New Program Offers Assistance For “Green” Businesses

New program offers recognition and reliable, no-cost assistance for “green” businesses

By Deborah Smarth

njsbr_logoFor almost 40 years, the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers, also known as America’s SBDC New Jersey, has providedcomprehensive services and programs for New Jersey entrepreneurs to help expand their operations, manage their growth, or start new ventures. 

Up until recentlyNJSBDC’s consulting services focused primarily on core operational activitiessuch as helping entrepreneurs develop business plans, obtain financing, identify new markets, develop marketing and sales strategies, learn recordkeepingand accounting skills, find procurement and international trade opportunities, commercialize technology, and develop an E-commerce presence. 

Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and its long-standing working relationship with the Bureau of Energy and Sustainability (BES) at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)the NJSBDCnetwork has now added sustainability as a new specialty to its vast repertoire of services. The new specialty offers prompt and easily accessible services and a business friendly approach to help New Jersey small business owners start or expand environmentally conscious practices. 

One component of the new specialty program focuses on the pro-bono and confidential management consulting services for which the NJSBDC is renowned!  Whether you want information about starting or expanding a sustainability program, or a strategy to help you deal with an existing environmental concern, the NJSBDC will provide you with an expert counselor who is knowledgeable in all facets of sustainability, energy conservation, waste reduction, pollution prevention, toxics mitigation, and disaster preparedness. 

In addition to the no-cost environmental counseling services, the NJSBDC, in collaboration with the DEP BES team, has developed a New Jersey Sustainable Business Registry.  The registry is a website (http://registry.njsbdc.com/) where businesses can apply on-line and become recognized for their efforts in adopting or increasing their commitment to as few as five sustainable practices from a menu featuring dozens of sustainable actions pertinent to any small business.   Learn more here: NJSBR

In addition to many other free benefits, membership and recognition in the Sustainable Business Registry is a credible way for a business to project its commitment to society and the environment, as well as a factor that can add to its growth and competitive advantage.

Registered businesses receive a “Sustainable Business” seal they can display at their location, and are entitled to use the New Jersey SustainableBusiness logo on their company stationery and promotional materials. Registered businesses will also be eligible for a new NJSBDC Sustainable Business Award. 

As an added benefit, Sustainable Jersey (SJ) municipalities interested in working with their small businesses can receive 15 points if they promote and work with their business to join the NJ Sustainable Business Registry by implementing the Sustainable Jersey Green Business Recognition Program Action. 

To take advantage of the no-cost consultations, or for help with the New Jersey Sustainable Business Registry criteria or application, email your request to NJSBinfo@NJSBDC.com.  An experienced sustainability consultant will be happy to speak with you in person, on-line, or by phone.  You can also find out more about these programs by visiting the Sustainability Consulting page on NJSBDC’s website (http://www.njsbdc.com/sustainability-consulting/). 

Deborah Smarth is the NJSBDC network Chief Operating Officer/Associate State Director.  NJSBDC Headquarters contact information: 973-353-1927, or at sbdcINFO@njsbdc.com

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