Hollywood is betting large on TikTok expertise in bid to woo Gen Z

In this photo illustration a TikTok logo seen displayed on a smartphone with stock market percentages in the background.

SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

When TikTok creator Boman Martinez-Reid first got an email from Creative Artists Agency he ignored it. As an Ontario native, he saw the acronym CAA and assumed it was CAA Insurance, a major car insurance company in Canada.

It was only after a TikTok representative contacted him that he realized he was being courted by one of Hollywood’s top talent agencies.

“I get a [direct message] from a guy at TikTok and he says let’s talk on the phone,” Martinez-Reid recalled. “So, we had a phone call and he asked me ‘I know that CAA has been reaching out to you. Do you know who they are? They represent Beyonce, Meryl Streep, you have to get on the phone with them.'”

Martinez-Reid, known online as “Bomanizer,” has more than 1.5 million followers and a budding career that includes a guest appearance on “Canada’s Drag Race” and a line of branded merchandise. While he rose to TikTok fame making reality show spoof videos, the 24-year-old has aspirations beyond the social media platform. He signed with CAA in July 2020.

Martinez-Reid is part of a growing list of content creators that have signed with traditional talent agencies, including dancer Charli D’Amelio, actress Addison Rae and the creators of the viral TikTok series “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical,” Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear.

These artists have been tapped because of their talent, but also because of their engagement with online communities. These entrepreneurs have built large and loyal followings on the short-form video app, something talent managers and agents from traditional Hollywood firms see as a potential gold mine.

Not only can these agencies help build mini-media empires around these creators, they also can benefit from the strategies these digital influencers use, and apply it to bolster the careers of the agencies’ already established clients.

Actor Will Smith, who is repped by CAA, is just one example of an A-list celebrity who has embraced social media, including TikTok and YouTube, in recent years as a way to promote his content and to promote himself.

“Will recognized four or five years ago that young audiences are consuming media in a much different way,” said David Freeman, co-head of the CAA’s digital media division. “Will understood that he had to shift and change the way that he was interacting with his audience.”

This pivotal audience, which ranges in age from six to around 25, is known as Gen Z and is one of the most sought after consumer bases for companies. Not only is this young generation coming of age as consumers, but they are also driving major trends for older generations, said Jason Dorsey, president of the Center for Generational Kinetics, a research and strategic advisory firm.

“This makes this younger set of trendsetters overly valuable,” he said.

This generation is not just impacting entertainment, but apparel, food, technology and bigger social conversations, he said. 

“As Gen Z comes up, they really are the best predictor of the future,” Dorsey said. “Smart brands are trying to figure out how you connect with them in a sincere way. … If you win Gen Z, you can win everyone else.”

Embracing Gen Z

Dorsey noted that many brands missed out on connecting with the millennial generation because they dismissed this demographic’s adoption of mobile devices and social media and believed that this group of young consumers would return to the traditions of previous generations.

“That didn’t happen,” he said.

While the millennial generation adopted the internet and a mobile-first mentality, Gen Z has never known a time that they could not do almost everything they needed to do on a mobile device, said Connor Blakley, a marketing consultant and Gen Z expert.

“Everyone always says that Gen Z has a six- to eight-second attention span,” he said. “What that is is just a really good ‘BS meter’ for different kinds of information so that we can pick the thing that we really want to spend time on.”

Blakley, who is a member of Gen Z himself, has advised companies like Pepsi, Johnson & Johnson and the National Hockey League on social media marketing strategies. He noted that Gen Z is a generation that can easily discern when people and companies are being disingenuous.

“That’s why you are seeing talent agencies, marketing agencies, influencer agencies, all kinds of branding agencies going to TikTok because that is the place where Gen Z already is,” Dorsey added. “If you want to reach them, you have to go to where they are because you have virtually zero chance of getting them to where you are.”

TikTok, in particular, has been a place for talent agencies to cull new talent because of its rapid rise to popularity and the viral nature of its content. In fact, TikTok was the most popular website in 2021, surpassing even Google, according to data from Cloudflare, a web security and performance company.

The social media app, which launched internationally in 2017, rose to prominence in 2018, but really gained traction with consumers in late 2019 and during the coronavirus pandemic.

Movie theaters were shuttered, productions of popular TV shows were halted and the rate at which content was being released to the public slowed considerably. With so many people stuck at home, many turned to alternatives like TikTok for entertainment.

