Small Business Owners. Small Business Values.
JOIN! Make Sure Your Voice is Heard!
The NJ Main Street Alliance (NJMSA) is a coalition of over 1400 small business owners and sole-proprietors throughout the state who are working to create opportunities to speak for themselves on important policy issues. The NJMSA, is a project of NJ Citizen Action and a member of the National Main Street Alliance, a network of small business coalitions in 15 states with over 10,000 members nationwide. Since its inception in August 2008, this coalition has successfully influenced the federal policy debate over health care reform and is now expanding to have a voice on issues such as financial reform, responsible taxes, clean energy, job creation, and economic recovery.
Our coalition is governed by a seven person Steering Committee and is currently establishing a 35-member Advisory Council. The Steering Committee is charged with setting policies and making decisions for the members based on the recommendations of the Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is responsible for electing the members of the Steering Committee and helping to identify campaign issues.
Through personal stories, surveys and reports — the NJ Main Street Alliance is dedicated to educating the public and New Jersey's elected officials about the need to advance policies that work for small business, our employees, families, and communities. NJMSA members have been featured on television networks such as MSNBC and CNN, in dozens of newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, have testified before Congress in Washington, DC and have been invited to meet with White House staff on several occasions.
For more information, please contact: Corinne Horowitz at 732-246-4772 x25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW! Read the New Jersey Main Street Alliance Blog for more information about issues, research, and the latest developments!
Health Care Reform Law Benefits Business
On Tuesday January 18, 2011, small business owner and NJ Main Street Alliance Steering Committee member Dr. Odette Cohen testified before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, chaired by Leader Nancy Pelosi, to explain how the new health care reform law is benefitting her business.
Odette explained how the new health care tax credits available beginning this year are helping her to grow her medical practice and support her local economy. She also shared a very personal story illustrating how, without equal access to affordable health care, the choice to work for a small employer versus a big business can be a life or death decision.
View the C-Span video of Odette's testimony — PLEASE NOTE that there is no direct "jump link" to Odette, so go to the left-side section named "TRANSCRIPT" and scroll down to 00:44:37 for the seven-minute segment "Cohen, Odette M.D. — Pediatrician, Willingboro."
You can also view photos of the event on Flickr.
Later that afternoon, Leader Pelosi referenced Odette's story in her statement on the floor of the House of Representatives during the debate leading up to the health care repeal vote. Read Leader Pelosi's statement.
On March 23, 2010 President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. The bill will give healthcare to 32 million Americans and save over 30,000 lives per year. For full details on the bill, click here.
Small businesses have much to gain from health reform. The final health reform package makes small businesses big winners by ending discrimination, promoting affordability, expanding choice and containing costs. Find out 5 things every small business should know about health care reform here.
Thank you to all of the members of the NJ Main Street Alliance for helping to win this historic victory!
Dear Governor Christie and Attorney General Dow:
As a small business owner, I am deeply concerned that there is evidence suggesting Public Service Electric and Gas has not been charging its affiliated company, PSEG Power, for the Societal Benefits Charge (SBC) for at least the last 8 years. It is estimated that PSEG could owe ratepayers as much as $300 million from this potentially illegally obtained subsidy!
Small businesses are the backbone of New Jersey's economy and we are already struggling to afford utility rates that are more than 40% above the national average. When PSEG Power fails to pay their fair share of these rates, the costs are passed on to consumers and businesses like mine. I have always paid my fair share of this legally non-bypassable charge, and so should one of New Jersey's largest and most profitable companies, PSEG Power.
I urge you to investigate this matter further and stand up for all of the individuals and businesses that make up PSEG's 1.7 million customers.
If you prefer to sign it using fax or postal mail, click here to DOWNLOAD OUR PETITION. Then either fax the completed Petition to Jeff Brown at 732-214-8385; or attach it to an email to email@example.com with 'PSEG Petition' in the subject line. We will add your name to the petition: Thank you!
- About the NJ Main Street Alliance (above).
- Small Business Health Care Principles & Petition to Congress for Real Choice in Health Care (Principles, Sign-on & Petition in one PDF)
- Small Business Health Care Sign-on (Sign-on Only)
- Petition to Congress for Real Health Care Change (Petition Only)
- National Main Street Alliance Website.
