New Jersey Business Action Center

Department of State
New Jersey Business Action Center
The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary of State

About the New Jersey Business Action Center

The New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC) is a business advocacy team within the Department of State, dedicated to solving problems and maximizing growth opportunities for your business. We can connect you with government agencies, direct you to appropriate officials, facilitate meetings and follow-ups with regulatory agencies and so much more, all at no cost and strictly confidential. Whether you are an entrepreneur who’s just getting started or a corporate executive looking to expand, we’re here to help. For more information, please call our Business Helpline at 1-800-Jersey-7 or (1-800-537-7397).

What We Offer:

  • We can assist you with applying for the NJSTEP grant, which helps eligible small businesses participate in internationally-focused trade shows or trade missions.
  • We offer project management services from knowledgeable business advocates to guide your company through complex projects, government incentive grant and financing programs, approvals, and grant compliance.
  • We can connect you with expert consultants and facilitators for workforce training grants, talent recruitment, and energy efficiency programs.
  • We can connect you with government support for businesses seeking state and local permits and regulatory approvals.
  • Our business Help Line offers guidance on small business issues including small and minority business certifications, licensing and financing programs.
  • Our help line can help find resources following hurricanes, storms, and other disasters.
  • We offer redevelopment guidance and government agency coordination for municipalities and developers.

Leadership Team

Executive Director: Melanie Willoughby

Melanie Willoughby Executive Director

Deputy Executive Director: Penni Wild

Penni Wild Deputy Executive Director

Assistant Director:  Jef Buehler

Jef Buehler Assistant Director


  Ili Hsieh, Admin Assist

Ili Hsieh Admin Assist

Caroline Cunningham, Accountant

Caroline Cunningham Accountant

Lauren L. Lamin, Events and Marketing Manager

Lauren L. Lamin Events and Marketing Manager

Office of Export Promotion

Manager:  William Spear

William Spear Manager

Global Business Advocate:  Jean Chang

Jean Chang Global Business Advocate

Global Business Advocate:  Marielle Wolf

Marielle Wolf Global Business Advocate

Global Business Advocate:  Sophie Werner

Sophie Werner Global Business Advocate

Office of Planning Advocacy

Executive Director: Donna Rendeiro

Donna Rendeiro Executive Director

Naomi Barnes, Cartographer

Naomi Barnes Cartographer

 Lisa Avichal, Area Planner

Lisa Avichal Area Planner

  Jacqueline Rivera, Program Specialist II

Jacqueline Rivera Program Specialist II

Office of Business Advocacy

Manager: Stephen Milgrom

Stephen Milgrom Manager

Irene Crespo, business advocate

Irene Crespo Business Advocate

Myles Pressey, business advocate

Myles Pressey Business Advocate

Greg Larkin, business advocate

Greg Larkin Business Advocate

Office of Small Business

Manager: Donald Newman

Donald Newman Manager

Assistant Manager: Anthony Martinez

Anthony Martinez Assistant Manager

Kathleen Bransfield, Customer Service Rep.

Kathleen Bransfield Customer Service Rep.

Francisco Rios, Customer Service Rep.

Francisco Rios Customer Service Rep.

Jeffrey Summers, Customer Service Rep.

Jeffrey Summers Customer Service Rep.

Laflaurah Sanders, Customer Service Rep.

Laflaurah Sanders Customer Service Rep.

Cannabis Training Academy

Executive Director: Tauhid Chappell

Tauhid Chappell Executive Director

Administrator: Bionda Rizvani

Bionda Rizvani Administrator

Small Business

Our small business advocates are here for you. If you’re ready to launch or grow your venture in New Jersey, you’ve come to the right place.

Mid-Large Business

Looking to grow your mid-to-large scale business in New Jersey? Our advocates can connect you with the right state departments and agencies, whether you’re looking to start relocation or expansion projects, connect with research facilities, or access site selection resources.

Nonprofit Information

This is the one-stop-shop for nonprofits in New Jersey seeking various funding sources, assistance with charity registration, background checks or regulatory matters.

Export Information

The Office of Export Promotion works with New Jersey’s small and mid-sized companies interested in expanding their products and services through export.

Connect With us

Call Our Business Helpline
1-800-Jersey-7 (1-800-537-7397)

Connect With Us

Have a question or concern that we can help address? Contact us by phone or email, or reach out through the Business First Stop chat box.

Success Stories

Jeremy DeFilippis at Stafford-Township based Jetty Life
Jeremy DeFilippis at Stafford-Township based Jetty Life

Becoming a B Corporation simply made sense for the team at Stafford-Township based Jetty Life.

Cyber Security Consulting Ops logo
Tony Wittock of Cyber Security Consulting Ops

Cyber attacks can wreak havoc on our industries, global supply chains and personal security.

Jeff Reichle at Lund’s Fisheries
Jeff Reichle at Lund’s Fisheries

Next time you’re enjoying your favorite seafood at home or at a restaurant take a moment to consider the source.

Monica Lee at Route 66 International
Monica Lee at Route 66 International

As general manager of Route 66 International Inc., Monica Lee is always looking for the next opportunity.

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