“Suddenly there was a pandemic,” Martinez-Reid said. “Everyone was stuck inside. I had nothing to do but to make content and everyone else had nothing to do but to watch content.”

Boman Martinez-Reid, known on TikTok as “Bomanizer,” is a content creator who was signed by talent agency CAA in July 2020.

Boman Martinez-Reid

For Martinez-Reid, TikTok was a creative outlet. He was one semester away from graduating from Ryerson University’s RTA Media Production program when the social media platform began to gain popularity. So, he decided to try his hand at content production.

“What do I have to lose? If I post something and it does well, great. If it does poorly, then no one will know,” he said.

His first TikTok was posted in December 2019 and centered around Martinez-Reid having a conversation with his last two brain cells about joining the social media platform.

“I was just basically shooting for this like overproduced, super scripted, try hard kind of edge, which at the time was not a thing on TikTok,” he said. “And I think that’s why my content started to do so well, because I started to get this comment that was like ‘I can’t believe that this is a TikTok’ and from then on it sort of just snowballed into more and more opportunities.”

Martinez-Reid has become known for his reality show spoof videos in which, alongside family and friends, he pokes fun at how cast members often get into feuds over the small things. He said that during the pandemic, while people were stuck inside, they could relate to tiny little frustrations bubbling over into big arguments.

While Martinez-Reid has yet to break into Hollywood, he’s used his relationship with CAA to meet with casting directors and story producers at various networks over the last 18 months. His goal is to gain more knowledge about the industry so he can make more strategic decisions about what projects he wants to sign on for in the future.

But there is a path for Martinez-Reid, one that was first forged more than a decade ago by content creators on YouTube and the now defunct video platform Vine.

‘Talent is talent’

Over the last decade, CAA has helped content creators from nontraditional platforms make the transition to Hollywood. The group reps Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja, who rose to fame streaming himself playing video games. While Blevins continues to play video games professionally, he has also participated in Fox’s “The Masked Singer” and had a cameo appearance in Disney’s “Free Guy.”

The talent agency also represents Arif Zahir, who gained notoriety for his impressions posted on YouTube, and now voices Cleveland Brown on Fox’s “Family Guy.”

Other notable celebrities that have risen from this space include CAA-signed Justin Bieber, who was discovered by Usher and Scooter Braun and became a Grammy Award-winning artist; Liza Koshy, who also signed with CAA and now voices Zipp Storm on the “My Little Pony: A New Generation” TV show; and Bo Burnham, who is represented by United Talent Agency, went from making comedy YouTube videos, to writing, directing and starring in top Hollywood films.

“Talent is talent,” said Frank Jung, who launched CAA’s digital media division almost a decade ago alongside Freeman. “If they are an amazing talent, that’s just number one.”

TikTok is still a relatively new platform and has yet to produce the same number of Hollywood success stories as YouTube has in the last decade, but experts predict it won’t be long until its making a mark on the film and television industry.

Already we’ve seen the rise of Addison Rae, 21, who secured a multimillion dollar deal with Netflix in September after starring in the streamer’s film “He’s All That,” a sequel to 1999’s “She’s All That.” She is represented by William Morris Endeavor Entertainment and currently has more than 86 million followers on TikTok.

And, of course, Charli D’Amelio, 17, who touts a following more than 133 million strong on the social media platform, has partnered with brands like hummus maker Sabra, Procter & Gamble and Dunkin and now has her own docuseries on Hulu. D’Amelio is repped by UTA.

Then there is Maggie Thurmon, who rose to fame on the social media app dancing and performing circus tricks with her father Dan. The 19-year-old was signed by UTA in February 2020 before she hit 1 million followers on the platform.

Now, she has more than 5 million followers, a popular podcast called “Mags and Dad’s Wholesome Chaos” and just wrapped her first feature film “The Other Zoey,” which features Andie MacDowell and Heather Graham.

“I’m auditioning at the moment,” Thurmon told CNBC just hours after finishing up on set. “I’m so excited for the possibilities of acting in the future. If I can do this for the rest of my life, I would just be the happiest person on the planet.”

Thurmon said she was “greatly surprised” when she announced to her TikTok following earlier this month that she would be pursuing acting alongside her burgeoning social media career.

“I prepared for the backlash,” she said. “But I did not find one negative comment on the TikTok announcement or Instagram post.”

