HerbaKraft 2013 Success Award Winner

HerbaKraft President Nisha Khanijow and VP of Operations Liz Jaquez

HerbaKraft President Nisha Khanijow and VP of Operations Liz Jaquez


121 Ethel Road West, Unit #6

Piscataway, NJ 08854



HerbaKraft President Nisha Khanijow founded her business on the simple premise that manufacturers of dietary supplements, cosmeceuticals and functional foods shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality to make their products affordable. When Khanijow started HerbaKraft in March 2004 it was a home-based, one-person international distribution business that generated $500,000 in annual sales. Today, HerbaKraft employs thirteen individuals, three of whom have been hired in the last two years. The company’s annual sales for 2012 totaled $4.5 million and Khanijow is targeting HerbaKraft 2013 sales at $7-8 million.

 Nisha and her husband, Executive Vice President Vinod Khanijow, do not measure their success solely on increased sales and profits. Employee growth, loyalty, accountability, social responsibility, respect, education, and hard work constitute the core of HerbaKraft’s successful management style. They apply these core values through their involvement in the communities they serve as well as with employees. For example, the company supports vital organizations such as Vitamin Angels (www.vitaminangels.org) which helps at-risk populations in need, specifically pregnant women, new mothers, and children under the age of five, by giving them access to life-saving and life-changing micronutrients.

HerbaKraft approached the NJSBDC at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) in February 2012 for help in managing the rapid expansion of their business. Under the Jobs Act grant, NJSBDC at RVCC was able to provide record keeping, human resource, insurance and other business development assistance through its counselors Carla Fallone, Linda Dousis, Vicki Lynne Morgan, Sal Ricciardone, Rita Auld, and Karen Katcher.

In June 2013, HerbaKraft was awarded the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)/ANSI’s prestigious GMP (Good Manufacturing Processes) for Dietary Supplements certificate. Becoming GMP-certified involves an arduous and rigorous documentation of processes covering every procedural aspect of the company seeking compliance – it is a documented trail from manufacturing to shelf. Achieving GMP certification serves as public assurance to the consumer that each and every one of the certified company’s products have the identity, strength, composition, quality, and purity that it is represented to possess. This is especially important to the Khanijows because, as Vinod explains, “It could be my family member who takes that supplement.” HerbaKraft products are also kosher-certified.

HerbaKraft has continued its relationship with the NJSBDC at RVCC beyond the expiration of the Jobs Act grant, as the business continues to grow. Currently, the NJSBDC at RVCC is assisting HerbaKraft in developing a $700k loan package to fund their recent expansion into the south Asian market.

Music Notes Academy 2012 Success Award Winner

Brandon KurzawaMusic Notes Academy
PO Box 1323
South Plainfield, NJ 07080

573 Cranbury Road
Suite A3
East Brunswick, NJ 08816

On Brandon Kurzawa’s Music Notes Academy website, the Academy is described simply as “a community music school and New Jersey in-home music lesson provider.” But to Music Notes students and parents, it is much more. Brandon believes that “One of the greatest aspects of teaching music and being able to have a community music school is seeing our students succeed. Whether a student is five years old and performing on stage for the first time or is preparing to attend college to study music, knowing we as a music school were integral in helping students reach their potential within the arts or beyond is gratifying.”

Brandon has been teaching music since 1999. In summer 2005, he began meeting with New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) counselors at Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) to discuss starting a private music school with a retail component in New Jersey. In September 2006, he officially launched Music Notes Academy in Bridgewater, New Jersey. In June 2012 Music Notes retained 14 employees and, despite the economy, in the first quarter of 2012 increased its earnings as compared to the same period in 2011. Currently, Brandon is looking for and planning to buy a building in which to house his business.

About the NJSBDC at RVCC, Brandon says it “helped me significantly to understand how to start and grow my business. Each counselor offered superb guidance and information which enabled me to be where I am today. One counselor specifically, Linda Dousis, helped me tremendously with using QuickBooks properly which enabled me to make important financial decisions. Additionally, when I had the opportunity to acquire another music school, Linda was the first person I called and she helped me all the way through the acquisition process.” According to Dousis, “Brandon impresses me as a true entrepreneur who has a clear vision of where he wants to take his business and has worked continuously and with diligence to meet his goals,” Linda says. “It has been and is my pleasure to work with Brandon.”

Brandon was referred by the NJSBDC at RVCC to Gail Rosen CPA, who manages the accounting for Music Notes Academy. Rosen says, “He is a sharp business man who manages his company extremely well. Brandon actually sent us a thank you note after giving us his accounting books in perfect order. How perfect to recognize Brandon who always makes everyone else feel special.”

