Washington - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) hosted two New Jersey businesses today at a discussion with Senate Democrats about how they, and other small and medium businesses, are strengthening local economies, creating jobs, and how their efforts may be replicated nationally. Jim Brennan, President of Sea Box, Inc. of East Riverton, and Debbie Hart, President of BioNJ of Trenton, joined Senator Menendez for the meeting which was attended by Senators and local business owners from 12 states.

"Today was a great opportunity to hear from two top-notch New Jersey business owners- Jim Brennan of Sea Box and Debbie Hart of BioNJ - who understand how important it is for Washington to help create a climate where they can thrive and grow and where new businesses can start and flourish," said Menendez. "Now it is our job to take what we heard from those small business owners who have tried and succeeded and help other small businesses do the same. We have to do everything we can to create an environment which is conducive to business growth and a strong private sector."

"I am honored to be asked to speak to the Senators about the success and growth of my business," said Jim Brennan. "Sea Box, Inc. is a true American success story and I have been lucky enough to be living the American Dream of creating, owning and operating my own U. S. small business. Our success has been made possible by the hard work and dedication of all of our hard working employees at Sea Box. Here in Washington, I was given the opportunity to express my beliefs and desire to see more products designed and produced here in the United States like we do -- my factory in New Jersey has created and built over 5,000 container designs over the last 29 years. This forum has given me, a small business owner, the chance to be heard on Capitol Hill, and to share our successful strategies with other small businesses."

"Given the state of the economy, sessions such as this where we can share good economic results and news and consider strategies for generating more of the same can only mean good things," said Debbie Hart. "It will allow legislators to see what's working and learn how these results were generated and to consider and assess the potential for repeating such results. It is opportunities such as this that can get us closer to the end of this economic downturn and give us hope for the economic future of this country."

Sea Box, Inc. sells and leases new and used ISO shipping, cargo, mobile storage and refrigerated containers for scores of applications to a diverse and international customer base. With 29 years in the industry, Sea Box is a multi-million dollar company with a comprehensive equipment fleet and an experienced design team. In the past five years, Sea Box, Inc. has grown from 50 employees to 170 employees - hiring 70 new workers since 2008.

BioNJ works to enhance the climate for biotechnology in New Jersey. As the representative of an industry that has the potential to change the course of human health, make our environment cleaner and the foods we eat safer and healthier, BioNJ is single-minded in its commitment to the growth and prosperity of this industry within the state of New Jersey. By utilizing supportive government policy, BioNJ has helped the biotechnology industry in New Jersey grow from just 80 companies in 1998 to more than 335 companies today. Additionally, the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project Credit program provided funding to more than 4,600 total projects at companies in 47 states and the District of Columbia, helping the average biotechnology company increase its workforce by 27%.

Senator Menendez has long been fighting to give small businesses the tax relief, access to capital and regulatory environment they need to flourish:

Tax Relief

  • Strong supporter of bills signed into law that provided tax incentives to small businesses to expand and purchase new equipment.
  • Also supported legislation that made it easier for start-up small businesses to secure private investments.
  • Supports the President's American Jobs Act, which would cut payroll taxes in half for small businesses, allow 100 percent expensing through 2012, and provide incentives for hiring unemployed workers and veterans.

Access to Capital

  • Has worked to increase loan guarantees offered by the SBA, to relieve the credit crunch on small businesses which hinders their growth.

Easing Regulations

  • Voted to repeal the so-called 1099 reporting requirement so business owners can focus more on their business and less on paperwork.
  • Was a leader in securing an amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Accountability Act that requires the federal government to ensure new regulations do not hurt small businesses before they are put into place.
  • Most recently, supported the repeal of the so-called 3 percent withholding requirement, which prevented small businesses from receiving the full payment for contracts until the tax year concluded.