NJ – No place for Small Business

From the Cherry Hill Courier Post:

SMALL-BUSINESS ADVICE: N.J. gets low marks for policy climate

New Jersey ranked second-worst in the nation for its “public policy climate for small business and entrepreneurship, according to a study by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

According to SBE Council chief economist Raymond J. Keating, author of the study, “In politics, talk is cheap, and everybody talks about how much they love small business. The “Small Business Survival Index 2006″ moves past the rhetoric to actually rank the states according to the policies implemented in terms of taxes, regulation, spending and other governmental costs affecting the entrepreneurial sector of our economy.”

The index analyzes 29 major government-imposed or government-related costs affecting small businesses and entrepreneurs. These measures are added together to compute an overall rating.

The study can be found here:


In terms of their policy environments, the most entrepreneur-friendly states under the Small Business Survival Index 2006 are: 1) South Dakota, 2) Nevada, 3) Wyoming, 4) Alabama, 5) Washington, 6) Florida, 7) Mississippi, 8) Colorado, 9) Texas, 10) Michigan, 11) South Carolina, 12) Indiana, 13) Tennessee, 14) Virginia, and 15) Arizona. In contrast, the most anti-entrepreneur policy environments are offered by the following: 37) West Virginia, 38) Ohio, 39) Oregon, 40) North Carolina, 41) Iowa, 42) Vermont, 43) Massachusetts, 44) Hawaii, 45) New York, 46) Minnesota,
47) Maine, 48) Rhode Island, 49) California, 50) New Jersey and 51) District of Columbia. (Please note that the District of Columbia was not included in the study ranking the states according to their liability systems, so D.C.’s last place score actually is worse.)

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71 Responses to NJ – No place for Small Business

  1. pesche22 says:

    no suprise here. NJ has become a welfare state.
    No company would locate here,except companies
    escaping from NY. Then, after they get the
    drift overhere , they leave.

  2. James Bednar says:

    Busy week on the economic front:

    Consumer Confidence
    Existing Home Sales

    GDP (Prel. Q3)
    New Home Sales
    Beige Book

    Personal Income/Spending/Savings

    Construction Spending

  3. Al says:

    Economic data are not making sense – they all not using true measurement of inflation/dollar decreasing in value. (look at dollae to euro/yen/gold in the past 4 years).

    The real magnitude of these effect will be seen 5-10 years down the road. Right now everything will be growing very fast – Hidden Inflation.

    Money supply is unsupported by manufacturing/production, and artificially inflated by fed’s low rates – inflation is delayed but it is already coming.

  4. James Bednar says:

    From the Jersey Journal:

    Tougher debt laws leaving spendthrifts with fewer options

    If you’re looking for another reason to hold onto your credit cards a little bit tighter this holiday shopping season, consider the cautionary tale of Jersey City resident Ronald Witherspoon, who recently had to file for bankruptcy after running up a sizable credit card debt just one year after losing his job with the U.S. Postal Service.

    “You start using it (a credit card) as like an extra paycheck,” Witherspoon said. “Next thing you know, there is no money to pay it back.”

    Meanwhile, Witherspoon said he’s stopped using credit cards. But he is tempted by pre-approved offers that have shown up in his mail, including one that would charge him an $80 annual fee for a $300 credit limit.

    “I’m thinking about it,” he said. “I mean, Christmas is coming. I need to get gifts for the kids.”

  5. thatbigwindow says:

    How does one lose their job with the US Postal Service? I mean, don’t you have to really screw up?

  6. BC Bob says:

    “$80 annual fee for a $300 credit limit.”

    Ouch!! Pay almost 30%, fee/credit limit, for an annual fee plus some ridiculous interest rate??? He’s thinking about it???? Has he really gone Poastal??? You could get a better deal in the swamps of Jersey!!

  7. pesche22 says:

    Mr. W. is a moron. probably a graduate of
    one of NJ’s schools.