On January 15, 2009, at the Trenton Statehouse, the NJ Main Street Alliance released its national survey report, "Taking the Pulse of Main Street: Small Businesses, Health Insurance, and Priorities for Reform".
This report was conducted on nearly 1,200 small business owners and self-employed individuals in 12 states throughout the country. It focuses on small business owners' perspective on health care — their current health care experiences and preferred methods of reform.
Small business owners are the experts on the broken health care system. No one knows as well as small business owners do how badly our health care system is broken. Small businesses are routinely left vulnerable to the premium hikes, benefit cuts, coverage denials and administrative nightmares that are commonplace in the health care system today.
The voices of New Jersey's small business owners need to be heard. No small business owner acting alone can surmount these challenges. But together, we can make a difference. It will take hard work and commitment, but together we can do our part. That is the promise of a united voice of small business owners across New Jersey coming together to fix the broken health care system.
Small businesses are the heart of New Jersey's economy and the heart of our communities.
- New Jersey businesses with fewer than 100 employees employed 1.3 million workers in 2005. This constituted 37 percent of New Jersey's private sector jobs in 2005, above the national average. (U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, based on data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau)
- Over the past decade, small businesses have created 60–80 percent of net new jobs nationwide. (U.S. SBA website, citing U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, app1.sba.gov/faqs/faqIndexAll.cfm?areaid=24)
- Percent of New Jersey Businesses Offering Health Insurance in 2005: Less than 50 workers: 62.3% / 50 or more workers: 94.4%. (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends. 2005 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey- Insurance Component)
New Jersey small businesses are struggling to get affordable health insurance — and losing the battle.
- From 2000 to 2007, the percentage of businesses with fewer than 200 employees offering health benefits dropped from 68 to 59 percent nationwide; businesses with fewer than 50 workers dropped the most. (Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Benefits 2007 Survey, Ex 2.2, www.kff.org/insurance/7672/sections/ehbs07-2-2.cfm)
- By 2005, just over three out of five New Jersey businesses with fewer than 50 workers offered health insurance, compared to nearly 19 out of 20 businesses with 50 or more workers.
- Insurance premiums for small businesses have increased at a faster rate than those of large businesses, and the quality of coverage they receive is lower. (Jon R. Gabel and Jeremy D. Pickreign, "Risky Business: When Mom and Pop Buy Health Insurance for Their Employees," Health Research and Educational Trust, April 2004, p. 2)
- "New Poll Shows Small Business Owners Favor Immigration Reform with Roadmap to Citizenship"
- "Congressman Payne and NJ Small Business Owners Discuss New Report on Retirement Security"
- "Small Business Owners in NJ Call on Congress to Pass $51 Billion Sandy Relief Package"
- "Paid Sick Leave In Jersey City Off To Healthy Start, Rutgers Report Concludes" (NJ Spotlight — April 10, 2015)
- "Jersey Shore Merchants Criticize Chris Christie Over Remarks About Sandy Business Grant" (Star-Ledger — March 25, 2014)
- "Christie Calls Obamacare A 'Failed Federal Program'" (Star-Ledger — March 18, 2014 VIDEO)
- "Sandy Aid Must Be Meted Out Faster, Menendez Says" (Press of Atlantic City — March 13, 2014)
- "Head Of NJ Business Grant Program Defends Its Work" (Courier-Post — March 13, 2014)
- "Head Of Business Grant Program Defends Its Work" (Daily Record — March 13, 2014)
