A local advertising executive may have the solution to help get New Jersey back on its feet.
Denise Blasevick is chief executive and co-founder of Boonton-based S3 Agency and, by trade, pushes creative ideas for clients looking to elevate brands on products or images.
Consistent exposure to consumers and data has given Blasevick the innovative flow to her work that is a constant need in the marketing sector. Given her agency’s experience with top firms, Blasevick has made a name for herself and her firm in the industry.
After challenges arose when the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, Blasevick worried about the uncertainty surrounding the effects of the crisis for her firm but eventually was one of few to receive a loan under the government’s Payment Protection Program crafted to help small businesses temporarily.
The circumstances, however, gave her a glimpse into how severe a blow the pandemic had dealt to the economy of the nation and New Jersey.
“We were biting our nails about the PPP funds,” Blasevick told NJ Advance Media. “And then it hit me that only a few businesses would get that funding.”
Businesses and individuals around New Jersey have grown frustrated with the process for government loans as well as a lag in unemployment benefit claims. As the number of cases of the virus appear to be on the decline, the trail of the economic fallout is leaving many businesses reeling as they decide how to proceed in a reopening process that will have strict measures to open their doors that could potentially affect their bottom lines.
Blasevick said thoughts and ideas stirred around for her, but the morbid statistics of how long an economic recovery would take in New Jersey accelerated her creative juices before she settled on a tax incentive idea for businesses large and small to work together in the state.
The campaign — it is dubbed #NJSMALL — that she and colleague Adam Schnitzler came up with would see big businesses hire local small businesses instead of contracting with out-of-state vendors.
Their idea would result in more small business workers being hired for, as an example, a 1% tax credit to big businesses. That would lead to positive results, for instance, in additional consumer spending by workers who would then be gainfully employed, giving the Garden State what Blasevick calls a win-win-win situation.
“We’re not in a recession, we’re in a pandemic,” Blasevick said. “We don’t know what the future holds, but all of our businesses in the state can pull together to get something done. Hiring small is better for all!”
The big businesses involved would theoretically turn to local New Jersey smaller businesses for services such as legal, marketing, etc., whenever it makes sense.
But what gives Blasevick pause is the thought of all of the businesses that may never come back from the coronavirus crisis. She hopes to have this idea come to fruition as quickly as possible to assist them in some fashion.
She remains positive and is encouraged by how many communities have banded together to help business communities out with goodwill gestures.
“So many people are rising to the occasion,” she said. “We were able to take a breath, look at the bigger picture and come up with a creative solution.”
Her sole focus is New Jersey, and Blasevick said she has received positive feedback from colleagues, politicians and some of her big business clients.
“They think it’s a great idea and want to see our economy recover as quickly as possible,” she said.
However, the individual she most needs to see green light the idea is Gov. Phil Murphy.
Has she heard from his office?
“We’re working hard to get word out and we have had a few people that have gotten word to the governor,” Blasevick said. “We haven’t heard anything yet, but, most importantly, we’ve haven’t gotten any negative attention about this.”