Talks this week between business owners and industry experts hinted at the progress being made by the Christie Administration to "cut the red tape" and improve New Jersey's business climate. The bulk of work associated with that goal was placed on the shoulders of Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, who also serves as chair of the Red Tape Review Commission.

Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno chairs the Red Tape Review Commission, focused on improving New Jersey's business climate. (Governor's Office)

Many business owners agree the relationship with state government has become healthier, but during the New Jersey Economic Outlook Breakfast in Edison, some claimed it is still very difficult to deal with government at the local level.

New Jersey Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Bracken said the "single largest concern" among CEOs is municipalities impeding growth, and he has been listening to the same concern for the past 18 months.

"The municipalities are very independent, and they can pose any regulations they want, and it seems like they are," Bracken told Townsquare Media.

Bill Dressel, Executive Director of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, said he's getting an opposite vibe from business owners and municipal officials, and he plans to get more information from the CEOs who voiced their concerns at the breakfast.

"(Municipalities) are doing all they can to help (business owners) not only expand their existing businesses, but keep them in New Jersey," Dressel said. "It's extremely important to keep them happy. It's a win-win situation for all of us."

Dressel noted the Christie Administration is making good progress in identifying burdensome regulations and redundancies, but many delays at the local level emanate from the state.

Next Tuesday, the Red Tape Review Commission will hold a public meeting at the County College of Morris from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Members of the public are invited to provide commentary related to their interactions with state government.