- "Small Business Owners Lash Out At Sandy Aid Delays" (Asbury Park Press — March 13, 2014)
- "NJ's Federal Sandy Aid Not Reaching Small Businesses Fast Enough, Says Interest Group" (Star-Ledger — February 13, 2014)
- "NJ Minimum Wage Hike Criticized By Business Groups" (Asbury Park Press — October 4, 2013)
- "Coalition Of State Businesses Seeks Nominations For Newly Created Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards" (The Times of Trenton — July 24, 2013)
- "Gov. Chris Christie's Tax Proposal 'Smacks Of Pandering,' New Brunswick Protestors Say" (Star-Ledger — April 15, 2013)
- "Immigration Overhaul Will Boost Business, Panel Says"(The Record / NorthJersey.com — April 4, 2013)
- "Tax Loopholes Let NJ Corporations Park $122B In Offshore Accounts, Report Says" (Asbury Park Press — April 4, 2013)
- "Offshore Tax Havens Cost Small Businesses Thousands, Study Says" (NJBIZ — April 4, 2013)
- "GOP-Backed Benefit Cuts Called Harmful To Small Businesses In NJ" (NJ Spotlight — March 27, 2013)
- "Bill To Let Sandy Victims Sue Insurers Over Claims Handling Sparks Debate" (Star-Ledger — March 10, 2013)
- "Citizen Action Education Fund Connects Small Businesses To Sandy Recovery Resources With Store-To-Store Outreach Program" (MyCentralJersey.com — February 13, 2013)
- "Seventy N.J. Small Business Owners Call For End To Corporate Loopholes, Expiration Of Tax Breaks For Top 2 Percent"
- "Economists Warn Going Over The 'Fiscal Cliff' Could Spark Recession" (MyCentralJersey.com — December 19, 2012)
- "New Jersey Legislature Poised To Pass A Resolution Calling For A Constitutional Amendment To Overturn Citizens United v. FEC" (Common Dreams Progressive Newswire — October 20, 2012)
- "Small-Business Owners Press For Health Care Exchange Law" The Record / NorthJersey.com — September 19, 2012)
- "N.J. Business Owners Urge Christie To Set Up Health Insurance Exchange" (Newsworks — September 19, 2012)
- "Business Community Split On Christie's Veto Of Health Exchanges" (NJBIZ — May 10, 2012)
- "New Jersey Citizen Action Supports 'The New Jersey Health Benefit Exchange Act'" (Small Business Owners — March 1, 2012)
- "Taking The First Steps Toward A New Jersey Health Exchange" (NJ Spotlight — September 15, 2011)
- "Health Insurance Rates Continue Climbing, And Companies Look For Savings To Offer Customers" (Star-Ledger — June 1, 2011)
- "Key Small Business Group Missing From Big Lobbying Battle Of The Year" (The Hill — May 22, 2011)
- "Contractor Disclosure Will Level Playing Field For Small Business" (The Hill — May 20, 2011)
- "Tax Reform Should Level The Playing Field For Small Business" (The Hill — April 18, 2011)
- "The Affordable Care Act: One Year Later" (NJ Spotlight — April 1, 2011)
- "Health Care Reform: One Year Later" (The Root — March 23, 2011)
- "Small Business Health Care Birthday Event in New Jersey" (My9 WWOR TV — March 23, 2011 VIDEO NEWS INTERVIEW)
- "Health Care Reform On Its First Anniversary" (WBAI Evening News — March 22, 2011 AUDIO NEWS INTERVIEW)
- "Health Care Repeal Would Kill Off Tax Breaks" (CNNMoney — January 20, 2011)
- "Activists Urge Runyan To Buck GOP's Bid To Repeal Health Care Bill" (Asbury Park Press — January 19, 2011)
- "Honk For Health Care" (Mt. Laurel Sun — January 18, 2011)
- "Protesters Urge Runyan To Vote Against Health Care Repeal" (Burlington County Times — January 18, 2011)
- "Groups To Lobby Runyan To Oppose Repeal Of Health Overhaul" (Courier-Post — January 17, 2011)
- "Small Business Owners Bust Myths On Bush Tax Cuts" (NewsBlaze — November 12, 2010)
- "Let Bush Tax Cuts Expire, Business Group Says" (NJBIZ — November 10, 2010)
- "Tax Cuts For The Rich" (Asbury Park Press — November 10, 2010)
- "Rally To Support Investing In Local Jobs, Not Tax Cuts For The Rich" (WBAI Evening News — November 10, 2010 AUDIO NEWS INTERVIEW)
- "N.J. Small-Business Group To Dress 'Like Millionaires' To Show They're Not Rich" (Star-Ledger — November 9, 2010)
