New Jersey is looking to boost its digital marketing prowess, including by opening up the digital market to more people, according to a New Jersey State Legislature panel.
State lawmakers voted last week to allow online brokers to offer their services to businesses, allowing for people who already know each other to connect and interact, such as on social media.
They’re also exploring opening up deals to online brokers in other industries, such and car dealerships, where there is a need for a more sophisticated service.
The Legislature passed the bill last week, making it a state law and not a municipal law, said Rep. Joseph M. Bocchiaro, a Republican.
The bill, he said, will create a new class of digital marketers and help businesses and individuals get started in a new world of online advertising.
In addition, the law requires companies to submit plans for the business, including for a “digital marketing service provider” to offer.
The plan will be developed by the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation, he added.
Businesses may apply to be listed in the marketplace by submitting their plan and providing their name, address, phone number and email address, he wrote.
If approved, the plan will become part of the state’s digital marketing program, Bocchaaro wrote in the bill.
Companies that want to be added to the program will have to pay a $5,000 annual registration fee, the first year the state lets online brokers open.
The next year, companies must pay $2,500 annually, and $1,000 annually annually for each year after that.
Bocchaado said online brokers must submit plans that include online payment and delivery, along with a detailed business plan.
Companies also will have the option of setting up a personal email account, he noted.
Business owners will have 90 days to submit an application to be included in the program, which is available online through the New Jersey Businesses and Entrepreneurship Council.
The program will be limited to businesses with at least 500 people and will start with 20 businesses in New Brunswick and Middlesex counties, and expand to other New Jersey counties.
The proposal is a response to an explosion of online businesses, said Michael Fagan, director of business for the New Brunswick-based New Brunswick Chamber of Commerce.
The state has about 300 online businesses in the state, Fagan said.
More than 90% of the companies have no more than 500 employees, he reported.
The chamber is working with the New York State Business Development Authority and the state office of the secretary of commerce to help businesses get on the program.
“It’s a really good first step in a long process that we’ll have to go through,” Fagan wrote in an email.
New Brunswick’s digital marketplace, called NJ.com, will be open from Nov. 1, with more companies expected to be eligible for the program as the state expands it, Bocciaaro wrote.
He said NJ.org has been used by about 400 businesses in seven different New Jersey communities, including Newark, the state capital, as well as other towns and counties.
There will be no limit on the number of businesses that can be added in a given period, he did not say.
The legislature approved the legislation in the midst of a national wave of online retailers, which has added millions of dollars to the state economy since the start of the year.