    He lost the gov. job,,could not read,write
    or comprehend .

  8. Lindsey says:

    RE Post 5 from TBW:

    You may not like the Post Office, and I sure as hell don’t work there, but I’ve seen the back-end of that operation and it isn’t pretty. The productivity/efficiency targets they have are really quite difficult to meet and the pressure to perform is a big part of the “going postal” phenomenon.

    Also, the hours can really suck.

  9. rhymingrealtor says:

    Mr. W. is a moron. probably a graduate of
    one of NJ’s schools.

    Yeah that NJ school is’nt look too good – an ex postal employee and a Realtor…. not much to brag about! (-:

    You may not like the Post Office, and I sure as hell don’t work there, but I’ve seen the back-end of that operation and it isn’t pretty


    So have I, and I agree. I worked as a temp many years ago during christmas season, left on a break and did’nt turn back, It was a horrible place to work.
    As Newman from Seinfeld once said “The mail just keeps coming!”



  10. pesche22 says:

    our PO’s are being used as immigration stations
    go in and look around.

  11. James Bednar says:

    Fixed KL..


  12. SG says:

    well, MSM may not be admitting house prices going down, but if you read between the lines, slip up sometimes do come. The following article is on Reassessment, but some reality of house prices was also noted.


    After several years of a boom in which housing values across Central Jersey were steadily skyrocketing, the market has shifted and those values are stabilizing and in some cases might be dropping. The simple reality for many homeowners is that they couldn’t sell their house today for what they could have sold it for a year ago.

    Yet, the reassessment formula for Montgomery’s 2007 figures necessarily included market-rate information from the height of the boom. Montgomery Mayor Louise Wilson said the resulting new figures came in much higher than the current market suggests. That might be true in some cases but not in others. The process of reviewing such complaints would be time-consuming.

  13. SG says:

    Another grim reality in NJ:

    But now comes a new study that confirms — or at least attempts to quantify — that understanding. A Rutgers University survey of New Jersey wages in the private and public sectors shows that government workers actually earn more on the average than their private counterparts. The primary reason has been the erosion of private wages, according to the report’s author, William M. Rodgers III, a professor and chief economist at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers.


  14. Al says:

    A Rutgers University survey of New Jersey wages in the private and public sectors shows that government workers actually earn more on the average than their private counterparts

    Unfortunatlly it seems to be the situation almost everywhere in the country nowdays…. CAn we say – welcome to the Soviet Union of The United States of America??? (job sequirity is better with the goverment, salaries (with benefits) are higher – why even bother to go private industry????)

    For My next Job I will be looking into govermental position I guess – I am dead serious…

  15. pesche22 says:

    Sooner or later NJ has to pay the price
    for screwing the taxpayers.

    The taxpayers have been carrying the load
    for all the pensions, and giveaways.

    Question: Can NJ recover, or ;;;;;;;;;;;;

  16. ks2nj says:

    I think most people (including me till recently) think of small biz as innovative companies that have a novel idea.

    Considering CA ranks just one step better than NJ, I think that’s not the case. I think mom&pop shops probably form the majority of small businesses.

    Dunkin Donuts franchise has a better survival rate than a corner coffee shop in NJ.

    just my thoughts

  17. v says:

    From the housing bubble blog –

    realtor propaganda


    This is a century 21 radio show on real estate.
    General theme –
    1]Buy now before it is too late. Pull the “trigger” now.
    2]prices going up next year.
    3]If you are a Baby boomer, take upto 40% equity off your current house to buy now.
    4]The host tries to boost confidence but then a seller calls asking if property prices can fall by 75% :)
    5] Sellers cut prices to the lowest in your community. Sellers don’t be greedy :)
    6] Florida is in a recession. Take the plane up there and buy right now.

  18. Al says:


    1) It is too late now – with my salary I can not buy anything WITHIN 1 1/2hour drive, and my income is about 15K above median HOUSEHOLD income in NJ. )I guess I will go blame my parents for giving me birth too late!!!)

