CCSNJ Support of A4918- Virtual Shareholder Meetings
TO: Members of the New Jersey General Assembly
FROM: Hilary Chebra, Manager, Government Affairs, CCSNJ
RE: A- 4918 (Greenwald)
The Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) would like to voice our support for A – 4918 (Greenwald), which authorizes a corporation to conduct a meeting of shareholders solely by means of remote participation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to adapt day to day operations to meet the realities of the pandemic. Some of these adaptations have proven to be beneficial in more ways that just meeting the health and safety requirements of the current climate, and companies should be allowed to keep these new beneficial practices in place.
As written, this bill would allow a corporation to conduct a meeting of shareholders solely by means of remote participation. In April, the law mandating companies conduct shareholder meetings in person was changed to allow such meetings to be held virtually, though the law authorized this practice only for the duration of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. This practice should be allowed to continue as businesses navigate what operations will look like in a post pandemic world and beyond.
Currently, more than 20 other states now permit virtual shareholder meetings (VSM). VSMs remove the physical barriers that would prevent a shareholder from participating in meetings, such as travel, time, and expense. With these barriers removed, companies have seen an increase in participation. In fact, a Rutgers Law School report from December 2020 found VSM attendance for US-based companies had already increased seven-fold in just the first six months of 2020.
The CCSNJ is extremely pleased to see the Legislature’s continued focus on assuring that businesses have the additional flexibility and protections they need as they continue to navigate the pandemic’s impact on their operations.
We thank you for the opportunity to share our position and urge you to vote “yes” on A – 4918 (Greenwald).