Thurmon’s experience is not unique. “What we see is that Gen Z influencers on TikTok have built meaningful followings and have a built-in audience of fans that feel a personal connection to the creator and want to be more supportive,” Dorsey said. “They feel like that are going along with them on the project.”

That’s one reason these content creators have clout among Hollywood agencies looking to sign fresh talent.

‘Data is the new oil’

“The unique thing is not only being able to identify talent, but this talent already comes with a built-in audience,” CAA’s Freeman said. “Through social media and these platforms, there is a direct conversation that is happening between talent and audience.”

For Jung and Freeman, these audiences provide much needed data about what people want to consume for content and who they want to see make that content.

“Data is the new oil,” Jung said. “What we are trying to do is make sure we are amplifying these voices and eventually creating media businesses for the clients, which will leave lasting legacies.”

“And also everyone can make some money,” he added with a laugh.

Not only can these agencies help build mini-media empires around these creators, they also can benefit from the strategies these digital influencers use, and apply it to bolster the careers of the agencies’ already established clients.

Smith, who has been campaigning for a best actor nomination at this year’s Academy Awards for his role in Warner Bros.’ “King Richard,” is a prime example of a traditional CAA client who has used social media to jumpstart the next phase of his career.

Freeman said that much of the actor’s learnings and best practices came from Koshy, who taught him that his social media videos didn’t need to be perfect, well-produced videos, they just needed to be authentic and give audiences a peek behind the curtain into his life.

Smith started his own YouTube channel in 2017, posting vlog-style videos about his life alongside curated series. 2018’s “The Jump” focused on Smith’s preparation to bungee jump out of a helicopter over the Grand Canyon for his 50th birthday, while 2021’s “Best Shape of My Life” centered on the actor’s journey to improve his personal fitness.

More recently, he has posted videos of himself training alongside Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, quizzing his young costars from “King Richard” about his career and explaining how he went about recording his audiobook.

Actor Will Smith takes a selfie at the UK Premiere of “King Richard” at The Curzon Mayfair on November 17, 2021 in London, England.

Samir Hussein | WireImage | Getty Images

“His career was colder than it had been,” Dan Weinstein, of Underscore Talent, said. “I wouldn’t say it was nonexistent, but he was not the ‘Independence Day’ blockbuster draw he was. He found new audiences. He reinvented his persona around his celebrity. There’s no denying the fact that he is an insanely creative, talented, charismatic individual and he’s leveraging that to breathe new life into all of his endeavors.”

In the last five years, Smith has starred in major blockbusters like Warner Bros.’ “Suicide Squad” and Disney’s “Aladdin,” reestablishing himself as a force at the box office.

And Smith isn’t the only celebrity following this path. Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez and more have embraced social media as a way to connect with fans and promote their work.

Jung and Freeman’s digital media division of CAA has been devised as a place to meld the best practices of the traditional Hollywood model with the strategies of grassroots entrepreneurial content creators. In doing so, their team can take already established talent and reinvigorate their careers. They can also take up-and-coming talent, like Martinez-Reid, and build from an already sturdy foundation.

Martinez-Reid is still forging his path and CAA isn’t rushing him.

“That’s why I love CAA,” Martinez-Reid said. “Because they see me as a talented creator who will have a career. It’s not just about quick jobs. It’s about shaping what my next 10 years are going to look like.”

Hate cleric Anjem Choudary’s bid to change into a ‘Del Boy-style’ market dealer was blocked

HATE preacher Anjem Choudary is furious after his offer to become a “Del Boy-style” market vendor was blocked.

The convicted terrorist, 54, wants to whip shoes and clothes at a stand, but was turned away by the authorities.

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The convicted terrorist Anjem Choudary wants to whip shoes and clothes at a stall in order to become a “Del Boy-style” market trader

It comes just weeks after his choke command ended – allowing him to speak in public for the first time in nearly six years.

He groaned about his difficulty in finding a job after being sentenced to 5½ years in prison in 2016 for encouraging Muslims to join ISIS.

Choudary said he applied under his interagency public protection agreement, which is managed by the Department of Public Protection along with the Probation and Prison Services and the police.

The former East London al-Muhajiroun leader told The Sun, “All the jobs I’ve tried have told the police or MAPPA, ‘No, this is not suitable.’

“Before I even apply for a job, the employer has to speak to the Home Office to apply for a license to pay me.