    2) Well I can’t buy now why should I worry about prices going up??

    3) I am not a BABY BOOMER

    4) 25% off current prices might enable me to buy something – that is if real estate taxes will stop growing (300K —> 225K but I do not see ANY PRICE DROPS IN 300K PRICE RANGE – THERE IS ACTUALLY AN INCREASE IN PRICES AT THE BOTTOM LEVEL)

    5) See Previous POints.

    6) I am looking for a place to live – what am I suppose to do with the place in Florida – especially if prices are dropping there. (Again see above -I am not a BABY BOOMER, I have a long way before retirement)

    Which brings up the question – does anybody see starter homes in Central NJ costing 200K-225K in the next 2 years or not?

  19. FirstTimeBuyer says:

    V- I can’t handle the realtor and the mortgage lender propaganda at all any more. I hear the same crap from both — buy now! rates are going up! prices never fall! only we can lock you in!

    It’s a slimy industry.

  20. v says:


    “Saving Miguel and Michele”

    1] 2 Mortgages. Second home rent pays for second home mortgage [ARMers??]
    2] Tuition payments.
    3] 2003 property (125K) has doubled in the last 3 years.
    4] Taken out 45K in home equity.
    5] $7000 towards a preconstruction condo.

  21. Al says:

    And IN general – do not get me wrong: I do not mind doubling housing costs/healthcare/gasoline/food since 1999.

    All I want is the salary to increase 75% so I can afford to live only 25% worse that I lived in 1999!!!

  22. SG says:

    Al: It depends on which year you take as starting point. I have plotted Housing data with CPI & Income data starting from 1977. See the link below,


    As you can see, granted the House prices doubled since 1999, but they were stagnant from 1991 to 1999, while the income grew at steady pace. Income did definitely not grew in last 6 or so years in same pace as housing, but if you start from 1991, it has. This is not to say that house prices are too high at present.

    My own analysis is this. NJ as a region has some specific characteristics such as location, land restrictions etc… that has always demanded some premium. I translate that to about 2% above inflation rate. I have also plotted 1% & 3% above inflation line in the chart. The prices moved above 3% line in 2003. I characterize that as similar to 1985 time. Last time it took 7 years for prices to come back to same 3% line. This time we are about 3 years into above 3% line. May be with increased technology it may take 5 years to go back to 3% line. That would translate into 2 more years before we reach back to history.

    So, if one does not need to buy right away, I would say wait at least 2 more years. If you really have to buy, then don’t over buy it i.e. buy biggest one can afford. Buy something modest that you can put sweat equity into.

  23. Al says:

    What your graph indicates is 250K average house price in Newark/Union…. I saw what and where 250K buy’s…

    No Thank you, I’d like to be safe at night, and I do not want to live on 1@9.

  24. Al says:

    In Addition: in 1978 income to house prices were 1 : 3

    In 1988 they were about 1 : 4.8 = bubble

    in 1997 they were back to sabout 1 : 3.2

    In 2006 they are 1 : 5.1 bubble bigger than in 1988



  25. v says:

    Dow ends at 12121 down 158(1.29%). This week’s economic data could push the dow below 12K.

  26. Spelunker says:

    Tomorrow: Existing home sales for October
    Wednesday: New Home Sales for October

  27. SG says:

    Al: You missed the point on Graphs & Data. I am not by any means recommending to buy at this point. The Newark is MSA that includes all of NNJ. That’s how goverment terms the Metropolitan Statistical Area.

    The price of $250K is not actual price but representative one. The point is to compare percentage of Income required to buy a house that costs 1000 times HPI. I am using that factor to just come to a number that can be compared. The second chart basically points Price to Income ratio, and points that we are back in territory similar to 89 & 90. You also have to factor the fact that Interest rates were significantly higher in 70’s & 80’s.