- "What's At Stake In Congress? Jobs, Income, Financial Security!" (WBAI Evening News — November 3, 2010 AUDIO NEWS INTERVIEW)
- "Survey Reports 93 Percent Of Small Business Owners Will Vote Tuesday" (The Record / NorthJersey.com — October 31, 2010)
- Healthcare Reform and Election 2010" (New Jersey Now / My9News — October 31 VIDEO NEWS SEGMENT)
- "Report Shows EPA's Clean Air Act Significantly Benefits Economy" (PR Newswire — October 5, 2010)
- "How Basel III Will Affect Bankers And Consumers" (American Public Media — September 30, 2010 with AUDIO NEWS SEGMENT)
- "It's Time To Get America Back To Work" (NJBIZ — September 20, 2010)
- "Health Care Break For Small Business" (The Record / NorthJersey.com — August 30, 2010)
- "Congressman Rush Holt Touts Proposed Consumer-Credit Safeguards During South River Visit" (Home News Tribune / MyCentralJersey.com — July 12, 2010)
- "Rep. Holt Touts Benefits Of Health Reform Act" (The Princeton Packet / PacketOnline — May 20, 2010)
- "Congressional Documents And Publications: Rep. Holt Small Business Press Conference" (InsuranceNewsNet.com — May 19, 2010)
- "Holt Highlights How Health Reform Strengthens Employer Based Health Care During Visit To NJ Business" (ICEPN News — May 17, 2010)
- "Small N.J. Employers Call Hikes 'Excessive'" (The Record / NorthJersey.com — March 5, 2010)
- "Anger Won't Fix It" (The Huffington Post — January 18, 2010)
- "Financial Reforms Needed" (Burlington County Times — January 5, 2010)
- "Entrepreneurs At Risk" (Star-Ledger — December 5, 2009)
- "How Small Business Fares Under House Health Bill" (Washington Business Journal — November 6, 2009)
- "Adler Must Support Health Care Reform" (Courier-Post — November 6, 2009)
- "Healthcare Reform And Small Business" (WBAI Evening Wakeup Call — September 2, 2009 AUDIO NEWS INTERVIEW)
- "Small Businesses and Health Care Reform" (MSNBC — August 30, 2009 VIDEO NEWS INTERVIEW)
- "Main Street Program To Speak Out On Health Care Reform" (NJBIZ — August 28, 2009)
- "How Will The Healthcare Reform Impact Small Business?" (Community News — August 27, 2009)
- "Small Business Owners Deliver Mixed Messages To Capitol Hill" (Kaiser Health News — July 9, 2009)
- "A Good Sense Alternative For Employee Health Coverage" (NJBIZ — July 6, 2009)
- "Small Businesses Will Rally For Lower Health Care Costs" (NJBIZ — June 15, 2009)
- "Health Insurers Balk At Some Changes" (The New York Times — June 3, 2009)
- VIDEO: Clips of the Q&A from Kelly’s Testimony at the Ways & Means Committee Hearing on April 29, 2009:
- "New Jersey Woodworker Crafts Health Care Reform Proposal For Congress" (Insurance & Financial Advisor May 1, 2009)
- VIDEO: Kelly Conklin testifies to the House Ways & Means Committee on April 29, 2009
- "Small Biz Pushes For Health Reform" (WHYY News — April 29, 2009 — both article and AUDIO NEWS INTERVIEW)
- VIDEO: Dr. Melba Bonnelli speaks about the need for health care reform at the White House roundtable on April 24, 2009
- VIDEO: NJMSA Message to Congressman John Adler (D – 3rd Congressional District), on April 17, 2009, about small business owners' struggle to find quality, affordable health care
- "The Real Cure For Small-Business Health" (The Times of Trenton — February 5, 2009)
- "Organization Takes The Pulse Of Main Street In New Jersey" (The Westfield Leader and The Scotch Plains–Fanwood Times — January 29, 2009)
- "Seeking A Cure To Small Biz Health-Care" (The Times of Trenton — January 25, 2009)
- "Failing Health" (Asbury Park Press — December 24, 2008)
- "To Their Health" (Burlington County Times — December 19, 2008
- VIDEO: WMBC-TV news coverage of the NJ Main Street Alliance Coalition Launch on December 18, 2008.
If you have any questions about the New Jersey Main Street Alliance, please contact:
Main Street Alliance
75 Raritan Avenue, Suite 200
Highland Park, NJ 08904
Phone: 732-246-4772 x25