“Then I have to tell them that I am a convicted terrorist. Who will do that

The thought of Anjem Choudary as some sort of Del Boy character would raise some eyebrows.

A source

“I said I could trade in a market – my father worked in the market … it’s a very noble thing in Islam – but they said they didn’t want me to trade.”

A source said, “The plan was to sell shoes and clothes and maybe wallets.

“The thought of Anjem Choudary as a kind of Del Boy character would raise some eyebrows.”

But the hate preacher, 54, is furious after his application was blocked by authorities

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But the hate preacher, 54, is furious after his application was blocked by authoritiesImage credit: AFP
Anjem Choudary enjoys a McDonald’s with a woman after her release from prison

Dressel to begin Phelps-style medal bid at Tokyo Olympics

US swimmer Caeleb Dressel opens his Michael Phelps-style medal hunt at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, while Judo Shohei Ono will try to hold the gold medal for Japan.

Dressel sat out in the 4 x 100 meter runs on Sunday, but the United States still qualified second behind Italy and will be favorites for the morning final.

It could be the start of a seven-title streak for Dressel, 24, whose 13 world titles have sparked inevitable comparisons with Phelps – winners of eight gold medals in 2008 and 23 total.

The pressure is on the US team to emulate the golden generation of retired Phelps along with Ryan Lochte, Nathan Adrian and Tony Ervin who failed to qualify.

“I think everyone who is on the team we have to increase the pace because what they have left is huge,” said Dressel.

In the men’s 100m breaststroke final, Adam Peaty is the clear favorite as he seeks to become the first British swimmer to successfully defend an Olympic title.

Peaty, who has lowered the world record five times, won his semifinals in 57.63 seconds and led the timekeeping ahead of the Dutchman Arno Kamminga in 58.19 seconds in the final.

Away from the pool, three-time world champion Ono awaits a life-and-death struggle at Nippon Budokan, the spiritual home of judo, as he strives for his second Olympic gold.

“Olympia is not a place to enjoy,” he said in a recent interview with the public broadcaster NHK. “For me it’s a life or death battlefield.”

After an exceptionally rocky run-up to the Games, with a year-long delay and fan bans due to the pandemic, Japan got off to a strong start in the first two days with five gold medals.

As skateboarding continues its Olympic debut, women’s road world champion Aori Nishimura hopes to emulate Japanese teammate Yuto Horigome, who won the men’s competition on Sunday.

Briton Jonny Brownlee will win triathlon gold in the absence of his brother Alistair, who won the last two Olympic titles but failed to qualify this time.

The story goes on

Brownlee, who took bronze in 2012 and silver in 2016, wants to be the first athlete to win three Olympic medals in swimming, cycling and running.

Elsewhere, Serbia’s number one tennis player, Novak Djokovic, meets Jan-Lennard Struff from Germany in the second round, who is following his fight for the first Olympic title.

The 2008 bronze medalist has won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon that year, giving him a chance at the Golden Slam – he won all four majors and the Olympics in the same season.

th / jc

Leisure Information Roundup: Kim Kardashian has no regrets as ‘Retaining Up’ actuality sequence ends; Actor Riz Ahmed leads bid to vary manner Muslims seen in motion pictures and extra

The following is a summary of the latest entertainment news.

Kim Kardashian doesn’t regret the end of the reality series’ Keeping Up ”

After 14 years of drama, fashion, and family, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” the television series that Kim Kardashian and the familiar names of their siblings, bowed on Thursday with hugs, tears and gratitude. “I regret nothing. That was the best decade and a half of my life. ” Kim Kardashian says in the final.

One minute with: Boy George turns 60, new music and biopic

Culture Club front man Boy George is looking for an actor to play him in a new music biopic set to begin filming this summer. The British Singer, who will turn 60 next week, launched the social media call for auditions in April for the film “Karma Chameleon,” based on one of the band’s 1980s hits.

Actor Riz Ahmed leads to an offer to change the path Muslims seen in movies

British actor Rice Ahmed started an effort on Thursday to improve the path Muslims are portrayed in films after a study shows they are barely seen and portrayed in a negative light when they appear. Ahmed, the “Sound of Metal” star and the first Muslim to get a best actor Oscar Nomination said the blueprint for Muslim Inclusion would provide funding and mentoring for Muslim Storyteller in the early stages of her career.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

Monitoring the cash: Bid to make enterprise rescue extra inclusive undercut by lack of information

“The data gap for PPP loans has been a persistent problem since Congress launched the program almost a year ago,” said House Small Business Chair Nydia Velázquez (DN.Y.) said POLITICO. “The lack of demographics hampers our ability to ensure that money reaches underserved businesses that were originally excluded from the program.”