    BTW: Don’t worry about college degrees. I got at least 3 of them.

  28. phlegm says:

    OT, but what do you guys think about (formerly high flying) sub-prime lenders with fat yields like new century financial (NEW) that are near there 52 wk lows? Even if price drops further its still yielding 20 percent. I guess my real question is “to what extent do you think the stock market has priced in the residual effects of the real estate bust?” I know, yada yada, dont look to this forum for investment advice, standard disclaimers, im just curious what people think

  29. Al says:

    BTW: Don’t worry about college degrees. I got at least 3 of them.

    Lol I have 2, and thinking of getting 3rd one in 2 years – hell if I am still in NJ might as well take my company up on their promise to pay for an MBA….

    That if we are still a company.. Today the CEO declared “temporary” hiring freeze for all external hires, to control COSTS……

  30. James Bednar says:

    I don’t think a BA/BS means much nowadays. I’m about halfway through my second Masters, MBA with a conc. in Business Economics.

    I’m going to take a 1-2 year break post MBA, then I’ll decide if I feel like another MS or if I want to leave the workforce and go for a PhD.


  31. Al says:

    lol PhD is not what it used to be for jobs/salary.
    MS/PhD here….. (it is a lot harder to find a job with PhD that with MS/Bachelors)

  32. Al says:

    Nowdays it is either a law degree with Bar exam, MD, or MBA…

  33. suziehomemaker says:

    Hey Fello Bloggers, just wondered if you could give me some advise, I am interested in a home LP.$400k, reduced $385, I put an offer of $335, which I believed to be a good offer in this market and was willing to close asap. as owner has vacated the house, they immediately countered at $365, it is a small house and needs cosmetic work, don,t laugh at me, but it is in a great location, should I let them sit on it or , or up my price?

  34. UnRealtor says:

    Suzie, if you really like it, up to $345K.

    But do so considering what it will be worth next year, etc.

  35. Al says:

    well listed price is about 20% more than what they were hoping to sell it for, so they were expecting about 340K…..

    So by buying it at 335 you are paying them WHAT THEY WANTED…

  36. v says:

    What do the comps say?

  37. suziehomemaker says:

    The listing price was about 10% lower than last years prices, one house was listed at $440K AND was withdrawn earlier this year.

  38. James Bednar says:

    Really not enough information there Suzie.

    However, the fact that they came back with a counter on a lowball shows you they are at least willing to bargain.

    The question is… How much lower can they be pushed?


  39. SAS says:

    “So by buying it at 335 you are paying them WHAT THEY WANTED”

    Al is right on with this one. You are basically paying them what they want.

    Buy today, be upside down tomorrow. Better off holding…whats the rush?

    Just my opinion…


  40. v says:

    In my opinion –
    335-345K is ~25% off 2005 prices. I feel 20-25% is the max discount you can currently ask.

    Wait for housing data to be released this week before taking the next step. New data could help make your case.

    Having said that i feel you are taking a fair amount of risk.

    Vacant houses need to be heated and maintained(snow removal, property tax, mortgage).
    Such hardships will make even the strong willed cry for their mommy.

  41. suziehomemaker says:

    Hey Guys, thanks for the feedback , have to sleep on this one, of course realtor is telling me this is the best deal she has come across, and I keep telling her , the seller is no longer the King //, will let you all know how this plays out, once again , THANK YOU.

  42. Al says:

    I feel 20-25% is the max discount you can currently ask.


  43. Al says:

    I can ask for 90% discount if i want to…..

    25% discount from prices which were created from: Hmmm let see if I can sell this hose for a million (2bdr/1bathroom, 700sqft but it is only 45 miles away from Manhattan…)

  44. Al says:

    Tell me of any other commodity which people sellinng with huge biding wars: imagine you are coming to a grocery store and going to buy
    some soda. You take it, go to the counter and at the counter the clerk tels you: sorry but the gentelmen behind you just offered 4$ instead of 1$ … whould you like to offer 5$??? because you know that tomorrow you will sell soda for 50$…

    sounds silly enough???

