hashtags within the associated content.  The main reason behind a hashtag is to create a searchable term which can be used to highlight the content of your media.  These are easy to type and thanks to an HTML algorithm, such hashtags will be immediately hyperlinked back to your page. They can also be shared amongst other users; helping to increase your online exposure and digital clout.

Engaging With Your Audience

Still, knowing how to get followers on Instagram also must involve a proactive approach. If we think about it for a moment, this statement is absolutely true.  Some of the most popular channels (business or otherwise) are those which regularly speak with their audience members.  Otherwise known as client engagement, there are several advantages associated with this method:

– You will be able to appreciate the opinions of others (both positive and constructive).

– You can keep your finger on the proverbial pulse of your customer base.

– You can understand how your marketing strategies are performing.

– This is a great way to generate brand loyalty over time.

Above all, you will be able to make any changes on the fly while demonstrating to your clients that you care about what they may have to say.  They are more likely to comment in the future as a result.

Putting it all Together

Gaining followers on Instagram is arguably one of the best ways to reach a larger New Jersey audience.  After all, why limit your operations to Elizabeth or Camden when you can expand to entirely different markets?  As Instagram is absolutely free, you will not have to worry about increased overhead if you happen to be operating within a limited budget. The suggestions mentioned above will all come in handy and yet, never be afraid to experiment if you hope to discover even more interesting approaches to take.  2019 could be a great year if you are willing to take the next digital step!

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Join the Ridgewood Guild on Small Business Saturday for Winterfest

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Join the Ridgewood Guild  on Small Business Saturday for Winterfest and start the Holiday countdown! Support your local merchants ,enjoy the horse drawn cart, trackless train rides ,free hot chocolate and the ice sculptures  .

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Reader says , ” Our downtown businesses needed to modernize with the times and appreciate the market forces around them in order to save themselves”

file photo by Boyd Loving

But, but, but . . . didn’t we need more parking becuase there is no where to park and shop in the downtown??
Face it, the regimes of Aronson / Pucciarelli and Knudsen / Hache sold off our downtown to developers. The costs of an overcrowded downtown, the needs for improvements for the hundreds of new families, the needs for more school rooms and teachers, more police and fire fighters, etc. etc., are all being placed on the backs of the taxpayers by these politicians.
We didn’t need parking and hundreds of apartments to “save” our downtown. Our downtown businesses needed to modernize with the times and appreciate the market forces around them in order to save themselves.
Our council needed to take a firm stance in the courts, with the legislature and in all other ways possible against overdevelopment and the destruction of schools, our property values and other attributes. Instead, they chose to pander to a few special interests, tear down paradise and put up a parking lot and leave us all with the tax bill.

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Handle Your Business, Not Your Printing

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, When you own a company, or even when you manage a division, you may find that you need promotional materials. This can stop your day, or even a few days at a time, because you have so many steps to follow in the process. You already have a large number of responsibilities to handle. This can become extra challenging.

Continue reading Handle Your Business, Not Your Printing

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Six expert hurricane season preparedness tips for your business

Hurricane Joaquin

By Linda McMahon, SBA Administrator

For this blog about Hurricane Season preparedness, we thought it would make sense to get some business continuity tips from a real expert—a business owner who survived multiple disasters.
Three Brothers Bakery, a 69-year-old business owned by Janice and Robert Jucker, suffered losses of around $1 million after Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston last August. In 2008, the destruction caused by Hurricane Ike forced the couple to close the bakery for nine months. They lost $1 million after that storm.

Continue reading Six expert hurricane season preparedness tips for your business

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New Jersey Legislatures Aims to Raise Taxes on Local Businesses

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June 20,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Trenton NJ, Today, the respective Senate and Assembly Budget Committees passed S-2746/A-4202, which would drastically increase the corporate business tax rate. The New Jersey legislature will consider the measures on Thursday.
Lawmakers are considering raising the corporate tax rate between 11.5 and 13 percent based on the size of the local business. These drastic tax increases would make the Garden State the seemingly proud owners of the highest business taxes in the nation. Business tax rates addressed in this proposal are currently levied at 9 percent.

AFP-NJ State Director Erica Jedynak issued the following statement:

“We want businesses to set up shop and thrive in New Jersey. Our businesses are the life-support of the economy, and these jobs help local workers provide for their families. Dramatic tax increases will hurt the families, workers, and entrepreneurs that hope to make New Jersey home. Due to the nation’s highest property taxes, New Jersey families are already being taxed into exile and raising the corporate tax rate could very well serve as the death blow to the New Jersey economy. Now is the time for lawmakers in Trenton to ensure that our job creators remain hiring and open for business. Instead of maintaining the failed status quo, New Jersey lawmakers should work toward practical solutions that decrease taxes in our state and increase prosperity.”
Background:
AFP-NJ issues Action Alert to Activists
AFP-NJ’s Tax & Spending Reforms

For further information or an interview, reach Anna McEntee at [email protected] or (703)-674-9227.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) exists to recruit, educate, and mobilize citizens in support of the policies and goals of a free society at the local, state, and federal level, helping every American live their dream – especially the least fortunate. AFP has more than 3.2 million activists across the nation, a local infrastructure that includes 36 state chapters, and has received financial support from more than 100,000 Americans in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.AmericansForProsperity.org