The NJSBDC at Raritan Valley Community College is happy and proud to nominate Brandon Kurzawa and Music Notes Academy the NJSBDC Small Business Success Award in recognition of his business’s outstanding success. We look forward to seeing many of Brandon’s Music Notes students “up in lights” in the future!

Oncobiologics 2011 Success Award Winner

Onco II

Oncobiologics, Inc.
7 Clarke Drive
Cranbury, NJ 08512

Oncobiologics, Inc. is a research and development company focusing on low cost innovative oncology and immunology biopharmaceutical treatments for patients located in Cranbury, New Jersey. Oncobiologics is actively partnering with best-in-class research centers and top-tier pharmaceutical organizations to advance its mission of increasing the flow of biologics to the patients who need them. The company is staffed by veterans from industry leaders including Genetech, Amgen, Eli Lilly, Bristol Myers Squibb, Bayer, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Schering-Plough and Medarex.

The founder and CEO, Dr. Pankaj Mohan, has an extensive background in the pharmaceutical industry. An industry leader with over 20 years of multicompany biopharmaceutical industrial experience at Genentech, Eli Lilly and BMS; and in an academic center of excellence in Bioprocess Engineering (Assistant Prof., University College London). He has played an important role in industry in the development and manufacture of blockbuster biologics entities including: Belatacept, Orencia, Erbitux, Avastin, Rituxan, Herceptin, Lucentis, Xigris , Human Growth Hormone and Insulin.

Dr. Mohan has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT, India; PhD in Biochemical Engineering (Birmingham, UK), MBA, Finance (London, UK) and an executive education from Fuqua Business School, Duke University, USA. He has published a book “Pharmaceutical Operations” with McGraw-Hill and has over 30 publications, and will soon publish the first “Biopharmaceuticals Handbook”.

The company received a $1 million dollar SBA loan. “We are very grateful for the assistance and services provided by experts at the NJSBDC at Raritan Valley Community College,” said Dr. Pankaj Mohan, “Their guidance with the formulation of our business plan and referrals for company human resources needs as well as identifying the right lenders led to the successful approval of a loan which will help develop and launch cancer therapy at low cost.”

The company also received a 4 million dollar Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project Program grant to assist the company. The company has created 25 new jobs and will create another 35 jobs by spring 2012.

Helen Grundman Designs 2010 Success Award Winner

Helen GHG Designsrundmann Garden Designs
PO Box 207
Frenchtown, NJ 08825
Tel # 908-285-1281

 Thumbs cannot get any greener then Helen Grundmann’s, owner of Helen Grundmann Garden Designs. Helen holds a BA in Botany from Drew University and is a member of the prestigious Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

After many years of working for commercial growers, in 2005 Helen decided to start her own landscape design business. Helen Grundmann Garden Designs custom designs formal or informal gardens and landscapes. Her specialties are bird attraction, native plant, container, deer resistant, shade and perennial gardens. Other services provided are organic and natural tick, pest and deer applications, plant health care plans (PHC), integrated pest management (IPM), soil testing and organic soil amendments.

As her business started to grow Helen recognized the need to learn more about the financial aspects of a business, so she contacted the Small Business Development Center at Raritan Valley Community College (SBDC at RVCC) in February 2006. SBDC Operations Director, Bill Harnden, met with Ms. Grundmann to train her on record-keeping procedures, general ledger development and financial reporting using Quickbooks. According to Ms. Grundmann, “Getting a handle on my financials gave me a better understanding of budgeting, forecasting and profit and loss.” Through the years, in addition to working with Mr. Harnden, Helen has worked closely with SBDC counselors Mike Vinegra and Vicki Lynne Morgan to improve her marketing and web presence.

In June of 2006, one of her garden designs was chosen for the prestigious Hunterdon Hills Garden Club tour. In May of 2008, her landscape design entitled Doves of Froh Heim Garden was accepted for the Mansion in May designer show house at Froh Heim, a Mediterranean style estate in Far Hills, NJ. The following year Ms. Grundmann was featured in an article in the May 2009 New Jersey Countryside magazine for her design work with Mansions in May. In June 2010, a garden she designed for one of her clients in Long Valley, NJ won the prestigious Long Valley Garden Club Random Acts of Beauty Award.

Ms. Grundmann’s close association with the Mansions in May event and her very creative marketing campaigns have helped her increase her sales fourfold since first opening her doors. Helen Grundmann Garden Designs is positioned to be a driving force in beautifying great properties throughout central and northern New Jersey.

Is Your Business Ready for the Next Disaster?