The lack of data on PPP borrowers is one of the biggest challenges for the administration in reviewing the program. This is extremely popular as the loans can be granted if employers keep payroll but are affected by complaints of unequal access, opaque rules, and fraud. Assuming the PPP hasn’t reached enough underserved businesses, Biden is revising the program to expand access and target the smallest employers. Congress also provided funding for the smallest businesses and PPP lenders targeting low-income and low-income communities.

A bicycle is parked in front of the Artisan Bar and Cafe on St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans. | Dorthy Ray / AP Photo

The SBA lacks the power to compel PPP borrowers to disclose demographic information. Agency officials point to the December Economic Facilitation Act, which requires borrowers to report demographic information at their own discretion, as well as fair lending rules designed to deter banks from discriminating against customers. Private lenders are responsible for distributing the loans.

The Trump administration only began voluntarily starting PPP applicants to volunteer demographic information when the program restarted this year. The Biden administration made the questions a more important part of the application process. But most companies still don’t reveal the details even when asked. One challenge cited by lenders is that borrowers fear discrimination in providing the data.

About 75 percent of PPP recipients this year did not indicate their ethnicity, and 58 percent did not indicate their gender, according to SBA data. 65 percent didn’t say they were veterans.

The SBA’s inspector general, who first raised concerns last May, said in a January report that the agency’s efforts to reach underserved markets “may never be fully known” without full data.

“We need more information about these loans so that we can assess the effectiveness of the programs and know where we can better use future relief,” said the chairman of the Senate for banks Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “We need to make sure these programs work for all businesses, including minority and women-owned businesses.”

The data is important in holding government and lenders accountable for the success of a program that has provided more than 7 million government-sponsored loans through private banks. The information is also vital as officials seek to recalibrate the PPP to reach more Americans before it expires in late March.

When the Trump administration rushed to launch the PPP last year, the SBA was criticized for not doing enough to ensure that the smallest businesses had access to the program. Those concerns were fueled by news that big companies like Shake Shack and Ruths Chris were among the first to get credit. Concerns grew after the program’s initial funding ran out in less than two weeks before Congress replenished it.

Access fears were just one of a series of controversies surrounding the program that the SBA and Treasury Department embarked on to save a free-fall economy that hurt minorities the most.

A Federal Reserve poll published in February found that 79 percent of Asian-owned small businesses and 77 percent of black-owned small businesses described their financial situation as “fair” or “bad,” compared with 57 percent of companies as a whole. A survey published by Facebook and the Small Business Roundtable found that the closure rate for small businesses in majority and minority neighborhoods was 36 percent, compared with 22 percent for businesses in non-minority neighborhoods.

“Much damage was done to equitable access at the beginning of the program,” said Michael Roth, who joined the SBA as a senior advisor in January, in an interview. owned business today than you had in March [2020]. We have to make sure that as we continue to build programs in the future, we will center our equity in them. “

Although the iteration of the PPP continued through early August last year, the Trump administration didn’t include a demographic questionnaire on loan applications until it restarted in January at more than $ 284 billion. In May, optional demographic questions were added to the application that businesses must complete in order to issue the loan after they have spent the funds.

“If you’re being generous, you may just not have thought about it,” said Jeannine Jacokes, executive director of the Community Development Bankers Association, which represents lenders who focus on low-income communities. “Or you could say that maybe they didn’t care if it was just about getting the money out quickly.”

Biden administrators, who came to power with a promise to eradicate inequalities in the economy, say they are trying to improve the SBA’s data collection and analysis for PPP loans while targeting the program at underserved businesses. One administration official described the data challenges earlier this year as “dire”.

According to New York University’s assistant professor of finance, only 726,000 of data available as of Feb.7 on just over 6 million loans have reported races Sabrina Howellwho researches how minority companies fared about different types of PPP lenders. She and other researchers working on the project used borrower names to predict the race of business owners.

In the past few days, the SBA has put demographic questions on the first page of the PPP loan application, among other things. In addition, the agency has started publishing more detailed analysis of where the money is going. in the new weekly reportsThe agency recognizes that demographics are limited. The reports provide metrics on the money flowing into low-income, low-income neighborhoods and rural areas for a bigger picture.

