Expired Requests for Information

Below please find a list of expired RFIs offered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (“RFI”) 2021-RFI-CE-139
Bridge Financing for New Jersey Energy Efficiency Contractors Pending Their Receipt of Incentive Payments

  1. INTENT/SUMMARY OF SCOPE

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“Authority”, “NJEDA”), an independent Authority of the State of New Jersey operating as the New Jersey Green Fund (the “NJGF”), is seeking information and ideas from qualified entities (“Respondents”), including capital providers, energy efficiency contractors (“EE Contractors”), New Jersey natural gas and electric investor-owned utilities (“Utilities”), non-profit organizations, researchers and other industry/trade groups.

This Request for Information (RFI) is issued by the NJGF to seek information from organizations and individuals with perspectives on the challenges faced by EE Contractors undertaking energy efficiency projects in New Jersey, due to availability or cost of capital. The objective is to better assess the potential for bridge financing that can fund EE Contractors until receipt of project-related cash incentives payable to them by Utilities or the New Jersey Clean Energy Program (“NJCEP”). The NJGF is especially interested to gather insight and perspectives from lending intermediaries (“Lending Intermediaries”) that may be interested in applying for loans from the NJGF that they would then use to fund such bridge financing, as well as from EE Contractors that may be interested in making use of it.

This RFI is in anticipation of the NJGF establishing a “loan-to-lender” program under which it will make loans to qualified Lending Intermediaries (“Master Loans”) who will in turn use such funding to make incentive bridge loans to EE Contractors operating in New Jersey.

  1. BACKGROUND

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The Authority is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create high-quality jobs for New Jersey residents and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the Authority creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.

As contemplated by the State’s 2019 Energy Master Plan and its current three-year Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Strategic Funding Plan, the Authority is designing and launching the New Jersey Green Fund. When launched, the NJGF’s is expected to provide funding to New Jersey businesses that leverage private capital to cost-effectively accelerate the deployment of clean energy technologies in New Jersey in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote an inclusive clean energy economy.

New Jersey’s marketplace for energy efficiency measures is currently in a state of transition. Effective July 1, 2021, the administration of the majority of the State’s energy efficiency-related cash incentive programs shifted from the NJCEP to the State’s Utilities. Moreover, under the 2018 Clean Energy Act that mandates this transition, the State established very ambitious performance targets for energy efficiency gains that the Utilities are required to meet. In order to meet those targets, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJ BPU) has approved three-year energy efficiency incentive budgets proposed by the Utilities. In the aggregate, these budgets represent more than twice the level of funding provided for the previous comparable NJCEP-administered programs

As a result of these legislative mandates and the expanded availability of cash incentives for energy efficiency measures, the level of energy efficiency contracting in the State is expected to increase dramatically during the next three years. Although energy efficiency incentives in New Jersey are structured, to be paid to the applicable project property owner, EE contractors commonly provide the property owner a credit for the expected incentive payment amount, in exchange for property owners assigning the incentive payouts to them.

The objective of the proposed “loan-to-lender” program contemplated in this RFI is to help position EE Contractors that have working capital-constraints, to grow their businesses: the expectation is that by improving their cash flow, it will enable them to increase their pace of project execution and more effectively plan for the staffing and other needs of their businesses.

The NJGF intends to provide Master Loans (subject to commercially reasonable underwriting standards) to Lending Intermediaries that will finance EE Contractors that undertake energy efficiency projects at residential, commercial, industrial, and/or institutional buildings in the State that are funded in part by incentives provided by one or more Utilities and/or the NJCEP. The Master Loans would be in the form of short-term (e.g., 1-3 year) extendable loans to Lending Intermediaries. Lending Intermediaries will use the Master Loans to fund loans to EE Contractors to bridge the timing gap between project cost outlays and receipt of incentive payments from Utilities and/or the NJCEP, with the assignment of such incentive payments providing security of the repayment of the bridge loans. The debt financing from the NJGF is expected to bear interest at or below prevailing market rates for comparable loans. Special incentives will be considered for the financing support of EE Contractors that serve overburdened communities.

  1. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA (if applicable)

This section is not applicable to this RFI.

  1. RFI RESPONSE QUESTIONS

Please answer all questions that are relevant to you or your organization, to the best of your ability. We recognize that no individual Respondent is likely to be able to answer all questions. Answers to these questions are understood to be preliminary and non-binding, and the NJGF may contact Respondents to request that they provide responses to follow up questions. Unless disclosure is authorized by Respondent or is required by the New Jersey Open Public Records Act (see Section 10 of this RFI) or otherwise by law, all responses received by the NJGF shall be kept confidential.

Respondents are free to structure responses as necessary to increase clarity and efficiency of submissions.

Questions directed to all Respondents

  1. Please provide your first and last name, contact email, phone number and information about your organization, including the basis for your interest in the subject of this RFI and your qualifications/expertise relevant to the subject matter. If Respondent is a business, please include details regarding the general nature of your business, annual revenues, number of employees and headquarter location.
  2. In making Master Loans, what types of conditions, if any, should the NJGF place on the bridge loans that Lending Intermediaries make to EE Contractors? Please comment on bridge loan financial terms such as interest rate, loan duration, loan security, etc., as well as any other conditions you consider significant.
  3. What measures, if any, should the NJGF implement to help ensure that Master Loans are used by Lending Intermediaries to extend a sufficient number of compliant bridge loans, e.g., access to additional funding from the NJGF or a decrease in the interest rate charged?
  4. Under a program of the type contemplated herein, what is (a) the optimal line size for a Lending Intermediary to deploy to the NJ EE bridge financing market in New Jersey?
  5. Please identify the energy efficiency-related cash incentive programs administered by the Utilities or the NJCEP that a loan-to-lender program could most strongly support, and why you believe this to be the case.
  6. Are there other aspects of the proposed loan-to-lender program that you would like to mention?
    Questions directed to prospective Lending Intermediaries
  7. Please describe your organization’s lending activities, if any, related to incentive programs to support energy efficiency projects for residential, commercial, industrial, and/or institutional customers, either in or outside of New Jersey. Have you provided energy efficiency incentive bridge loans before, or bridge financing unrelated to energy efficiency contracting? How long have you been in this market segment and how large is your portfolio?
  8. Please describe your organization’s experience working with energy efficiency contractors (including general contractors and sub-contractors) implementing energy efficiency projects for residential, commercial, industrial, and/or institutional customers in New Jersey and in other states. Please include experience (if any) with construction lending.
  9. How likely is it that your organization would be interested in applying for a Master Loan for the purposes set forth above?
  10. Based upon your current funding arrangements, what are the typical terms (e.g., interest rate, maturity, collateral) for incentive bridge loans (as described above) that your firm would offer to contractors in New Jersey? If your firm has not made such loans before, what do you expect would be typical terms for loans you would offer, again, based upon your existing funding arrangements?
  11. Please indicate your expected cost of debt financing to fund such loans if you did not receive a loan from the NJGF? Beyond the interest rate, are there other commercial terms that you would consider when making the decision whether to obtain a Master Loan? Please describe.
  12. Please provide any other information that you believe NJGF should take into consideration in designing a loan-to-lender program. Please be specific to terms that would be attractive to both the Lending Intermediaries that would borrow from the NJGF and the EE Contractors that would borrow from the Lending Intermediaries.
    Questions directed to EE Contractors
  13. Does your company credit building owners/customers that are undertaking projects for the incentives that they expect to receive from a Utility or the NJCEP? If so, to what extent do you regarding these crediting arrangements to be a competitive necessity for your business?
  14. Within the past three years have you used energy efficiency incentives-supported bridge financing, factoring or arrangements to improve your business’s working capital position? If so, with what counter-parties and under what financial terms? What has been your effective cost of capital under these arrangements?
  15. How likely is your company to apply for funding from a Lending Intermediary under the contemplated program to bridge expected energy efficiency incentive payouts, assuming that relatively attractive financing terms are offered? If likely, please indicate the estimated dollar volume of loans you would expect to request over the next (i) 12 months, (ii) 24 months, and (iii) 36 months, both in terms of maximum Lender Intermediary exposure to you as borrower and the aggregate value of the incentive payouts to be bridged?
  16. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (From Respondents to the EDA)

