We've been celebrating and promoting small businesses throughout the past year in an effort to help those family and neighborhood businesses damaged by government lockdowns.

Every week we highlight businesses across the state and almost every week, the conversation turns to food.

For this Monday, I turned the focus on personal care, specifically barber shops, salons, and spas. Did you know that there are 39,000 hairstylists in New Jersey? This is a huge section of our economy and they deserve a voice.

My friends at the New Jersey Business and Industry Association have been pushing for common-sense legislation to help the industry.

The NJBIA director of government affairs, Alexis Bailey, outlined four simple proposals that would dramatically help struggling businesses.

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License reciprocity with neighboring states

"Reciprocity will allow professionals with years of experience that move into our state to seamlessly continue working and contribute to the industry," Bailey said.

Hair stylist preparing barber tool to working

Temporary teaching permits

Proposed legislation A-488/S-1137 would allow temporary permits to applicants seeking teacher licenses while they await their examinations. Bailey said temporary permits are already allowed for those applying for practicing licenses.


Work-study program for cosmetology and hairstyling students

"A number of other industries benefit from the positive outcomes of internship and apprenticeship programs," Bailey said. "By allowing cosmetology and hairstyling students to participate in a similar work study program, the State Board of Cosmetology can elevate training opportunities in the industry."

Professional styling.

Tax credit for salons and spas that provide hiring bonuses

Bailey said this would give struggling businesses a leg up and strengthen the state's economy.

Allef Vinicius via Unsplash
Allef Vinicius via Unsplash

Simple. Common sense. Helpful. Reciprocity, tax credits, work-study/apprentice program, and temporary licenses for qualified applicants.

The Common Sense Club, 100% supports this proposal and will be including the ideas in our "Small Business Protection Act."

Stay tuned for more on that and other ideas to help New Jersey's struggling small business community. It's time to do more than just talk about these and other great enterprises in New Jersey. We've got to fight for the small business community. After all, they're the true backbone of our economy accounting for half of all employees in New Jersey.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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