  45. Al says:

    I know there are art objects 9Pictures statues and so on – believe me nobody need it for living and there is no 33000 Picasso’s painting being for sale in NJ alone and over 1.4 million in the US)

    Plus I will never buy anything Antique – I am just too unclassy for paying million for an old rug with paint on it :)

  46. Mike says:

    Too many people here w/crystal balls who say home prices are going down next year.

    I guess there’s no chance that mortgage rates will go up either, right?

  47. Glen says:

    In regard to post #27:

    Al, you seem like a decent guy, but you are definitely arrogant with your attitude. You don’t have to go to college to learn something. I myself did not go to college and also make $15k about the median NJ household income (actually, a little more), so there is really no point to make comments like that, I don’t care how smart you think you are.
    Now, if you are talking about government workers (I know you don’t have a soft spot for them, I don’t myself), I can understand that, but if that’s the case, you should clarify that in your posts.

  48. James Bednar says:

    I guess there’s no chance that mortgage rates will go up either, right?


    Saving and thrift are core tenets here.

    Those with poor credit and little to no down payment will find that they can not take advantage of lower prices. However, if they do purchase, they can at least take some solace in the fact that the price was fair. There is always a chance to refinance at a lower rate, you never get a chance to renegotiate a high purchase price.

    While your comment focused on rising interest rates (this could be debated ad infinitum), I think lending standards are more important here.

    As credit contracts, lending standards may tighten. If that occurs, those who could qualify for a loan now, might find that lenders so willing in the future.


  49. Al says:

    Al, you seem like a decent guy, but you are definitely arrogant with your attitude.

    I’ll take it.

    In addition my comment was not saying that people without higher education are dumb.

    However I do see alarming trent of peple in this contry not understanding, OR NOT WILLING TO EVEN TRY to understand basic math concepts and their CONSEQUENCES….
    Buying a house, financing a car is all about that.

    I can only hope that people with higher education are betetr at that.

    As far as income goes -I was not bragging about my income. Unfortunatelly 15K over median family income just does not cut it right now.

    Right now in NJ you need about 150K/annually for family, to afford Moderate home and 2 kids… Quite simply I do not know how the young families which are making median salary in NJ (65K for a household) are making it.

    I feel very stupid for going to college and “wasting” all those years to get an advanced degree. However I work on ways to correct the gap between earning’s I’d like to have and earnings I have at the moment. (while I am sitting in my 300$ Jeans – sorry I felt like we did not have this one for a while).

  50. Mike says:


    James- I was focusing my comment more on residential units (I should’ve made this comment in another thread).

    My point is we focus so much here on purchase price and you’re 100% right, you don’t get a chance to renegotiate a purchase price. However, there is a herd mentality on this site to advise buyers in general to hold off buying. My point is if rates increase 1% or more in the next year or so, (which is probably a good bet to happen) you end up paying more every month anyway.
    Its just an opinion of mine which I’m in the minority here I know, but it shouldn’t be ignored or ridiculed….

  51. Lindsey says:

    I imagine Suzie has taken her answer and gone, but there were several other questions she should have answered before moving on that house.

    1: can she afford the payments (whether 345 or 365 and whatever additional expenses needed to give her what she wants) if yes, go to next question

    2: Is this really the house she wants (as opposed to a house that kinda works for her)? If yes, next question.

    3: Will it bother her or be a problem if the house goes down in value or does not appreciate for 5 or 10 years? If no, then buying the house is a reasonable decision.

    The last one is for sanity’s sake. Your house is a place to live, not necessarily an investment. It has aspects of an investment, and if you’re lucky you can live somewhere you like in a nice house for a long time and then get some money out of it when you want to move.

