GOVERNOR SIGNS INVESTNJ LEGISLATION
Program will spur job creation and capital investment
Iselin, N.J. (December 9, 2008) – To help New Jersey businesses face the fiscal challenges of the current national economic crisis, Governor Jon S. Corzine today signed legislation creating the Invest NJ Program. The bill, A3294/S6, establishes the program within the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and authorizes $120 million in grants to stimulate capital investment and job creation in the Garden State for a two-year period.
“We can either wait for the economic cycle to take its course, or we can act now to mitigate the effects of the recession, curtail its duration, and better position New Jersey to take advantage of the recovery,” Governor Corzine said during his address at the New Jersey Business & Industry Public Policy Forum. “We must regard this downturn as an opportunity to re-align our priorities and improve the business environment.
“With the Invest NJ bill that I am signing today, we are taking a necessary step to get New Jersey businesses investing again to make capital investments that spark economic growth throughout this state.”
The program, part of Governor Corzine’s Economic Assistance and Recovery Plan presented to the Legislature in October, is comprised of several facets.
One component provides a $3,000 grant to New Jersey businesses for each new job created and retained for one year. To be eligible, businesses must have operated continuously in New Jersey for at least the prior two years and must employ at least five full-time workers.
“The signing of this bill signifies the State’s commitment to help improve its own economic status at a time when the financial stability of the nation is in question,” said Senator Barbara Buono, (D-Middlesex), who chairs the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. “With this law, we are picking ourselves up by our own bootstraps, and providing resources for home-grown businesses to grow and thrive in the Garden State.”
The job creation grant component will provide up to $50 million, not to exceed $500,000 per grantee, for each eligible position created after Dec. 1, 2008 and before Jan. 1, 2011 by qualified businesses that experience a net increase in employment of eligible positions in the state during the same 12 consecutive months.
“In these tough economic times businesses are going to be looking to cut costs and consolidate anywhere they can, which could translate to an even higher number of lay-offs for New Jerseyans,” said Senator Shirley Turner, (D-Mercer). “Through this new law we are easing some of the financial burden on local businesses, and laying a strong foundation for them to be able to flourish, and for New Jerseyans to be able to remain employed.”
“Employees and employers both need confidence that much-needed jobs will remain in New Jersey,” said Assemblyman Nelson Albano (D-Cumberland/Atlantic/CapeMay). “With this measure in place, we can ensure they will.”
Another component of the program authorizes the payment of grants equal to seven percent of a business’s qualifying capital investment of at least $5,000 made prior to January 1, 2011. Up to $70 million is available for capital investment grants, not to exceed $1 million per grantee, to fund expenses for the direct use and operation of a business.
These expenses may cover site preparation, construction, renovations, improvements, and the purchase of fixtures, machinery and equipment. Under certain conditions, site remediation costs may also be included. To be eligible, business must have operated continuously for at least the prior two years, and must employ at least five full-time workers.
“Businesses need this comprehensive program to both spur job development and help retain their employees here in the Garden State,” said Assemblyman Matt Milam (D-Cumberland/Atlantic/Cape May).
“The current status of the economy, on both a national and local level, has left too many New Jerseyans searching for employment,” said Senator Jeff Van Drew, (D-Atlantic and Cape May). “Through this incentive program, the State will be able to help fill the void left by the numerous business closures and lay-offs, and provide opportunities for New Jersey’s workers to support themselves and their families.”
Primary sponsors of the bill in the Senate were Senators Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex), Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) and Jeff Van Drew (D- Atlantic and Cape May). In the Assembly, primary bill sponsors include Assemblymen Matthew W. Milan (D-Cape May, Atlantic, Cumberland), Nelson T. Albano (Cape May, Atlantic, Cumberland), Joseph Vas (D-Middlesex), Louis D. Greenwald (D-Camden) and Assemblywoman Linda R. Greenstein (D-Mercer, Middlesex).
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) will administer the program. For more information, visit www.njeda.gov.