CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ADVANCES SUPPORT TO SPUR BUSINESS GROWTH, INNOVATION AT SEPTEMBER EDA BOARD MEETING
TRENTON, N.J. (September 12, 2013) – In support of the Christie Administration’s commitment to fueling economic growth across the State, the Board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) today took action to catalyze innovation, encourage job creation and retention, and maintain New Jersey’s continued record of excellence in education.
“September’s Board meeting is marked by a range of projects that illustrate how we are working to stimulate business growth and job creation across the State,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Michele Brown. “From venture fund investments to bond financing, EDA assistance continues to provide an important financial boost to a broad array of projects critical to our economy.”
The Board approved an investment of up to $1.3 million in Milestone Venture Partners IV, representing the EDA’s 13th venture fund investment. Milestone Venture Partners is expected to raise approximately $35 million to invest in technology companies, with a focus on the digital healthcare market. This investment follows the approval last month of a $2.5 million investment in ff Rose Venture Capital Fund, which is expected to invest in approximately 40 angel-stage internet and technology companies. Prior to these actions, the EDA had approved investments in 11 venture capital funds in excess of $40 million; to date, these funds have leveraged the EDA’s investment into New Jersey businesses by more than 62 times.
The EDA Board also gave approval to 50 companies seeking to share the $60 million allocation available through the State’s Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program in Fiscal Year 2014. This competitive program enables technology and biotechnology companies to sell New Jersey tax losses and/or research and development tax credits to raise cash to finance their growth and operations. Since the program was established in 1999, more than 500 businesses have been approved for awards totaling over $700 million. The final funding recommendation for the $60 million allocation will be presented to the Board in November.
The Board took action to encourage other businesses, spanning size and industry, to grow and invest in New Jersey.
Through the Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP), the EDA approved a grant to encourage Pursuit Solutions to create 12 new, high-wage positions at its Morris County headquarters. The Chester-based developer of enterprise software is also considering Boston for this expansion. A BEIP and Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant (BRRAG) were approved to encourage Berlitz Corporation to remain and grow in New Jersey. Two of the corporation’s major operating companies – Berlitz Languages and ELS Educational Services –have their U.S. headquarters in West Windsor. Berlitz is currently evaluating locations in Pennsylvania for the potential relocation of the headquarters. If New Jersey is chosen, the company would retain its 219 employees and create an estimated 40 new jobs.
Destination Maternity Corporation, the world’s largest designer and retailer of maternity apparel, is currently deciding between Philadelphia and southern New Jersey for the site of its corporate headquarters and main logistics facility. The Board approved an award through the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program to encourage the company to move from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. This would involve the creation of 620 new jobs and the private investment of over $49.7 million.
Through its lending programs, the EDA is supporting small businesses from Atlantic County to Bergen County that are expected to create a total of 45 new jobs. This includes full service energy conservation contractor GreenLife Energy Solutions, which is using the Premier Lender Program to acquire its property in Egg Harbor. Marlboro-based manufacturer Aurora Multimedia Corp. is utilizing the Small Business Fund to refinance existing debt and obtain working capital. The Main Street Business Assistance Program is helping Sunwear Fashion purchase the facility in Moonachie it currently leases for its clothing distribution business.
The Board also approved Qualified School Construction Bonds (QSCBs) for two charter school projects in Newark. University Heights Charter School of Excellence will utilize an $8 million bond to acquire and renovate a facility that will provide an additional 31,000 square feet of space. The school currently serves 250 students in 3rd to 7th grade and will be able to accommodate 450 students as a result of the expansion. Marion P. Thomas Charter School plans to use its $35 million QSCB to construct a 73,500-square-foot facility featuring modern classrooms, advanced science and computer labs, a theater and culinary arts learning space. The school currently serves 760 children in pre-K through 8th grade and operates out of two facilities. The new building will initially accommodate the school’s middle school population.
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.
To learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at www.NewJerseyBusiness.gov.