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Piggy bank underwater.

Changing channels

A year into the pandemic, with the outlook for SMBs in New Jersey seeming slightly better based on recent economic data, Piermont Bank founder and CEO Wendy Cai-Lee explores how to leverage your bank to help stabilize your business, finance your growth and move forward. And how your bank can play a more active role in helping navigate the financing landscape.

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Cannabis businesses operate solely in cash due to federal banking laws. - BEAU WHITNEY

Risky business

A recent Marijuana Banking Update from FinCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the United States Department of the Treasury, found that 515 banks and 169 credit unions nationwide serve cannabis-related businesses. Out of the approximately 5,000 banks nationwide, that’s a relatively small number to handle the estimated $18.3 billion in legal cannabis sales in 2020. The SAFE Banking Act would change that.

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handshake isolated on business background

The thing about set-asides

In March, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill requiring New Jersey school districts to incorporate instruction on diversity and inclusion. Some business leaders wish he’d do the same thing for entrepreneurs. It’s not as though the state has ignored minority business owners, they say. It’s just that the process is so convoluted — at the federal level too — that many small business owners get discouraged.

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