AUGUST BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS SUCCESS OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ACT IN STIMULATING INVESTMENT IN TARGETED COMMUNITIES
TRENTON, N.J. (August 12, 2014) – In support of the Christie Administration’s efforts to spur investment and job creation in targeted communities through the New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, the state Economic Development Authority (EDA) today announced that 68 percent of the projects approved under the enhanced Grow NJ Assistance Program are located in a distressed municipality, Urban Transit Hub or Garden State Growth Zone, representing over 80 percent of tax credits approved to date.
“The Economic Opportunity Act was designed to encourage growth in targeted communities, including transit hubs and municipalities that have long suffered from disinvestment,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Michele Brown. “We are pleased the results to date illustrate that the Grow NJ program is working to effectively stimulate private investment and job creation in these communities.”
The New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act, signed into law by Governor Christie in September 2013, created Grow NJ as the state’s main job creation and retention incentive program. Grow NJ places extra emphasis on spurring development and private sector job growth in targeted communities, offering enhanced benefits to businesses that invest in designated distressed or Urban Transit Hub municipalities, and “Garden State Growth Zones,” identified in the statute as the four lowest median family income cities in the state: Camden, Trenton, Passaic City and Paterson.
At its August meeting, the EDA Board approved three Grow NJ projects located in a targeted community. The Business Action Center worked in collaboration with the EDA to help cultivate these economic development projects, providing interdepartmental advocacy and ongoing customer support.
Dicalite Management Group, Inc., which specializes in Diatomaceous Earth (DE) and Perlite products, is considering moving its headquarters and constructing a processing facility in Pennsauken, a designated distressed municipality in Camden County. If Pennsauken is chosen over a competing location in Pennsylvania, the company expects to create 36 new jobs and invest over $8.8 million.
Sandy Alexander, Inc. is a full service graphic communication company operating from a 134,000-square-foot manufacturing and headquarters facility in Clifton. Its lease expires in May 2015 and the company has reached capacity. Sandy Alexander is contemplating an expansion in Clifton, a designated distressed municipality, or Rockland County, New York. The project would involve the retention of 216 jobs, the creation of 74 new jobs, and the investment of an estimated $2.8 million.
Global payment solutions company First Data Corporation is considering Jersey City for the home of its expanding security applications team. The alternative is to expand at its headquarters in Georgia. If the company chooses Jersey City, a designated Urban Transit Hub municipality, it expects to create 74 new jobs and invest nearly $1.4 million.
As designated distressed municipalities, companies locating in Pennsauken and Clifton can be approved for a base award of $4,000 per job, per year under the Grow NJ program. Companies located in Urban Transit Hub municipalities may be eligible for a base award of $5,000 per job, per year. Bonus credits, ranging from $250 – $3,000 per job, per year, are available to support the advancement of defined public policy goals, including targeted locations and industries. Dicalite, Sandy Alexander and First Data all received a bonus of $2,000 per job, per year for their respective locations in a Transit Oriented Development, defined in the statute as a qualified business facility located within a ½-mile radius (one-mile in Garden State Growth Zones) surrounding the mid-point of a New Jersey Transit Corporation, Port Authority Transit Corporation, or Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation rail, bus, or ferry station platform area, including all light rail stations.
EDA Board meetings are typically held at 10 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at 36 West State Street in Trenton. The Board meeting schedule, as well as Board agendas and minutes, are available at www.njeda.gov. All Board actions will take effect at the expiration of the statutory period for the Governor’s review and consideration of the meeting minutes.
The EDA is part of the state’s results-driven Partnership for Action, the hub for all economic development activity in New Jersey. The Partnership is comprised of four interconnected and highly focused organizational elements: Choose New Jersey, the Business Action Center, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the EDA.
For more information on the Economic Opportunity Act and Grow NJ program, visit https://www.njeda.gov/web/pdf/NJEconomicActof2013_summary.pdf. To learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at www.NewJerseyBusiness.gov.