According to SBA dates through February 25th92 percent of PPP loans that year went to companies with 20 or fewer employees. Almost 25 percent of approved PPP funds went to low-income and low-income areas and 17 percent to rural areas.

The administration says the proportion of funding going to companies with fewer than 10 employees in the first month of the PPP’s relaunch this year is up 60 percent from the first month of the program last year. The average loan size – one of the administration’s measures of success – fell by 42 percent over the same period. However, the SBA says that the share of aid goes to low and middle income areas has remained “stagnant” compared to the first round of the PPP.

“If you look at the last round and time series, it almost looks like the largest corporations and businesses in high-income neighborhoods got money first, and smaller businesses and businesses in low-income neighborhoods got money last.” said Roth from the SBA. “So we’re trying to reverse that. The only way to reverse these things is to understand the metrics behind them and achieve real goals.”

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Bid to get NJ native govt to share providers, get monetary savings

Photo credit: Doug Kerr from Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)File Photo: The Town Hall at Cranbury

A key state Senate committee passed law Thursday to make it easier for local governments to save money by bundling services.

The move’s rise from the Senate Budget and Budgets Committee comes days after the release of new statewide data showing that the average property tax in New Jersey rose above $ 9,000 for the first time last year. Local governments in New Jersey rely heavily on property taxes to fund their annual budgets.

The legislation aims, among other things, to remove technical hurdles, including some public service regulations that can prevent local governments from saving money through shared services.

The move would increase the stakes for some New Jersey communities that are not yet using shared services by setting conditions for state aid removal if local officials ignore well-documented savings opportunities.

The bill is one of dozen that have been drafted by the legislature in response to a called report “Path to Progress” This was issued in 2018 by a group of impartial state policy experts asked by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) to review government spending practices and offer ways to save money through reforms.

Senate President Sweeney is delighted

Quoting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Sweeney said, “It is more important than ever to identify and implement government efficiencies that will bring cost savings to taxpayers.”

“New Jersey property taxes are the highest in the nation, and we all know why,” said Sweeney, who is a primary sponsor of the bill.

Senate President Steve Sweeney is a major sponsor of the measure.

A total of, nearly $ 31 billion Revenue was increased through local property taxes to support county, township and school district spending across the state in 2020. This comes from figures released earlier this month by the Department of Community Affairs.

According to the new data, New Jersey homeowners paid an average property tax of $ 9,112 in 2020. That’s nearly $ 160, or 1.8% more than in 2019.

A 2% cap on annual tax increases decided in 2011 by former Republican Governor Chris Christie in collaboration with Sweeney and other Democrats who control the legislation is believed to have helped slow the growth in property tax bills over the past decade.

With the average bill increasing by more than $ 1,350 since the 2% cap was introduced, finding ways to reduce costs for the state’s many local governments, including through initiatives, remains a key goal for lawmakers for common service.

Make it easy to enter agreements

The measure If the Senate Committee on Budgets and Resources were voted 12-0 on Thursday, it would update the state’s “Unified Joint Services and Consolidation Act” to make it easier for local governments to enter into joint service agreements and joint contracts.

Among other things, the bill provides for a change in the rules that apply to the restructuring of civil servants whose jobs would be affected by a shared services contract. It also seeks to expedite disputes over public service regulations or tenure regulations that have been blamed for previously seeking common service.

If enacted, the bill could ultimately result in the loss of state aid to municipalities that are not yet required to use common services if local officials refuse to accept or at least attempt to adopt recommendations from the state commission on the alignment, reorganization and consolidation of local units to do so results in savings for local taxpayers without sacrificing the quality of services.

Several groups testified in favor of the law at the committee’s review Thursday, including corporate lobbying organizations, whose representatives highlighted the challenges that high property taxes pose for small business owners, including many others struggle to stay profitable amid the ongoing pandemic.

“We support this and want to make sure government is run efficiently, and we’re saving money and reducing costs where we need it,” said Laura Gunn, director of government relations for the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.

“We know it’s no magic bullet … but this committee, this legislature (and) this state must do whatever it takes to implement structural reforms,” ​​said Chris Emigholz, vice president of government affairs for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.

“Small businesses are being killed during this pandemic, and property taxes are often their biggest tax. Anything we can do to move this forward would be great,” he said.