Employers Association Launches Small Business Loan Program

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Working persistently on goals set five years ago, the Employers Association of New Jersey has now initiated the third pillar of its strategy to meet the needs of its employer-members.  Together with its healthcare and retirement savings trusts, the employers association has launched a special working capital loan program for small business.

In 2010, John Sarno, president of EANJ, convened ten groups of employers in five regions of the state. 458 private sector employers that employed 41,200 employees in New Jersey attended - about a third of the EANJ's membership at the time. Among the top concerns expressed by these employers were: increased health care costs; maintaining the productivity and retirement security of the existing and future workforce; and finding the money to make capital investments.

After careful study and a substantial investment, EANJ sponsored the Affiliated Physicians & Employers Health Trust in 2011, which is a multiple employer welfare arrangement. To date, 25,000 members participate in the plan.

In 2015, EANJ launched a similar group arrangement to so that multiple employers participate in a single qualified retirement plan and trust. This year, EANJ reported that 90% of employees of participating employers are participating in the plan, demonstrating how important the education and enrollment is when offering a retirement savings plan to employees.

Both arrangements help small and mid-sized employers provide quality healthcare and retirement savings benefits with lower fees and costs than what is commonly available to them.  Both are trusts that are managed by fiduciaries. 

Now EANJ has added its third, but not final, part of its strategy to meet employer needs. In cooperation with UCDEC, a community development financial institution, eligible EANJ members can get up to $25,000 at 3% fixed for five years, no collateral required, to pay off more expensive debt, purchase inventory, cover payroll for other business purposes.

Sarno says this is the beginning of a small business financing initiative that will roll out over the next several years.

"This initiative, like our health care and retirement savings programs, combines quality products and tremendous community service," says Sarno.

"We are operating at the highest levels of positive impact for small and mid-sized employers in New Jersey, promoting healthy workplaces, retirement security, high morale and productivity and access to working capital," he adds.

UCDEC has been helping small business since 1977 by making loans, training and mentoring business owners, helping businesses obtain government contracts, and providing accurate and relevant business information.  As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and SBA lender, UCEDC is also committed to providing access to capital to underserved populations and communities.

Founded in 1916, the Employers Association of New Jersey is the only nonprofit association in the state of New Jersey dedicated exclusively to helping employers make sound and responsible employment decisions through education, informed discussion and training.

The association relies on nearly 2,000 small and mid-sized employer-members to finance its operations and does not solicit corporate contributions, does not engage in lobbying and accepts no corporate sponsorships of its programs.

Learn more about EANJ Capital Advantage