All questions concerning this RFI must be submitted in writing no later than 11:59 PM EST, on Friday, January 7, 2022 mail to: NJGreenFundRFI@njeda.com

The subject line of the e-mail should state:
Questions-2021-RFI-CE-139 : Bridge Financing for NJ Energy Efficiency Contractors

Answers to questions submitted will be publicly posted on the Authority’s website, under the Office of Economic Transformation RFIs section, on or about Tuesday, January 11, 2022.

IT IS THE RESPONDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO CHECK THIS WEBSITE REGULARLY FOR UPDATES.

  1. RESPONSE DETAILS

All RFI responses must be submitted in writing no later than 11:59 PM EST, on Friday, January 21, 2022 via e-mail to: NJGreenFundRFI@njeda.com

The subject line of the e-mail should state:
RFI Response-2021-RFI-CE-139: Bridge Financing for NJ Energy Efficiency Contractors

  1. FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS (from EDA) / ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Respondents may be asked to provide additional information to allow the Authority to better understand their responses.

  1. PROPRIETARY AND/OR CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

The Authority reserves the right to copy any information provided by the Respondents. The Authority reserves the right to use ideas that are provided by Respondents, applicants, stakeholders, or vendors. By submitting a Response, the submitter represents that such copying or use of information will not violate any copyrights, licenses, or other agreements with respect to information submitted or product solutions demonstrated, if applicable. Responses must clearly be marked for any information the Respondent deems Proprietary and/or Confidential.

  1. DISCLAIMER / NO OBLIGATION

This RFI is not a request for qualification/proposal. It may or may not result in further action.

This RFI is issued solely as a means of gathering information regarding the Authority’s desire to understand the types of products and level of service available in the market to meet the Authority’s needs. Interested parties responding to this RFI do so at their own expense. There will be no monetary compensation from the Authority for the time and effort spent in preparing the response to this RFI. All expenses incurred are the sole responsibility of the Respondent.

Should the Authority decide to move forward and announce a program/product or issue an RFQ/P related to this RFI, Respondents need not have submitted a response to this RFI in order to be eligible to respond to the RFQ/P or be eligible for the program/product. Should an RFQ/P be issued, responding to this RFI will not affect scoring or consideration for that process.

The Authority is under no obligation to contact Respondents to this RFI.

  1. NEW JERSEY OPEN PUBLIC RECORDS ACT

Respondents should be aware that responses to this RFI are subject to the “New Jersey Open Public Records Act” (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.), as amended and including all applicable regulations and policies and applicable case law, including the New Jersey Right-to-Know law. All information submitted in response to the RFI is considered public information, notwithstanding any disclaimers to the contrary, except as may be exempted from public disclosure by OPRA and the common law.

Any proprietary and/or confidential information submitted in response to this RFI will be redacted by the Authority. A person or entity submitting a response to this RFI may designate specific information as not subject to disclosure pursuant to the exceptions to OPRA found at N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1, when such person or entity has a good faith legal and factual basis for such assertion (i.e. information that may be included in another ongoing public procurement or solicitation). The Authority reserves the right to make the determination as to what is proprietary or confidential and will advise the person or entity accordingly. The Authority will not honor any attempt to designate the entirety of a submission as proprietary, confidential and/or to claim copyright protection for the entire proposal. In the event of any challenge to the Respondent’s assertion of confidentiality with which the Authority does not concur, the Respondent shall be solely responsible for defending its designation.

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Addendum #1
Addendum #1 extends the deadline for responding to this RFI until June 25

Addendum #2
Addendum #2 extends the deadline for responding to this RFI until July 16

  1. INTENT/SUMMARY OF SCOPE
    The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”), an independent Authority of the State of New Jersey, in conjunction with the Office of the Governor, Office of the First Lady, the Nurture NJ campaign1, and its state agency partners at the Department of Health, Department of Human Services, and Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) seeking information and ideas to:

    (1) Help inform the establishment and launch of a Center (“Center” or “the Center”) in the state capital (Trenton, NJ) dedicated to maternal and infant health innovation and research, with an emphasis on addressing racial disparities and ensuring equity in care and outcomes for mothers and infants.

    (2) Build on the Nurture NJ strategic plan2 by gathering feedback on the proposed vision for the Center, including mission, vision, organizational structure, partnerships, service offerings, staffing, governance and infrastructure.

    (3) Better understand opportunities and challenges to improve maternal and infant health outcomes within the City of Trenton and across the State of New Jersey, including gaps and disparities in clinical care outcomes, as well as potential sites and logistical considerations regarding the Center’s location and operations.

    (4) Learn about models in the United States and throughout the world that should be explored when developing the Center.

NJEDA is seeking responses from qualified entities (“Respondents”) including, but not limited to: mothers; members of communities most affected by disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes; healthcare providers; hospitals and hospital systems; midwives and doulas; health organizations; universities; advocacy organizations; social services providers; municipalities, government agencies and school districts; community stakeholders; policy and academic researchers; real estate developers; business leaders, employers and entrepreneurs; technical assistance providers; and foundations and philanthropic initiatives that address infant and maternal health. NJEDA is interested in receiving responses from entities based within New Jersey as well as those located outside of the state.

The information gathered in this RFI may subsequently be used to help the Authority, its partner agencies, and other concerned entities to develop strategies, programs, or other initiatives to help accomplish this goal.

THIS RFI IS NOT A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL and may not result in a subsequent RFP or further action.

2. BACKGROUND

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The Authority is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the Authority creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.

In 2019, Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy launched Nurture NJ, a statewide awareness campaign committed to both reducing maternal and infant mortality and morbidity and ensuring equitable care among women and children of all races and ethnicities. Currently, New Jersey is ranked 47th in the nation for maternal deaths and has one of the widest racial disparities for both maternal and infant mortality. A Black mother in New Jersey is seven times more likely than a white mother to die from maternity-related complications, and a Black baby is over three times more likely than a white baby to die before his or her first birthday.

