A new digital tool for small businesses in New Jersey is helping entrepreneurs jump-start their operations, the latest example of how government technology providers and public agencies are using digital tools to streamline permits and licensing.
Baltimore-based digital services company Fearless built the state’s online Navigator portal, according to a company spokesperson.
Since the site went live in late 2021, it has attracted 66,500 users and now averages around 300 daily users, the spokesperson said. Government technology by email. Since mid-April, 950 of those users have started businesses in New Jersey through the online site.
No immediate comment from state officials was available.
More than a dozen state organizations in New Jersey support the state’s 900,000 businesses and often use manual, not digital, processes to serve these business owners. The drive to make government enterprise approval and assistance more digital reflects broader trends playing out in the government tech industry.
An example of this comes from May.
That’s when Kansas-based CivicPlus, which builds websites and software for local governments, launched software designed to manage permits, planning, zoning, business licenses, code enforcement and fire inspections through a single interface.
The tool provides “end-to-end documentation, workflow management, and public engagement functionality for code enforcement officers, public works managers, community development officers, firefighters and other local government leaders,” according to a press release for the product.
Then, in June, budget management technology provider ClearGov entered the permitting and licensing market through the acquisition of CityGrows.
The software sold by CityGrows enables local agencies to digitize and automate authorization and licensing workflows. The technology also processes online payments and offers what the company calls a “smart dashboard”.
As for Fearless, he says the New Jersey Navigator program helps aspiring business owners create roadmaps for their businesses, including helping develop business plans and securing necessary financing and forms. and state required tax identification numbers.
The company is also currently working on an API that would make it easier to communicate with the New Jersey Treasurer’s website so that business owners could create digital dashboards containing all the information the state has about their businesses, as well as deadlines and funding data.