Some state senators are fighting to give New Jersey’s small businesses a big infusion of cash. A bipartisan bill has been introduced that would provide them with $300 million in grants and loans. Two of the sponsors, Sens. Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth) and Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) say the state can’t afford not to act, because some small businesses are on the verge of shutting down. Lawmakers want to use federal stimulus money to help pay for the initiative. Meantime, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Bracken would like to see the bill increased to $400 million.
Some New Jersey residents are facing higher utility bills come June, after new rates were set by the state Board of Public Utilities. Monthly PSE&G bills will rise, on average, by $3.65. Atlantic City Electric customers will pay 29 cents more a month. JCP&L and Rockland Electric customers will pay less.
Most of the 75,000 unemployed workers who were waiting to receive payments on their lapsed claims received their funds this week, according to the state labor department. However, some are still waiting for their claims to be paid. In the latest week, there was an increase in the number of residents who claimed for unemployment for the first time, with just over 16,000 filing new claims.