America's Small Business Development Centers - New Jersey

 SBDC Header People Crop

Can you afford your business being down for a few days?  Can you afford losing valuable business machinery and equipment? Do you have a plan for how to protect your business if it is struck by a major disaster? Disasters come in many shapes and sizes, often when least expected – the one thing you can count on is that eventually something will happen that will negatively affect your normal level of doing business.
     If you would like to learn how to put a plan of action into place before the next disaster occurs, the NJSBDC at RVCC stands ready to assist you. Our team of experienced counselors will work with you onsite at your workplace to help you first assess, then create a plan to protect your valuable business assets in the case of a disaster striking. If you would like to arrange an appointment for an SBDC counselor to visit your business and assist you with creating a disaster plan, please call the SBDC at (908) 526-1200, Ext. 8516, or email us at ude.lavnatirar@cdbs.

U.S. Small Business Administrationlogo-rvcc-150x65

6 Good Reasons to Start Your Holiday Marketing Plan Now

(Excerpted from article appearing on SBA.gov website
By Caron Beesley, Contributor
Published: October 1, 2014

The holidays creep up on us fast, and it seems like each year the big retailers start their holiday sales sooner and sooner. Last year, for example, retail giants Walmart and Target both began their holiday deals well before Thanksgiving, with campaign planning no doubt starting several months prior.

Should your small business be doing the same and can you really benefit from jumping on the holiday marketing bandwagon sooner rather than later? Of course you can! Here’s why – and how:

There’s a lot of ground to cover

According to a 2013 report by Accenture, 23 percent of shoppers start shopping in the early fall, and nearly three quarters will be finished by the end of November! That’s a lot of ground to cover. Start late and you’ll miss the boat. Start sooner and you’ll have a rolling strategy to stay top of mind as key holiday milestones come and go.

The early bird gets repeat customers

According to a 2013 survey by Constant Contact, participating in holiday season marketing is a rewarding venture for small businesses, with 52 percent of respondents reporting that new customers attained during the holidays become repeat, loyal customers.

Poor planning = poor performance

Constant Contact also reports that only 31 percent of small businesses surveyed start planning for the holidays between two and three months in advance. Now this doesn’t mean that these businesses won’t be ready, but it’s more than likely that the campaigns and events that they run will be pretty generic. Without planning, these campaigns won’t take into account what’s worked well in the past (and I don’t mean gut feelings, but real, hard metrics). They also won’t allow much time for originality, no matter how creative you think you are.

These campaigns will probably work to drum up some business, but will they be wildly successful? Will they make your business stand out so much that new customers become loyal customers, even when the holiday décor is taken down?Click here to read the remainder of the article, including handy tips.

Looking to invigorate your marketing efforts? NJ SBDC@RVCC – Bridgewater, offers courses targeted to marketing topics, as well as free counseling on that and other Small Business areas.

To schedule a counseling appointment contact us at: 908-526-1200, ext. 8516.   Click here for information and a listing of our Fall 2014 courses.



Webinar: Dealing with the IRS ~ What You Need to Know

Eisner Amper logo

SBDC at RVCC Small Business Partner, EisnerAmper, will be conducting a free webinar:

Dealing with the IRS: What You Need to Know

Join in a timely and informative one-hour webinar on a practical step-by-step process for quick resolution of  IRS inquiries, including obtaining authorization and deciding on appropriate contact techniques and reply formats for responding to the most common types of math errors, CP 2000 proposed adjustments and collection notices.

The webinar will provide business leaders, executives, accounting personnel and professionals with the tools and information needed to deal with the IRS.  Participants will learn how to:

  • Recognize and become familiar with the common types of notices the IRS sends to taxpayers
  • Define IRS’ tax assessment and collection process and procedure
  • Identify appropriate responses to IRS notices to achieve quick resolution of the issue.


Dan Gibson, Partner, EisnerAmper LLP

Timothy Schuster, Senior, EisnerAmper LLP

 Thursday, October 23, 2014

12 PM – 1 PM

Delivery Method: Group-Internet Based 

Level: Basic

Advance Preparation: None  Prerequisites: None

Cost: Free


Please contact Jenna Prager at moc.repmarensie@regarp.annej with questions regarding registration. There is no fee to attend this course.  For more information regarding administrative policies such as cancellations and complaints, please contact Rob Levine at 212.891.4034.

EisnerAmper LLP is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.learningmarket.org. EisnerAmper LLP National Registry Sponsor No. 108139.
New York State recognizes live CPE programs offered by NASBA sponsors as long as they are presented outside of NYS. Live CPE programs presented within NYS (including webcasts originating in NYS) and self study programs are recognized by NYS only if they are offered by a NYS-registered sponsor. EisnerAmper LLP is a NYS-registered sponsor (No. 000256).  Texas recognizes CPE programs offered by NASBA sponsors, but requires registration with the state board. EisnerAmper LLP is a registered sponsor in Texas (No. 010023)


NJ SBDC Client Northeast Power Dry Wins Recognition from SCBP

The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) has named NJ SBDC@RVCC client Northeast Power Dry, a professional water removal and drying service located in Bridgewater, NJ, as a recipient of the SCBP 2014 Economic Vitality Award. 

