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EMERGE PROGRAM


Please be advised that legislation was recently enacted that will impact the Emerge Program. NJEDA is currently in the process of reviewing the legislation, and may need to make changes to the program rules, requirements, application, or other materials to incorporate the legislative changes. To access a courtesy copy of the legislation, please click here.

The Emerge Program, created under the Economic Recovery Act (ERA) of 2020, encourages economic development in Governor Murphy’s priority sectors and in targeted communities across the New Jersey. The program provides per-job tax credits to projects that invest private capital into the state and create new good-paying jobs (or retain a large number of good-paying jobs).

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible for Emerge support, a project must:

  • Create at least 35 new, full-time jobs. In some circumstances, this job creation requirement may be lower if a business is primarily engaged in a targeted industry, or if a business meets the definition of a “small business” as defined in the Emerge Program rules.
  • Be located in an Eligible Incentive location. 
  • Meet minimum capital investment requirements.
  • Emerge tax credits must yield a minimum net positive economic benefit to the state of 200 percent to 400 percent depending on project location.
  • Ensure that at least 80 percent of incented employees’ work time is spent in New Jersey and 80 percent of the withholdings of new or retained full-time jobs are subject to the ‘New Jersey Gross Income Tax Act’.
  • Ensure the Qualified Business Facility can accommodate at least 50 percent of incented jobs. 
  • Commit to stay at the Qualified Business Facility for 1.5 times the eligibility period.
  • Demonstrate that the award of the tax credit is a “material factor” in the decision to create or retain at least the minimum number of full-time jobs.

AWARD SIZE

Projects under the Emerge and Aspire Programs are subject to a program cap of $1.1 billion per year for six years. The Emerge Program awards are calculated on an annual per job basis, with base credits for new jobs ranging between $500-$4,000 per job depending on project location and other aspects of the project. Bonuses are also available based on project location, industry, and alignment with other policy objectives. These bonuses can increase annual per-job credits to a maximum of $8,000 per job.  Jobs that are covered by a labor harmony agreement are eligible for an additional $1,000 bonus over the capped amounts.  Tax credits awarded through Emerge can be used to offset Corporate Business Tax or Insurance Premiums Tax or can be transferred for no less than 85 percent of their value or surrendered to NJ Division of Taxation for 90 percent of the value of the credits.

FISCAL AND RESIDENT PROTECTIONS

In order to receive Emerge tax credits, the project must be in good standing with the NJ Department of Labor, NJ Department of Treasury, and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. Tax credit awards will be reduced if a project pays less than the county median salary and all jobs must pay no less than 30 percent of the host county’s median salary.

All projects that receive tax credits under Emerge must meet minimum environmental standards, meet prevailing wage obligations for all construction workers for two years after the Authority has issued the first certificate of compliance, pay prevailing wages to building service workers for the commitment period of the tax award, and offer health care for employees. All contractors and subcontractors must be registered with Public Works Contractor Registration Act.

Projects that have a total cost of $10 million or more are also required to enter into a Community Benefits Agreement with the NJEDA and the municipality or county in which the project is located. These agreements will be overseen by a Community Advisory Committee specifically created to monitor compliance with the Community Benefits Agreement.

FEES

Project Fee Inputs

Small projects

(1-99 Jobs)

Medium projects

(100-249 Jobs)

Large projects

(250+ Jobs)

Applications Fees

$5,000

$10,000

$15,000

Approval Fee 

$10,000

$75,000

$165,000

Tax Credit Certificate Issuance Fee 

$10,000

$100,000

$200,000

Annual Servicing Fee 

$5,000

$25,000

$60,000

Tax Credit Transfer Certificate

$5,000

$10,000

$15,000

First Six-month Extension

$5,000

$10,000

$15,000

Subsequent Extension

$7,500

$15,000

$25,000

Administrative Change, Additions, or Modification to the Tax Credit

Modification

Small projects

(1-99 Jobs)

Medium projects

(100-249 Jobs)

Large projects

(250+ Jobs)

Minor 

$2,500

$5,000

$7,500

Major 

$7,500

$15,000

$25,000

Existing Incentive Agreement Termination*

Modification

Small projects (1-99 Jobs)

Medium projects

(100-249 Jobs)

Large projects (250+ Jobs)

Minor

$2,500

$5,000

$7,500

Major

$7,500

$15,000

$25,000

Click here for a copy of the Emerge Fee Schedule

*A business seeking to terminate an existing incentive agreement in order to participate in an incentive agreement authorized pursuant to the Emerge program.

