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Business.NJ.gov

Business.NJ.gov now “en español” for Latinxs businesses in New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy announced the launch of the Spanish language version of Business.NJ.gov — the State’s new digital front door for businesses looking to start, operate, and grow in the Garden State. The announcement comes as the State concludes Hispanic Heritage Month — a celebration of Hispanic and Latinx heritage, culture, and contributions, that spanned from September 15  through October 15.

Business.NJ.gov

Cover of the new Business.NJ.gov en Espanol

“Entrepreneurship and innovation are just a few of the many ways that New Jersey’s Hispanic and Latinx communities deeply contribute to the Garden State’s rich cultural landscape,” said Governor Murphy. “As we continue to modernize and streamline the State’s ability to serve our businesses, we must do so in a stronger and fairer manner — that means ensuring that our resources, programs, and services are accessible to as many people as possible.”

Launched earlier this year, Business.NJ.gov simplifies businesses’ experiences interacting with the State by consolidating critical information and resources from more than 15 different agencies into one easy-to-navigate “first stop” for businesses. Users can find information on financing options, assistance with obtaining permits and licenses, tax information, and guidance on business planning and marketing.

Business.NJ.gov

Planifique un negocio, one of the tools for startups (Courtesy Business.NJ.gov)

Connect via live chat with experts “en Espanol” on Business.NJ.gov

In addition to the fully-translated content, Business.NJ.gov also offers business owners the ability to connect via “live chat” with experts from the Department of State’s Business Action Center — this service will also be available for Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs by Spanish-speaking business experts.

“Experts at the Business Action Center help tens of thousands of businesses each year,” said New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “Live chat has enabled us to deliver expert advice in a faster and easier way to all business owners, and the ability to deliver human-to-human service in a multitude of languages, including Spanish, ensures that we can assist entrepreneurs from all walks of life and backgrounds.”

A key feature of Business.NJ.gov is its constantly-evolving content — a cross-agency and multi-lingual team collaborates on a daily basis to ensure the site’s content is both up-to-date and serving the needs of New Jersey’s businesses. Complementary Spanish-language content is available the same day to ensure parity and opportunity across the State’s business community.

Inicie un negocio, one of the tools for startups (Courtesy Business.NJ.gov)

“Offering the user-friendly content and services on Business.NJ.gov fully in Spanish is one more step on the way to a modern, simplified, 21st-century experience for business owners in New Jersey,” said New Jersey State Chief Innovation Officer Beth Noveck. “Business.NJ.gov will continue to be the foundation of new, innovative services that cut across State bureaucracy to transform the experience of starting, operating, and growing a business in the Garden State.”

strategic alliances

Susana G Baumann, Founder President and CEO, Latinas in Business Inc.

“As Founder President and CEO of Latinas in Business Inc., I applaud the initiative to translate such an important tool for thousands of immigrant Latinx entrepreneurs and small business owners who do business in their mother tongue and serve their local communities. They come to this country in pursuit of the American Dream, and they encounter language and cultural barriers that prevent them to achieve their path to success. These resources are an excellent way to help them navigate the tools they need, and support them in achieving their goals, which in turn builds a stronger economy for all New Jerseyans,” said Susana G. Baumann.

“We applaud Governor Murphy for making tools available to our Hispanic business owners.  Hispanic businesses are the engine of the U.S. economy, starting new businesses at double or triple the pace even in a pandemic,”  Statewide Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey President Carlos Medina and Chairman Luis De La Hoz, said.

You might be interested: REGAIN OUR LATINO POWER – A National Conversation with Latina Leaders

DREAMers included in NJ Second Year Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG)

DREAMers are included in the launch of the New Jersey Second Year Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG), “Everyone deserves an opportunity to pursue his or her dreams—whether you are a recent high school graduate or an older student changing your career,” said Governor Murphy. “Our community colleges play a critical role in helping our students build the skillsets they need to meet the demands of a growing and diverse 21st-century economy. CCOG grants provides a pathway to success for both our students and our state as a whole.”

Gov Phil Murphy with NJ DREAMers during last year launch of Alternative Financial Aid Application for New Jersey DREAMers (Photo Credit Official Twitter Site of Gov Phil Murphy).

Governor Phil Murphy visited Middlesex County College, alongside Speaker Craig Coughlin, Executive Director David Socolow of the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), and Deputy Secretary Diana Gonzalez of the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE), to encourage students to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application for New Jersey DREAMers by September 15, 2019 in order to be eligible for a Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG).

Free tuition possible in Alternative Application for New Jersey DREAMers

To receive free tuition through CCOG starting in the fall 2019 semester, all students planning to attend a New Jersey county college must meet the September 15, 2019 deadline to complete either FAFSA or the Alternative Application for New Jersey DREAMers.

They also need to respond to all financial aid questions from HESAA or the college they are attending. Students with adjusted gross incomes between $0 and $65,000 may qualify to attend any of New Jersey’s 18 county colleges tuition-free during the upcoming academic year.

Thousands of students will have now the opportunity to enter community colleges in New Jersey through the CCOG Program. (Photo Credit Good Free from Unsplash)

Qualifying county college students who enroll in at least six credits per semester during the fall of 2019 and/or the spring of 2020 will be eligible for Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) awards funded by the Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations Act signed by Governor Murphy.

For eligible students, “last-dollar” CCOG scholarships will fill in remaining gaps to cover tuition and approved educational fees after accounting for all other grant and scholarship aid for which the students are eligible. Students who have already completed a financial aid application for academic year 2019-2020 will be considered automatically for CCOG eligibility.

“Over 300 Middlesex County College students participated in the Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) program in the spring 2019 semester, including many who would not have been able to attend if not for CCOG,” said Mark McCormick, President of Middlesex County College. “I believe that CCOG is an investment in our students as they earn an associate degree or industry credential that leads to a career with family-supporting wages.”

CCOG is designed as a last-dollar scholarship, participating students must first apply for all other federal, state, and institutional financial aid grants. As the crucial September 15 application deadline approaches, HESAA is working with county colleges across the state to reach students and help them complete the financial aid forms they need to qualify for free tuition and approved educational fees.

You might be interested: Latina activist and educator Maria Santiago-Valentin advocates for classroom inclusion

“Every New Jerseyan, regardless of life circumstances, should have the opportunity to obtain a high-quality credential that prepares them for life after college. Expanding the Community College Opportunity Grant brings our state one step closer to achieving this vision by enabling us to serve more of New Jersey’s community college students,” said Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis. “During my spring graduation tour of New Jersey’s colleges, I heard over and over from students for whom free tuition made it possible for them to afford college. I’m excited we are able to continue and expand this fantastic opportunity.”

 

For more information or to RSVP, please visit https://www.hesaa.org/Documents/FAFSA/NJFAFSACompletionEvents2020-2021.pdf.

For detailed information on program parameters and eligibility criteria, please visit www.hesaa.org/Pages/CCOG.aspx