Recipients in the private sector category have made a positive impact on the quality of life and economic vitality in Somerset County in areas including job creation and retention, job training and retraining, sales growth, profitability and reinvestment, increased assets, and influx of new dollars from outside the area. Non-profit recipients have demonstrated a record of significant impact on the quality of life of the targeted constituency and the County in the areas of growth of constituency served, innovative programming, and contribution of volunteer base. 

The Economic Vitality Awards will be presented at the Somerset County Business Partnership Annual Meeting on Monday, December 15, 2014 at the Palace at Somerset Park, 333 Davidson Avenue in Somerset, New Jersey. The day’s activities will begin with a networking reception at 11:30 A.M. followed by the luncheon at 12:15 P.M.

SBA Loan Fees Update: 7a and 504 Fees Effective Oct. 1, 2014

Each year the Small Business Administration (SBA) reviews certain fees payable to SBA by 7(a) participating lenders (“Lenders”), Certified Development Companies (“CDCs”), and borrowers to determine if any of those fees need to be adjusted to cover estimated subsidy costs of the 7(a) and 504 loan programs.

This Notice announces the FY 2015 yearly fee (also known as the “on-going guaranty fee” or the “annual service fee”) and upfront guaranty fee for all 7(a) loans, including a reduction in the upfront guaranty fee and the yearly fee for all 7(a) loans in the amount of $150,000 or less. These fees are effective for 7(a) loans approved October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015.

Additionally, this Notice announces that there are no changes to fees for 504 loans approved during FY2015.

A separate notice providing information about reduced fees for certain 7(a) loans approved under SBA Veterans Advantage is also being issued.)

 For 7(a) loans greater than $150,000 approved in FY2015:  

  1. The yearly fee will be 0.519 percent (51.9 basis points) of the guaranteed portion of the outstanding balance of the loan. Lenders will need to manually adjust this fee in the current Authorization Wizard.
  2. The upfront guaranty fee will continue to depend on the loan amount and the maturity of the loan.
    • For loans with a maturity that exceeds 12 months, the applicable guaranty fees remain:
      • For loans of $150,001 to $700,000:   3% of the guaranteed portion
      • For loans of $700,001 to $5,000,000:   3.5% of the guaranteed portion up to $1,000,000 PLUS 3.75% of the guaranteed portion over $1,000,000
    • For loans with a maturity of 12 months or less, the guaranty fee remains 0.25% of the guaranteed portion.

For guidance on when these fees are due, see SOP 50 10 5(F), Subpart B, Chapter 3.

 For 7(a) loans in the amount of $150,000 or less approved in FY2015:

  1. Both the yearly fee and the upfront guaranty fee will be zero. As the fees charged to the lenders will be zero, lenders may not charge a guaranty fee to the borrower in connection with these loans. Lenders will need to manually adjust these fees in the current Authorization Wizard.
  2. If two or more SBA-guaranteed loans are approved within 90 days of each other, the guaranty fee is determined based on the aggregate amount of the loans. This represents no change to current policy. Thus, if the total amount of multiple loans approved within 90 days is greater than $150,000, the normal fees will apply. NOTE: Lenders are not permitted to split loans for the purpose of avoiding fees.

 For 504 loans approved during FY2015:

There are no changes to the fees on these loans. The annual fee continues to be 0.9375 percent (93.75 basis points) of the outstanding balance of the loan, and the one-time guaranty fee continues to be 0.50% (50 basis points).

Notification and Questions

SBA field offices must notify Lenders and CDCs about the fees. Questions concerning this Notice should be directed to the lender relations specialist in the local SBA field office. The local SBA field office may be found at www.sba.gov/about-offices-list/2.

SBDC @ RVCC Bridgewater Assists Client AR&C Hamilton LLC to Secure $5M Loan

AR&C Hamilton LLC, Hamilton Township NJ

AR&C Hamilton LLC, Hamilton Township NJ

Recently, AR&C Hamilton LLC received the welcome news that a $5M loan had been secured for the business with Fulton Bank of New Jersey.  

Working with Fulton’s commercial lender manager Julie Moriarty of the Flemington branch and principals of AR&C, SBDC Regional Director Bill Harnden provided assistance to help develop and secure the loan, which will be used to expand AR&C’s self-storage business operations.

An AR&C company spokesperson said: “Many thanks to Bill Harnden and the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Raritan Valley Community College. Through their introduction and direction, we were able to close a $5 million mortgage with Fulton Bank of New Jersey. We are grateful for their professionalism, and recommend them to any small business seeking help and direction.”  

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