Small manufacturing is alive and well in New Jersey, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration of New Jersey, which reported that small manufacturers received 72 loans backed by the SBA for a total of $59 million during the the agency's 2019 fiscal year.

Al Titone, district director for the SBA of New Jersey, said his office saw small manufacturers received 7% more loans than they did last year. Titone attributed this to confidence in the economy.

He said that over the years, folks in manufacturing sat on the sidelines because they needed big investments and equipment. But recently, he has seen a big uptick in loans to buy the equipment and resources needed to ramp up or start a manufacturing business.

Manufacturing is so big because it can include a neighborhood bakery to a pharmaceutical conglomerate.

The average loan amount was $817,000. But Titone said the top five counties where small manufacturers received the most SBA loans were Bergen County with eight loans totaling $10.4 million; Monmouth County with eight loans totaling $3.8 million; Burlington County with eight loans totaling $3.5 million; Camden County with seven loans totaling $5.4 million; and Essex County with six loans totaling $6.5 million.

Titone said these loans approved for small manufacturing in New Jersey helps the state economy in a tremendous way. Small businesses account for 62% of all manufacturing in New Jersey. Alone, manufacturing is worth $13.5 billion in exports.

The 72 loans that were approved this year to manufacturers helped to retain 892 jobs and create another 229 jobs around the state, Titone said.

The jobs that manufacturing provide are normally the non-traditional ones. Right now there's a big push for people to get into the trades and the manufacturing helps both blue collar and white collar jobs.

Titone said small manufacturers can seek help at www.sba.gov/nj.

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