The disparities in maternal and infant outcomes are not the result of differences in genes or behaviors but are mostly explained by the differential historical, social, economic, and health environments experienced by Black and brown women. These economic and social differences matter for health; they are determinants of health, and as long as they exist, so will the disparities in maternal and infant health.

Achieving the goals of Nurture NJ will require innovative and transformative action to achieve structural change. The infrastructure for maternal and infant health is not as resilient, durable or amenable to innovation as it should be. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the need for these systems to be more adaptable to address emergent issues.

The Nurture NJ strategic planning process was a multi-pronged, multi-sector approach. The result was a science-based, comprehensive and actionable plan focused on equity and improved outcome for all women and infants. The Nurture NJ strategic plan features nine action areas, the third of which is to “engage multiple sectors to achieve collective impact on health3.” Within that action area, recommendation 3.3 of the strategic plan aims to “establish a Center in the state capital [Trenton] that focuses on innovation and research in maternal and infant health through partnerships with the state’s academic, funder, business, and faith communities.”

The State’s aspiration is for the Center to catalyze innovation and serve as a vital anchor for Nurture NJ, as we work to achieve the goal of making New Jersey the safest and most equitable place in the nation to give birth and raise a baby.

Given the Center’s potential to impact a high need community as well as influence the statewide (and national) policy framework, Trenton is a natural choice to host the Center. From 2016 – 2018, Mercer County (which includes Trenton) had the fourth highest number of Black infant deaths (34 out of 383 statewide) and second highest Black infant mortality rate (13.1 per 1,000 births) among all 21 NJ counties.[4]


The Trenton-based Center could serve as a hub for multiple types of services and programs, including but not limited to: a birthing facility; clinical services for prenatal care, postnatal care, family planning, and health services for infants and toddlers; a research and development facility; an innovation and idea generation hub including commercialization; training and talent development programs; maternal data quality collection; food and nutrition programs; social supports; mental health supports; and policy and advocacy initiatives.

This RFI aims to build on Nurture NJ’s tremendous knowledge base and community engagement process by gathering targeted input on the development and implementation of the Trenton-based Center. Specifically, the RFI seeks information regarding the development of the Center’s mission, vision and structure; potential operating models and locations in Trenton; services and program offerings; strategies and best practices to foster research, innovation and commercialization in maternal and infant health; and considerations for the Authority and its partner agencies in creating initiatives anchored at the Center and within the Trenton community focused on achieving equity in maternal and infant health outcomes.

3. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA (if applicable)
This is not applicable to this RFI. All responses are welcomed.

4. RFI RESPONSE QUESTIONS
Please answer all questions that are relevant to you or your organization, to the best of your ability. The Authority recognizes that respondents may not be able to answer all questions. Answers to these questions are understood to be preliminary and non-binding.

Respondents are free to structure responses as necessary to increase clarity and efficiency of responses.

Description of your role and qualifications:

1) Please provide information on your organization, group, government entity, or self including:

a. Your name and title

b. Your operating/business location(s), including municipality and county (if located in New Jersey)

c. Your organization type, e.g. public entity (municipality, county, school district), private business, non-profit organization, private citizen, other (please explain)

d. Your capacity and qualifications as they relate to maternal and infant health and/or the development of a maternal and infant health Center

e. If applicable, your area of service or reach within New Jersey

2) Which best describes you/your organization (list all that apply)?

a. Mother/Caregiver

b. Community member

c. Healthcare provider or facility e.g. Federally Qualified Health Centers

d. Hospital or hospital system

e. Midwife or doula

f. Women’s health organization

g. University, educational institution, policy or academic researcher

h. Advocacy organization

i. Social services provider

j. Municipality, government agency or school district

k. Business leader, employer, entrepreneur

l. Real estate developer

m. Technical assistance provider

n. Foundation or philanthropy

o. Other, please explain

Mission and structure of the Center:
3) Given the comprehensive nature of the Nurture NJ strategic plan, which elements or action areas are most vital to see reflected in the Center’s mission and vision?

4) The Center could be structured several ways, e.g. as an independent 501(c)3, as a partnership with a university, hospital and/or health care provider, etc. Can you comment on the strengths and shortcomings of these different types of structures? Are there comparable models in other disciplines or structures in other parts of the country or world that should be considered?

5) What type of partnership models could support the Center? Are there existing resources or assets that can be leveraged through different partners? Please comment on both resources that can be leveraged within the greater Trenton area as well as other resources or programs throughout the State and region that could establish a formal connection to the Trenton-based Center.

Scope and Service Offerings:
6) What are the types of services you would like to see provided through the Center? What programs could be delivered through a Center for community members?

7) Given the breadth of potential services and programs to be housed at the Center, how should the Authority and its partners consider prioritization, timeline, tradeoffs and existing resources within the Trenton area? Where would the Center have the greatest impact or address the largest unmet need? Can you comment on the benefits as well as the challenges of trying to implement these services at one site? Can you comment on the staffing or governance models that should be considered?

8) The ‘Background’ section of this RFI outlines a number of potential services and programs that could be housed at the Center. Are there services, program offerings or sub-specialty areas that are either not on the list but should be considered, or receive a particular focus as part of the Center’s development and operations?

9) As part of his pledge to build a stronger, fairer economy, Governor Murphy is committed to making New Jersey the State of Innovation and harnessing the power of innovation to create more and better jobs across the state. What type of programs or research facilities could be housed or incubated at the Center to foster innovation in the field of maternal and infant health, especially on specific fields of study related to racial disparities in maternal and child mortality and morbidity? How would the Center’s research and development activities enhance and interface with related efforts around the state, country and world?

10) The Center could serve as a hub and facilitator of innovation for commercial and non-commercial partners to focus on maternal and infant health, e.g. by providing a physical space and technical assistance, hosting ‘innovation sprints,’ helping to attract venture capital to translate research into practice, etc. Are there other models that are specifically focused on this type of incubation and innovation in maternal and infant health? How could the Center distinguish itself from other health innovation hubs?

11) The Center aspires to offer clinical services which could also include a birthing facility to help address New Jersey’s ‘birthing deserts.’ Can you comment on the barriers in obtaining quality maternal and infant health care in the Trenton area, including affordability, transportation, location, capacity, trust, social determinants of health, etc.? Please describe challenges that existed prior to COVID-19, as well as new challenges that emerged or were exacerbated due to the pandemic. What should the Center prioritize to help address these barriers and challenges?

12) Are there models from other states or countries that New Jersey should draw from when developing the Center’s scope? Are there best practices or lessons learned that should be considered? How could New Jersey incorporate these approaches as it creates its own solutions? How would the Center complement – or compete – with these models?

13) Are there specific partners in Trenton, other parts of New Jersey, or throughout the United States that you would recommend the center development team partner with? What expertise would they bring to the planning? What role do you envision them playing?

Site location and development:

14) The Center will be located within the City of Trenton. Are there specific locations or sites both currently in use and/or available for new development that could be suitable for the types of services and programs described in this RFI? Can you comment on whether the Center should be part of a mixed-use development or a standalone development?