  52. Al says:

    Will it bother her or be a problem if the house goes down in value or does not appreciate for 5 or 10 years? If no, then buying the house is a reasonable decision.

    the answer to this one will be in hte questions:

    what If i loose a job tomorrow and I bought the house too expensive amnd I am going to loose 6% from realtor’s fee + additional 15% of home value if I have yto sell in a rush (just for the record 21% of 340K home – 68K!!!) ??


    If a loose my job tomorrow I can at least sell the house with minimal losses – hopefully 6% from the agent’s fee only still ….20K)

    For some reason people here do not see buying a home as a HUGE RISK????

  53. Glen says:

    Al, fair enough. Of course, it’s hard to convey expressions electronically.
    I understand what you are saying and I didn’t think you were bragging about your salary.
    I was just trying to point out that you don’t have to go to college to make money (even though I am pursuing a degree, I think it’s the way to go).

    Here’s a little something to point out how out-of-whack housing costs are in this state. I saw in the news that Whitney Houston’s estate in Mendham could be in foreclosure soon.
    From what I understand, Mendham is a very, very rich town. I looked up Mendham on Wikipedia, and the article mentioned that the median salary is $146,000.
    How insane is that? The median salary in Mendham isn’t enough to afford the average house! Things have to change, and hopefully soon. I’m also tired of trying to live conservatively and saving, and thinking it’s not going to get me anywhere.

  54. Do you see children playing in NJ streets anymore. I don't, so I moved. says:

    So I finally took the plunge and moved south. Since my job has me bouncing all over the country, I have had the chance to experience different cities. So here my story.

    27 years old – 100K salary. I am extremely lucky as I went to a great school and have a great job. My wife, she could make another 40-50K if she wanted to work and not have kids.
    So what does 100K salary afford you? Conservatively 300K home with 20% down and some car payments, because every 20 something has those. And I have zero debt. So, where can I buy a house that would be good for a starter family (3 bed 2 bath) with other individuals living in that area of which are at the same or similar socio-economic level and share the drive and ethics that I do? Not anywhere in New Jersey. And no, I do not want an overpriced condo. I grew up in Toms River, nothing against the town, but this would be a prime example of people my age that I can not relate.
    So what do I have now that I relocated? I moved to a nice suberb of Atlanta (Marietta) with great schools and very affordable housing. I also rented in Midtown Atlanta, which is extremely nice, in a major city, dirt cheap. http://www.spiremidtown.com. Considered overpriced for midtown, but I digress.
    4 bedroom 3 bath (2500 sq.ft.) house, 1/2 acre, pool, great neighborhood, great schools, kids playing in the street. All this for 200k and 2k a year in taxes. I put 20% down with a 6% 30 year mortgage. Guess what, my wife and I go out to eat at great restaurants on the weekends, we frequently go shopping and pay off our credit cards every month. I not only save in my 401K, but also max out my Roth and have and individual Scottrade Account that I place additional funds. In a few years, I am even going to buy a lake house. Albeit Atlantans complain about traffic, but have they ever been on route 80, 78, 287, or the GSP. They don’t know what traffic is.
    The hardest thing about moving is of course family. But they must understand that college graduates can not survive. Down here, everyone has a much better quality of life. Take our neighbors, they life in a similar house, have a few kids; He is a manager at Target and his wife is a stay at home mom. Although they purchased their house a few years ago for about 10% less, it goes to show you what people with regular jobs can have. And the difference between a Target manager and one who is in New Jersey is that they take pride in their job and they have drive and character. You know those -adult degenerates/possibly ex-cons, unenthusiastic/unhelpful teen, or retiree trying to pay property taxes who work as a sales clerk at some retail tore. Not here, this is a profession, that pays the mortgage and not your drug money, iTunes songs or property taxes. My neighborhood is currently dominated by young professionals stockpiling savings, however, it is nice to know that others can enjoy the same benefits of great schools and people without sacraficing what life is all about for a home.

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