Minor changes, additions, or modifications to the tax credit, that does not require extensive staff time and Board approval.

Major changes, additions, or modifications to the tax credit, such as those requiring extensive staff time and Board approval.

These are non-refundable application fee, on a tiered basis based on the number of new or retained full-time jobs.  Beyond application fees, the Authority sets rates for one-time approval fees; one-time issuance fees, which are paid at the point of initial certification; and annual servicing fees, which are paid for the years in which the Authority is monitoring the project; as well as fees for tax credit transfers, project modifications, and project terminations. All fees are sized based on the number of jobs associated with the project, with larger fee levels for larger projects. In addition, costs associated with certain third-party analyses or reviews utilized to assess the application may be passed along directly to applicants.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Prior to starting the application process we encourage you to read the information available on the website and reach out to an NJEDA representative via the Expression of Interest Form.

To provide interested businesses with clear understanding if a project is a good fit for the Emerge program the NJEDA has established a two-part application process, including a pre-application and a full application. The pre-application allows the NJEDA to conduct a preliminary analysis of the proposed project and ensures that interested businesses are aware of all the program requirements before investing additional time to complete the full application and paying the non-refundable application fee.

You should only fill out a pre-application if you have identified a potential project location in New Jersey. If you have not yet identified a potential project location in New Jersey, it is recommended that you first complete the Expression of Interest Form to speak with an NJEDA representative prior to filling out the pre-application.

Upon completion of this pre-application, an Emerge program team member will review the submitted information and determine if your project is a good fit for the program.  If there is a good fit, the Emerge program team will suggest setting up a pre-application meeting before proceeding to the full application. Additional NJEDA programs will be presented to you in the event it is determined that your project is not a good fit for Emerge.

To provide a thorough review, please allow our team 3 to 4 days to provide you with an update after submitting your pre-application.

A sample of the full application can be found here: It is recommended that potential applicants review the full application requirements before submitting their pre-application. It is also highly recommended that applicants moving forward to submit the full application, draft responses and gather information based upon the sample application before starting to fill out the online application.

Once your full application has been submitted and the non-refundable application fee has been received, NJEDA will conduct a completeness review of your application.. After NJEDA deems an application complete, the applicant’s CEO will be asked to digitally confirm that all information provided in the application is accurate. After that, NJEDA will begin a full application review including detailed review of all documents and additional staff due diligence. 

While we will work as diligently as possible, full application reviews may take up to several months based upon factors such as completeness of the responses included in the application and responsiveness on requests for additional information or documentation.  During this time NJEDA may reach out to you if additional information is needed to complete your application review.

In the event of any questions, please contact: emerge@njeda.com

The full statutory text of the Emerge Program can be found in sections 68-81 of the Economic Recovery Act of 2020.

Eligibility

Targeted Industries include:
(Download the target industry interpretations for full details)

  • Advanced transportation and logistics,
  • Advanced manufacturing,
  • Aviation,
  • Autonomous vehicle and zero-emission vehicle research or development,
  • Clean energy,
  • Life sciences,
  • Hemp processing,
  • Information and high technology,
  • Finance and insurance,
  • Professional services,
  • Film and digital media,
  • Non-retail food and beverage businesses, and
  • Other innovative industries that disrupt current technologies or business models. 