15) Should the Center prioritize co-locating all services into one central location? If so, what are the most important factors to be considered when selecting a location? If not, what could a successful model look like with multiple locations and what would the Authority need to consider in exploring a multi-site model, e.g. transportation?

5. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

All questions concerning this RFI must be submitted in writing no later than 11:59 PM EST, on Monday, May 17, 2021 via e-mail to: MaternalHealthRFI@njeda.com
The subject line of the e-mail should state: “QUESTIONS-2021-RFI-127”.

Answers to questions submitted will be publicly posted on the Authority’s website on or about Monday, May 24, 2021 at: https://www.njeda.com/bidding/#OET as Addendum.
IT IS THE RESPONDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO CHECK THIS URL REGULARLY FOR UPDATES.

6. RESPONSE DETAILS (Info Provided to Respondents Regarding Document Submission)
All RFI responses must be submitted in writing no later than 11:59 PM EST on Tuesday June 1, 2021, via e-mail to: MaternalHealthRFI@njeda.com
The subject line of the e-mail should state: “RFI Response-2021-RFI-127”.

7. FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS (from EDA) / ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Respondents may be asked to provide additional information to allow the Authority to better understand the responses or proposed solutions.

8. PROPRIETARY AND/OR CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
The Authority reserves the right to copy any information provided by the Respondents. The Authority reserves the right to use ideas that are provided by Respondents, applicants, stakeholders, or vendors. By submitting a Response, the submitter represents that such copying or use of information will not violate any copyrights, licenses, or other agreements with respect to information submitted or product solutions demonstrated, if applicable. Responses must clearly be marked for any information the Respondent deems Proprietary and/or Confidential.

9. DISCLAIMER/NO OBLIGATION
This RFI is not a request for qualification/proposal. It may or may not result in further action.
This RFI is issued solely as a means of gathering information and ideas regarding the Authority’s desire to understand strategies to strengthen access to healthy, affordable foods in New Jersey. Interested parties responding to this RFI do so at their own expense. There will be no monetary compensation from the Authority for the time and effort spent in preparing the response to this RFI. All expenses incurred are the sole responsibility of the Respondent.
Should the Authority decide to move forward and issue an RFQ/P or announce a program/product related to this RFI, Respondents need not have submitted a response to this RFI in order to be eligible to respond to the RFP. Should an RFQ/P be issued, responding to this RFI will not affect scoring or consideration for that process.

The Authority is under no obligation to contact Respondents to this RFI.

10. NEW JERSEY OPEN PUBLIC RECORDS ACT
Respondents should be aware that responses to this RFI are subject to the “New Jersey Open Public Records Act” (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.), as amended and including all applicable regulations and policies and applicable case law, including the New Jersey Right-to-Know law. All information submitted in response to the RFI is considered public information, notwithstanding any disclaimers to the contrary, except as may be exempted from public disclosure by OPRA and the common law.

Any proprietary and/or confidential information submitted in response to this RFI will be redacted by the Authority. A person or entity submitting a response to this RFI may designate specific information as not subject to disclosure pursuant to the exceptions to OPRA found at N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1, when such person or entity has a good faith legal and/or factual basis for such assertion (i.e. information that may be included in another ongoing public procurement or solicitation). The Authority reserves the right to make the determination as to what is proprietary or confidential and will advise the person or entity accordingly. The Authority will not honor any attempt to designate the entirety of a submission as proprietary, confidential and/or to claim copyright protection for the entire proposal. In the event of any challenge to the Respondent’s assertion of confidentiality with which the Authority does not concur, the Respondent shall be solely responsible for defending its designation.

1]Learn more about Nurture NJ including the strategic plan released in 2021 at https://nurturenj.nj.gov
2] Download the Nurture NJ strategic plan as a PDF at https://nurturenj.nj.gov/wp-
content/uploads/2021/01/20210120-Nurture-NJ-Strategic-Plan.pdf
3] https://nurturenj.nj.gov/9-action-areas/
4]Nurture New Jersey 2021 Strategic Plan, page 28, download as PDF at https://nurturenj.nj.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/20210120-Nurture-NJ-Strategic-Plan.pdf

Click here to view full PDF

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ADDENDUM #1 (3/31/2021)
APÉNDICE N.º 1

  1. INTENT/SUMMARY OF SCOPE

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”), an independent Authority of the State of New Jersey, in conjunction with its state agency partners at the Department of Community Affairs, Department of Agriculture, and the Office of the Governor, is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) seeking information and ideas to:

  1. Help inform the creation of a New Jersey-specific definition of “food deserts,” uniquely suited to the needs of the Garden State, as described in the Food Desert Relief Act (Sections 35-42 of the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020, which was signed into law by Governor Phil D. Murphy on January 7, 2021)[1];
  2. Better understand the unique challenges faced by communities across the state regarding food security, food quality and nutritional value, including specific obstacles and disparities; and
  3. Learn about potential solutions to increase the accessibility and affordability of healthy, nutritious food for all New Jersey residents.   

NJEDA is seeking responses from qualified entities (“Respondents”) including, but not limited to: municipalities and school districts; hunger relief organizations (e.g., food banks); food retailers, producers, processors and suppliers; advocacy organizations; social services providers; supermarket and grocery store developers and operators; community stakeholders; policy and academic researchers; technical assistance providers; agricultural organizations and farm markets; developers of innovative anti-hunger and nutrition programs; and foundations and philanthropic initiatives that address hunger and food insecurity.  We are interested in receiving responses from entities based within New Jersey as well as those located outside of the state.

The information gathered in this RFI may subsequently be used to help the Authority, its partner agencies, and other concerned entities develop strategies, programs, or other initiatives to help accomplish this goal.

THIS RFI IS NOT A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL and may not result in a subsequent RFP or further action.

2. BACKGROUND

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The Authority is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the Authority creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.

New Jersey faces a crisis of food insecurity that has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts on families across the state. In 2018, approximately 775,000 New Jerseyans reported difficulties putting food on their table at some point in the year. That number is now projected to grow by more than 50%, to a total of over 1.2 million New Jersey residents (13.5% of all residents), facing food insecurity. An estimated 365,000 New Jersey children – approximately one in five children – will experience food insecurity this year, an increase of 75%[2].  Even prior to COVID-19, significant numbers of New Jersey residents had limited access to a supermarket or grocery store; according to a 2018 analysis by the Reinvestment Fund, nearly 880,000 New Jerseyans had limited supermarket access[3].

The Food Desert Relief Act (“Act”), part of the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020[4], directs NJEDA to address the food security needs of communities across New Jersey by providing up to $40 million a year for six years in tax credits, loans, grants and/or technical assistance to increase access to nutritious foods and develop new approaches to alleviate food deserts.  

