Press Release
November 12, 2020
3 minute read

40 Graduates of NJEDA, AACCNJ Small Business Training Program Qualify for Millions in Bonds

40 small business owners graduated from the Small Bonding Business Readiness Assistance Program earlier this week.

TRENTON, N.J. (November 12, 2020) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) and the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) today congratulated 40 small business owners on their graduation from the Small Business Bonding Readiness Assistance Program on Tuesday night. Since the Small Business Bonding Readiness Assistance Program’s inception in 2018, 67 small-, minority- and woman-owned businesses have participated and more than 46 have qualified for $20.8 million in surety bonding.

The Small Business Bonding Readiness Assistance Program provides a comprehensive series of classes, workshops, and strategic counseling sessions covering a variety of topics relevant to small businesses in all sectors, including bonding and insurance, business development, financial presentation, construction and contract law, construction management, estimating, and credit. At the end of the program, all participating businesses receive a Bonding Readiness Segment Report, which provides an in-depth assessment of their strengths and weaknesses to help them plan for the future.

Tuesday’s virtual graduation celebrated the culmination of months of training for three classes of small-, minority- and women-owned businesses as they learned how to prepare to obtain bonds, a crucial step in competing for state and federal government contracts. The graduation honored the most recent virtual program class, which hailed from Atlantic City and Newark, as well as previous classes of Camden and Jersey City business owners. To date, these classes have already qualified for a total of more than $9.4 million in surety bonding.

“Small businesses are the backbone of New Jersey’s communities, providing opportunities, creating jobs, driving economic growth, and making our state a great place to live and work,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The fact that these small business owners chose to participate in this program in the midst of a pandemic, when they were juggling pandemic-related challenges in multiple areas of their lives, speaks volumes about their commitment to the success of their businesses and their local economies.”  

Sullivan noted that Governor Phil Murphy has always prioritized supporting minority- and women-owned businesses and he called the Small Business Bonding Readiness Assistance Program “an important mechanism for leveling the playing field” among entrepreneurs vying for state contracts.

Twenty-three of the 40 small business owners who graduated on Tuesday have already received confirmation that they would be favorably considered for bonds ranging from $100,000 to $750,000. Final bond approvals will be conditional upon contract terms and bond forms, confirmation of satisfactory financing, and a favorable review of the underwriting information at the time the small business actually requests the bonds.

“Study after study has shown that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected businesses owned by people of color, making programs like the Small Business Bonding Readiness Assistance Program absolutely essential to helping New Jersey recover from the pandemic in an equitable and inclusive manner,” said John E. Harmon, Sr., IOM, AACCNJ, Founder, President and CEO. “The NJEDA has been a phenomenal partner for us and for the small business community as a whole even before the pandemic and has become a centralized force in helping the Garden State’s economy re-emerge stronger than ever.”

For more information on the Small Business Bonding Readiness Assistance Program, visit—sbbrap.html.
To read Governor Murphy’s full economic plan, please visit:
About the New Jersey Economic Development Authority
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.
To learn more about EDA resources for businesses call EDA Customer Care at 609-858-6767 or visit  and follow @NewJerseyEDA on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.


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