Minimum Jobs requirements

  • Minimum new jobs
    • Targeted industry: 25 new full-time jobs
    • Any other business: 35 new full-time jobs
  • Minimum retained jobs only
    • In a Qualified Incentive Tract, Government-Restricted Municipality or Enhanced Area: 500 retained full-time jobs
    • All other locations: 1,000 or more 
  • Projects with both new jobs & retained jobs (new change)
    • In GRM – New jobs & 150 retained full-time jobs
    • In Qualified Incentive Tract or Enhanced – New jobs & 250 retained full-time jobs
    • In all other locations – New jobs & 500 or more retained full-time

Capital Investment Requirements

  • New construction office space: $120 per square foot of gross leasable area 
  • Rehabilitation office space: $40 per square foot of gross leasable area 
  • New construction of industrial, warehouse, logistics, or R&D facility: $60 per square foot of gross leasable area 
  • Rehabilitation of industrial, warehouse, logistics, or R&D facility: $20 per square foot of gross leasable area. 
  • In place of investing in the project’s facility, the business may make an equivalent donation to the EDA’s Recovery Infrastructure Fund for use by the municipality where the project is located.
  • Some of these eligibility requirements are relaxed for small businesses as defined in the program rules.

Net Positive Economic Benefit Requirement

  • To receive Emerge tax credits, the NJEDA must determine that the capital investment resulting from the award and the resulting creation and/or retention of full-time jobs will yield a net positive economic benefit to the State.
  • For projects that are located in GRMs and qualified Mega Project the net positive economic benefit to the State must be at least 200%.
  • For projects that are located in Distressed municipalities or Enhanced Area the net positive economic benefit to the state must be at least 300%.
  • For all other eligible locations, the net positive economic benefit to the State must be at least 400%

Award Sizes

Base per-job tax credits by project location:

LOCATIONMIN TAX CREDITMAX TAX CREDIT
Government Restricted Municipality or Mega Project$4,000$8,000
Enhanced Area$3,500$6,000
Distressed Municipality$3,000$5,000
Opportunity Zone or Investment Corridor$2,500$4,000
All eligible projects$500$3,000

Bonus credits are available to projects that pay more than $15/hour to all employees of the company and meet one or more of the following policy objectives: 

POLICY OBJECTIVEBONUS TAX CREDIT
Located in municipality with Municipal Revitalization Index greater than 50$1,000
Greater than necessary capital investment in R&D facility$500 to $5,000 ($500 per year per 40% increase above minimum investment)
251 to 400 new jobs$500
401 to 600 new jobs$750
601 to 800 new jobs$1,000
801 to 1,000 new jobs$1,250
More than 1,000 new jobs$1,500
Funded training program$500 ($1,000 if training is performed by State school within 10 miles of Qualified Business Facility)
Applicant is a small business$500
Salaries above county median$200 to $1,000 ($200 per 35% increase over county median)
Company in NJEDA targeted industry$500
Project includes qualified incubator facility$500
Applicant enters Labor Harmony Agreement$2,000
Access to child care$1,000
Project will enter or has entered into active partnership with re-entry program for active hires$500
Exceeds LEED Silver certification$250
Exceeds LEED Gold certification$500
On-site solar, geo-thermal, wind or other renewable or distributed energy that generates 50% of energy needs$500
Business in targeted industry AND conducting full-time collaborative agreement with a college or university$1,000
Marine terminal in certain areas of South Jersey$1,500
Located in Opportunity Zone$1,000
One-third or more of Governing Board is diverse$2,000

Government Restricted Municipalities

Atlantic City

Paterson

Trenton

Enhanced Area

Camden

East Orange

Elizabeth

Hoboken

Jersey City

Newark City

New Brunswick

Passaic

Paulsboro

Salem

Distressed Municipalities

Asbury Park City

Mount Holly Township

Bayonne City

Neptune City Borough

Belleville Township

Neptune Township

Bloomfield Township

North Bergen Township

Brick Township

Old Bridge Township

Bridgeton City

Orange City

Carteret Borough

Pemberton Township

Cliffside Park Borough

Penns Grove Borough

Clifton City

Pennsauken Township

Garfield City

Perth Amboy City

Glassboro Borough

Phillipsburg Town

Gloucester City

Plainfield City

Gloucester Township

Pleasantville City

Hackensack City

Rahway City

Harrison Town

Roselle Borough

Hillside Township

Salem City

Irvington Township

Secaucus Town

Kearny Town

Union City

Lakewood Township

Vineland City

Lindenwold Borough

Weehawken Township

Lodi Borough

West New York Town

Long Branch City

Willingboro Township

Millville City

Winslow Township

Monroe Township

Woodbridge Township

Montclair Township

Woodbury City