Specifically, the Act authorizes the Authority to:

  • Identify up to 50 food desert communities across the state, in coordination with the Departments of Community Affairs and Agriculture. Each food desert community will consist of a distinct geographic area with a single defined border[5].
  • Award tax credits to incentivize businesses to establish and retain new supermarkets and grocery stores[6] in food desert communities.
  • Provide grants and loans for food retailers of all sizes[7] to fund:
    • Equipment costs to store, refrigerate, transport, and/or maintain fresh food
    • Technology costs to support online ordering/e-commerce, including for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, Children (WIC)
    • Initiatives to ensure food security of residents in food desert communities
  • Offer technical assistance to assist in implementation of best practices for increasing the accessibility of nutritious foods in food desert communities.

This RFI seeks information to better understand the short- and long-term food accessibility challenges faced by communities across the state; potential initiatives to increase accessibility and affordability of healthy foods; and considerations for the Authority and its partner agencies in defining the state’s food desert communities.

3. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA (if applicable)

This is not applicable to this RFI. All responses are welcomed.

4. RFI RESPONSE QUESTIONS

Please answer all questions that are relevant to you or your organization, to the best of your ability. The Authority recognizes that respondents may not be able to answer all questions. Answers to these questions are understood to be preliminary and non-binding.

Respondents are free to structure responses as necessary to increase clarity and efficiency of responses.

Description of your role and qualifications:

  1. Please provide information on your organization, group, government entity, or self including:
    • Your name and title
    • Your operating/business location(s), including municipality and county (if located in New Jersey)
    • Your organization type, e.g. public entity (municipality, county, school district), private business, non-profit organization, private citizen, other (please explain)  
    • Your capacity and qualifications as they relate to food security and/or food retail 
  2. Which best describes your organization (list all that apply)?
    • Food retailer (e.g. operator of supermarket/grocery store, mid-sized or small food retail business)
    • Municipality/school district  
    • Real estate developer
    • Supermarket/grocery store developer
    • Community-based/social services/hunger relief organization
    • Advocacy organization
    • Agricultural organization/farm market
    • Financing source/investor
    • Farmer/food processor/distributor/supplier
    • Technical assistance provider
    • Research/academic institution
    • Philanthropy/foundation
    • Other, please explain
  1.  Which key areas are you/your organization most qualified to address (list all that apply)?:
    • Healthy food retail
    • Food security and anti-hunger programs
    • Supermarket and grocery store development
    • Food retail operations
    • Technical assistance for food retailers
    • Other, please explain

Food Desert definition criteria:

  1. What are the key criteria the Authority and its partner agencies should consider in defining food desert communities with low accessibility to healthy foods (e.g., income, distance to food retailer, health factors, public transportation)?
  2. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food deserts based on such factors as income, distance to supermarket, and vehicle accessibility. Are there limitations on this definition for its application to New Jersey? What are the strengths and shortcomings of this definition the State should be aware of?
  3. The Food Desert Relief Act states that the criteria to be designated a food desert in New Jersey should “at a minimum, incorporate analysis of municipal or census tract poverty statistics, food desert information from the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, and healthier food retail tract information from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The departments may also consider data related to municipal or census tract population size and population density in making food desert community designations.” Are there other specific data sources that should be considered when establishing this definition?
  4. Are there models or best practices from other states or localities regarding definitions of food deserts or areas of low healthy food accessibility? How could New Jersey incorporate these approaches as it creates its own definition?

Healthy food accessibility challenges in New Jersey:

  1. What are the biggest challenges New Jersey communities face in accessing healthy foods? Please describe challenges that existed prior to COVID-19, as well as new challenges that emerged or were exacerbated due to the pandemic.
  2. What are the challenges faced by food retailers of all sizes in regards to:
    • Purchasing, storing, transporting and offering a variety of healthy, affordable foods including fruits and vegetables?
    • Accepting SNAP and WIC benefits?
    • Setting up online ordering and other e-commerce systems to facilitate food purchasing and delivery, including the transition to electronic SNAP and WIC?
  3. Can you comment on financial, regulatory and/or land use challenges related to:
    • Developing and building new supermarkets/grocery stores in food desert communities, e.g. capital needs, construction costs  
    • Operating new supermarkets/grocery stores in food desert communities, e.g. operating costs, revenue supports
  4. Can you comment on the particular challenges facing different types of communities across the state in accessing healthy, affordable foods, as well as any targeted strategies that could help address them? These include:
    • Urban communities
    • Rural communities
    • Suburban communities
    • Communities with limited English proficiency
    • Communities with low levels of vehicle accessibility and/or public transit access
    • Communities with limited digital literacy and/or digital access
    • Other, please explain

Ideas to support healthy food accessibility:

  1. What are specific supports that could help make developing and operating supermarkets and grocery stores in food desert communities more financially viable?
  2. What types of financial support, training and technical assistance would be most helpful to existing food retailers to provide a greater array of healthy food options in their stores, including retailers that speak a language other than English?
  3. What are examples of innovative strategies have been effective in increasing access to healthy, affordable foods, either in New Jersey or elsewhere? Are there models from other states or localities that New Jersey should draw from to increase access to healthy foods in food desert communities?

5. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

All questions concerning this RFI must be submitted in writing no later than 11:59 PM EST, on Monday, March 22, 2021 via e-mail to:  fooddesertrfi@njeda.com.

The subject line of the e-mail should state: “QUESTIONS-2021-RFI-OET-COVID19-FoodDesert-125]”.

Answers to questions submitted will be publicly posted on the Authority’s website on or about Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at: https://www.njeda.com/bidding/#OET as Addendum.

IT IS THE RESPONDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO CHECK THIS URL REGULARLY FOR UPDATES.

6. RESPONSE DETAILS (Info Provided to Respondents Regarding Document Submission)

All RFI responses must be submitted in writing no later than 11:59 PM EST on Monday, May 17, 2021, via e-mail to: fooddesertrfi@njeda.com.

The subject line of the e-mail should state: “RFI Response-2021-RFI-OET-COVID19-FoodDesert-125”.

7. FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS (from EDA) / ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Respondents may be asked to provide additional information to allow the Authority to better understand the responses or proposed solutions.

8. PROPRIETARY AND/OR CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

The Authority reserves the right to copy any information provided by the Respondents. The Authority reserves the right to use ideas that are provided by Respondents, applicants, stakeholders, or vendors. By submitting a Response, the submitter represents that such copying or use of information will not violate any copyrights, licenses, or other agreements with respect to information submitted or product solutions demonstrated, if applicable. Responses must clearly be marked for any information the Respondent deems Proprietary and/or Confidential.

9. DISCLAIMER/NO OBLIGATION

This RFI is not a request for qualification/proposal. It may or may not result in further action.

This RFI is issued solely as a means of gathering information and ideas regarding the Authority’s desire to understand strategies to strengthen access to healthy, affordable foods in New Jersey. Interested parties responding to this RFI do so at their own expense. There will be no monetary compensation from the Authority for the time and effort spent in preparing the response to this RFI. All expenses incurred are the sole responsibility of the Respondent.

Should the Authority decide to move forward and issue an RFQ/P or announce a program/product related to this RFI, Respondents need not have submitted a response to this RFI in order to be eligible to respond to the RFP. Should an RFQ/P be issued, responding to this RFI will not affect scoring or consideration for that process.

