Several New Jersey small business owners on Wednesday countered the state’s leading business groups and backed a plan to make New Jersey the third state offering paid time off from work to care for a sick relative or new child.

“I need my employees to concentrate on their driving rather than the health or financial problems at home,” said the Rev. Ronald Tuff, owner of the R.B.T. Tours bus company in Newark, N.J. Tuff and the others spoke at a Statehouse, N.J., news conference touting legislation to establish a paid family leave program.