The Authority is under no obligation to contact Respondents to this RFI.

10. NEW JERSEY OPEN PUBLIC RECORDS ACT

Respondents should be aware that responses to this RFI are subject to the “New Jersey Open Public Records Act” (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.), as amended and including all applicable regulations and policies and applicable case law, including the New Jersey Right-to-Know law. All information submitted in response to the RFI is considered public information, notwithstanding any disclaimers to the contrary, except as may be exempted from public disclosure by OPRA and the common law.

Any proprietary and/or confidential information submitted in response to this RFI will be redacted by the Authority. A person or entity submitting a response to this RFI may designate specific information as not subject to disclosure pursuant to the exceptions to OPRA found at N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1, when such person or entity has a good faith legal and/or factual basis for such assertion (i.e. information that may be included in another ongoing public procurement or solicitation). The Authority reserves the right to make the determination as to what is proprietary or confidential and will advise the person or entity accordingly. The Authority will not honor any attempt to designate the entirety of a submission as proprietary, confidential and/or to claim copyright protection for the entire proposal. In the event of any challenge to the Respondent’s assertion of confidentiality with which the Authority does not concur, the Respondent shall be solely responsible for defending its designation.


[1] Learn more at https://www.njeda.com/economicrecoveryact/. The full text of the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020, including the Food Desert Relief Act (Sections 35 through 42, pages 33-43) can be downloaded as a PDF at https://1e7pr71cey5c3ol2neoaoz31-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/A4_R1-NJERA-PL-2020-c156.pdf 

[2] Community Food Bank of New Jersey, “COVID-19’s Impact on Food Insecurity in New Jersey,” September 2020, https://cfbnj.org/covidimpact/

[3] Reinvestment Fund, “Assessing Place-Based Access to Healthy Food: The Limited Supermarket Access (LSA) Analysis,” July 2018, https://www.reinvestment.com/research-publications/2018-update-analysis-of-limited-supermarket-access/.

[4] Learn more at https://www.njeda.com/economicrecoveryact/. The full text of the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020, including the Food Desert Relief Act (Sections 35 through 42, pages 33-43) can be downloaded as a PDF at https://1e7pr71cey5c3ol2neoaoz31-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/A4_R1-NJERA-PL-2020-c156.pdf 

[5] The Food Desert Relief Act does not define “food desert.” It directs the NJEDA, in consultation with the Departments of Agriculture and Community Affairs, to develop criteria to initially designate not more than 50 separate geographic areas as food desert communities, each consisting of a distinct geographic area with a single defined border. See question 6 of this RFI for more details.

[6] “Supermarket or grocery store” is defined as a retail outlet with at least 16,000 square feet, of which at least 90 percent is occupied by food and related products.

[7] In addition to supermarkets and grocery stores, this includes “Mid-sized food retailers” defined as a medium-sized retail outlet with at least 2,500 but less than 16,000 square feet, of which at least 75 percent is occupied by food and related products and “Small food retailer” defined as a small retail outlet, with less than 2,500 square feet, that sells a limited selection of foods and other products, such as a bodega, convenience store, corner store, neighborhood store, small grocery, or small-scale store.

Click here to view the full PDF of the RFI

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or “Authority”), an independent Authority of the State of New Jersey, in conjunction with its state agency partners at the Department of Human Services (“DHS”), Department of Children and Families (“DCF”), and the Office of the Governor, is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) seeking information and ideas to build the business capacity and sustainability of child care providers in New Jersey.

NJEDA is seeking responses from qualified entities (“Respondents”) including, but not limited to: child care providers (e.g., licensed child care centers; license-exempt providers; registered family child care providers; home-based providers; and family, friend, neighbor providers); child care technical assistance providers; child care advocacy organizations; business and entrepreneurship support organizations; Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agencies; Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) providing loans and/or financial support to child care providers; policy and academic researchers; and foundations and philanthropic initiatives that support child care.

This RFI is issued by the Authority to seek information on obstacles and potential disparities in business capacity and sustainability that have been encountered by child care providers of all types. NJEDA also seeks ideas on solutions to such obstacles and disparities, including, but not limited to: training and technical assistance programs for child care providers on business operations; expanded partnerships among providers; and funding sources to support child care operations. The Authority is interested in hearing perspectives from organizations that could potentially deliver technical assistance to child care providers within New Jersey. Finally, the Authority also seeks to gather information on new issues that have emerged due to COVID-19, as well as longstanding challenges that have constrained the sector’s growth and sustainability.

ADDENDUM #1 – Questions & Answers (12/24/20)
ADDENDUM # 2 – Questions & Answers (1/15/21)
ADDENDUM #3 (1/29/21)
2020-RFI-OET-COVID19-116 – Building the Resilience of New Jersey’s Child Care Sector

La Autoridad para el desarrollo económico de New Jersey (“NJEDA” o “Authority”), una Autoridad independiente del Estado de New Jersey, en conjunto con sus socios de agencias estatales en el Departamento de Servicios Humanos (“DHS”), el Departamento de Niños y Familias (“DCF”) y la Oficina del Gobernador, emite esta Solicitud de información (Request for Information, RFI) en busca de información e ideas para construir capacidad y sostenibilidad empresarial de proveedores de cuidado infantil de New Jersey.

La NJEDA busca respuestas de entidades calificadas (“Partes instadas”) que incluyen, entre otras: proveedores de cuidado infantil (p. ej., centros de cuidado infantil con licencia, proveedores exentos de licencia, proveedores de cuidado infantil familiar registrados, proveedores a domicilio, y proveedores familiares, amigos y vecinos), proveedores de asistencia técnica de cuidado infantil, organizaciones de defensa del cuidado infantil, organizaciones que apoyan a las empresas e iniciativas empresariales, agencias de Recursos y derivación de cuidado infantil (Child Care Resource Referral, CCR&R), instituciones financieras para el desarrollo de la comunidad (Community Development Financial Institutions, CDFI) que proporcionan préstamos o apoyo financiero a proveedores de cuidado infantil, investigadores de políticas y académicos y fundaciones e iniciativas filantrópicas que apoyan el cuidado infantil.

La Autoridad emite esta RFI para buscar información referente a los obstáculos y posibles desigualdades en capacidad y sostenibilidad empresarial que los proveedores de cuidado infantil de todos los tipos han enfrentado. La NJEDA también busca ideas para soluciones a estos obstáculos y desigualdades, que incluyen, entre otros: programas de capacitación y asistencia técnica para proveedores de cuidado infantil sobre operaciones empresariales, ampliación de las alianzas entre proveedores y fuentes de financiamiento para apoyar las operaciones de cuidado infantil. La Autoridad también está interesada en escuchar perspectivas de organizaciones que posiblemente podrían ofrecer asistencia técnica a proveedores de cuidado infantil dentro de New Jersey. Finalmente, la Autoridad también busca recabar información sobre nuevos problemas que han surgido debido a la COVID-19, además de desafíos de larga duración que han limitado el crecimiento y la sostenibilidad del sector.

2020-RFI-OET-COVID19-116 – Construir la resiliencia del sector de cuidado infantil de New Jersey

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“Authority” or “NJEDA”), an independent Authority of the State of New Jersey, is seeking information from qualified entities (“Respondents”) regarding the potential leasing of certain parcels at the New Jersey Wind Port, being developed at Lower Alloways Creek, New Jersey (the “Port”).

Announced by Governor Murphy in June this year, the 200-acre Port is set to become the first dedicated offshore wind (OSW) port in the United States, purpose-built to meet the OSW industry’s unique requirements for component assembly, staging and transportation.

The Port will be developed in phases, with Phase One starting construction in 2021 and reaching completion in mid-2023, and Phase Two targeted to reach completion in early 2026. Phase One will comprise two parcels: Parcel A (30 acres), an area purpose-built for marshalling and assembly; and Parcel G (25 acres), which can be used for component manufacturing or potentially as an additional storage or staging area.

Prior work confirmed a strong economic case for new hub-style port capacity and has enabled the Authority to identify a site and define key project parameters (e.g., scope of activities, development footprint and timeframe). The Authority has been working with its financial, legal and technical advisors to further refine development plans and to shape future leasing processes.

The Authority is now issuing a Request for Information (“RFI”) targeted at OSW developers and supply chain entities interested in potential use of the Port to service New Jersey and non-NJ wind projects. Specifically, the Authority is interested in receiving comments, questions, recommendations, facts, information, and responses relating to:

• Marshalling and/or manufacturing location decision drivers;
• Lease periods; and
• Acceptable lease terms

2020-RFI-OET-NJ WIND PORT LEASE RFI-110 – New Jersey Wind Port Tenant Leasing Approaches

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or the “Authority”), an independent Authority of the State of New Jersey, in conjunction with its state agency partners and the Office of the Governor, is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) seeking information and ideas to bridge the digital divide for New Jersey’s Pre-K-to-12 students.

These perspectives will help the Authority better understand potential solutions to ensure that New Jersey’s students, educators and parents/guardians have sufficient access to the appropriate digital technology, internet connectivity and training to foster successful remote learning (as needed), as the State continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The information gathered in this RFI may subsequently be used to help the Authority, its partner agencies, and other concerned entities develop strategies, programs, or other initiatives to help accomplish this goal.

ADDENDUM #1 – Questions & Answers (7/27/2020)
2020-RFI-OET-COVID19-109 – Bridging the Digital Divide for New Jersey’s Students

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority to seek information from entities and/or individuals with perspectives on the deployment of zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) as well as related charging equipment and infrastructure. For the purpose of this RFI, the term “MHDV” is broadly defined as encompassing both on-road vehicles2 as well as off-road goods-moving equipment, such as equipment used at ports, airports, and large distribution centers.

The Authority is interested in receiving information (including but not limited to comments, questions, recommendations, white papers, tools, case studies, information, ideas, references, and general responses, e.g., willingness to participate in a focus group or demonstration project) that will help it to shape new zero-emission MHDV programs and initiatives in New Jersey using proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). More specifically, this RFI aims to help the Authority better understand:

1. The extent to which MHDV owners and/or operators are currently utilizing zero-emission technologies, and/or are considering them in their future procurement pipeline;

2. The key barriers (financial and non-financial) that entities face in deploying zero-emission MHDVs and associated charging equipment;

3. How the Authority can best support and incentivize entities in transitioning to zero-emission MHDVs and equipment; and

4. Potential supports that would enable New Jersey to grow existing and attract new zero-emission MHDV supply chain businesses, and prospective supply chain businesses.

2020-RFI-OET-TL-098 – Supporting the Transition to Zero-Emission Commercial Transportation

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA” or the “Authority”), an independent Authority of the State of New Jersey, in conjunction with its state agency partners and the Office of the Governor, is seeking information and ideas from qualified entities with perspectives on how to ensure that the state’s small businesses have affordable and equitable access to the appropriate personal protective equipment (“PPE”) and safeguarding tools that they will need to reopen and operate safely in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Qualified entities that could respond include but are not limited to: PPE manufacturers and suppliers, technology companies, medical or office equipment retailers or wholesalers, firms specializing in distribution, existing or new buying cooperatives or consortia, non-profit organizations, industry or trade groups, and post-secondary educational institutions.  Qualified entities may include organizations that could offer ideas that would be full solutions to the sourcing and distribution of PPE, as well as entities whose expertise covers merely one aspect of the need, e.g., technology providers or small business experts.

The purpose of this RFI is to collect facts, information, and ideas that will help the Authority better understand potential solutions to ensure New Jersey’s smaller economic participants have sufficient access to affordable PPE to allow for safe and efficient reopening and continued operations as the state continues to recover from the health and safety effects and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.  
The information gathered in this RFI may subsequently be used to help the Authority, its partner agencies, and other concerned entities develop strategies, programs, or other initiatives to help accomplish this goal.

ADDENDUM 1 – Questions & Answers (6/26/2020)
2020-RFI-OET-Covid19-107 – Facilitating PPE Readiness for New Jersey Small Businesses and Non-Profit Organizations

Addendum #1 (04/13/2020) – All RFI responses must be submitted in writing no later than 11:59 pm ET, on Friday, May 29, 2020, via email to RFI-PotentialGreenFund@njeda.com. 
The subject line of the e-mail should state: “RFI Response-2020-RFI-OET-CE-102-Potential Green Fund”.

In accordance with the State of New Jersey’s recently released Energy Master Plan (“EMP”, “Plan”), the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“Authority”, “NJEDA”), an independent authority of the State of New Jersey, is seeking information and ideas from qualified entities and individuals with perspectives on the potential establishment of a green bank, fund or other financing mechanism to support clean energy-related investments in New Jersey (“Respondents”).  For the purposes of this RFI, any potential future clean energy-related financing mechanism is referred to a “Green Fund”.  

This Request for Information (RFI) is issued by the NJEDA to seek perspectives on clean energy financing.  The NJEDA is interested in receiving comments, questions, recommendations, facts, information, information, ideas and responses that will help the NJEDA to identify and better understand the issues that need to be addressed in the context of establishing and operating a Green Fund.  

ADDENDUM #1 – Clarifications and/or Modifications (04/13/2020)

2020-RFI-OET-CE-102 – Potential Green Financing Mechanism to be Established by the State of New Jersey

Addendum #1 (03/26/2020) – All questions concerning this RFI must be submitted in writing no later than 11:59 PM EST, on  June 30, 2020. Answers to questions submitted will be publicly posted on this page, on or about July 13, 2020. 

All RFI responses must be submitted in writing no later than 11:59 PM EST, on July 29, 2020. 

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“Authority”, “NJEDA”), an independent Authority of the State of New Jersey, is seeking information and ideas from qualified entities (“Respondents”), including, but not limited to fund managers, angel
investors, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and small-business owners, researchers and practitioners involved in entrepreneurial work, relevant industry/trade groups, and other state governments.

This Request for Information (RFI) is issued by the Authority to seek information from firms and individuals with perspectives on the structural obstacles and potential disparities encountered by high-growth start-ups run by Black and Latinx entrepreneurs in New Jersey when seeking venture or seed funding, both private and public. The NJEDA also seeks interest and ideas on solutions to such obstacles and disparities, including, but not limited to, existing venture and seed funds that specifically invest in Black and Latinx-owned/run high-growth businesses. The Authority is especially interested to hear perspectives from those firms that may be interested in expanding those solutions within New Jersey or investing in Black and Latinx-owned New Jersey businesses. This includes the potential establishment of a diversity seed fund for Black and Latinx owned businesses in the State.

ADDENDUM #1 – Clarifications and/or Modifications (03/26/2020)

2020-RFI-OET-TLS-099 – Options for Expanding Access to Seed Capital for Black and Latinx Entrepreneur

Anexo n.º 1 (26 de marzo de 2020): Todas las preguntas relacionadas con esta Solicitud de Información (Request for Information, RFI) se deben enviar por escrito antes de las 11:59 p. m., hora del este, del día 30 de junio de 2020. Las respuestas a las preguntas enviadas se publicarán en esta página el 13 de julio de 2020, o alrededor de esa fecha.

Todas las respuestas a las RFI se deben enviar por escrito antes de las 11:59 p. m., hora del este, del día 29 de julio de 2020. 

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“Authority”, “NJEDA”), una Authority independiente del estado de Nueva Jersey, está recabando información e ideas de entidades calificadas (los “Encuestados”), lo que incluye, entre otros, los
administradores de fondos, inversores ángeles, capitalistas de riesgo, emprendedores, propietarios de pequeñas empresas, investigadores y profesionales que trabajen en el ámbito empresarial, grupos industriales y comerciales, y otros gobiernos estatales.

La presente solicitud de información (RFI) se emite por intermedio de la Autoridad a los fines de recabar información de empresas y personas con perspectivas sobre los obstáculos estructurales y posibles disparidades con que se hayan enfrentado las empresas emergentes de alto crecimiento que administren los emprendedores de origen latino y afroamericano en Nueva Jersey, en la búsqueda de una financiación de riesgo o generadora, tanto privada como pública. La NJEDA también busca intereses e ideas relativas a las soluciones para tales obstáculos y disparidades, lo que incluye, entre otros, los fondos existentes de riesgo y generadores que se invierten específicamente en las empresas de alto crecimiento que posean o administren los emprendedores de origen latino y afroamericano. La Authority se interesa especialmente en escuchar perspectivas de aquellas empresas que pudieren interesarse en expandir esas soluciones en Nueva Jersey o invertir en empresas que posean los emprendedores de origen latino y afroamericano. Esto incluye la posible creación un fondo generador de diversidad para empresas que posean las personas de origen latino y afroamericano en el estado. 

Anexo n.º 1 (26 de marzo de 2020)

2020-RFI-OET-TLS-099 – opciones para expandir el acceso al capital de desarrollo para emprendedores de origen latino y afroamericano

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“Authority”), an independent Authority of the State of New Jersey with support from the NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Clean Energy Program (CEP), is developing a set of initiatives and programs aimed at positioning NJ as a leader in Cleantech Innovation. The aim is both to support and strengthen current cleantech innovation activities and encourage new research, investment, and jobs in the sector.

This Request for Information (RFI) is issued by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“Authority”, “NJEDA”) in collaboration with the NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Clean Energy Program (CEP) to seek information from entities and individuals with perspectives on the cleantech innovation ecosystem in New Jersey. The NJEDA and BPU is interested in receiving comments, questions, recommendations, facts, information, ideas, and responses that will help the NJEDA and BPU better understand the scope and characteristics of the existing ecosystem, recognize challenges, and develop potential programs/actions that can be undertaken to effectively strengthen and position NJ as a leader in cleantech innovation.

2019-RFI-OET-CE-097 – Mechanisms for strengthening New Jersey’s Cleantech Innovation Ecosystem
Frequently Asked Questions (Updated 1/30/2020)

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
2022-RFI-OET-PFS-146
New Jersey Financial Technology Innovation Center

ADDENDUM #1


I. INTENT/SUMMARY OF SCOPE
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“Authority”, “NJEDA”), an independent Authority of the State of New Jersey, is seeking information and ideas from qualified entities (“Respondents”) including, but not limited to: finance and insurance companies, information technology companies, suppliers within the Financial Services and Technology supply chains (e.g., product and technology development), post-secondary educational institutions, relevant industry or trade groups, policy and academic researchers; real estate developers; business leaders, employers and entrepreneurs; technical assistance providers, and municipal or county governments.


This Request for Information (RFI) is issued by the NJEDA to seek information from firms with perspectives on the creation of a physical innovation center dedicated to financial technology (fintech). The NJEDA is interested in receiving comments, questions, recommendations, facts, information, ideas, solutions, and responses that will help the NJEDA better understand the scope and characteristics of technology driven financial innovations, generally referred to as fintech, and the potential value in creating a Center for fintech activity in New Jersey.


This RFI seeks to collect information on whether a fintech strategic innovation center offers a unique opportunity for further economic development, sustain job growth/creation, and catalyze innovation. In addition, this RFI seeks to:

  1. Better understand the opportunities and challenges in establishing a fintech innovation center in in the State including, market need and gaps, as well as potential sites and logistical considerations regarding the Center’s location and operations.
  2. Collect information on potential projects or solutions that present the best return on investment and opportunity for sustainability.
  3. Learn about models in the United States and throughout the world that should be explored when developing a center.

II. BACKGROUND
The Authority serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The Authority is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the Authority creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.

Governor Murphy’s Economic Development Strategic Plan, “The State of Innovation: Building a Stronger and Fairer Economy in New Jersey” specifically highlights investing in emerging innovative industries as critical to the State’s economic development strategy. New Jersey will take a proactive, targeted approach to support innovative, resilient growth industries that provide living wages for New Jersey residents.

A stronger and fairer New Jersey economy will prioritize innovation sectors that best support New Jersey’s long-term economic future. The Governor’s plan identifies Finance and Professional Services as one of nine strategic sectors with the potential for outsized growth over the next five to fifteen years where the State could use targeted initiatives to promote innovation and economic development. NJEDA has determined that, given its high reliance on technology and innovation, fintech falls within the Financial and Professional Services sector.

In addition, the Economic Recovery Act provides a consistent definition of “targeted industry” for various programs and authorizes the Authority to amend the list from time to time. “Targeted industry” means any innovative industries that disrupt current technologies or business models, including but not limited, to Finance and Insurance. The Finance and Insurance industry includes, but is not limited to, the research, development, commercialization and management of financial and risk-management solutions, products and services for individuals, businesses and government agencies, including insurance lines, investment banking, depository and lending, and investment management services. It may include technology driven financial innovations generally referred to as fintech, research and development activities that advance finance and insurance industry practices, including executing financial transactions. The Finance and Insurance industry may also include wagering platforms and related products and services, cryptocurrencies and related products and services, and regional or global headquarters of finance and insurance operations.


Further, the Governor’s Strategic Plan notes that creating and supporting new physical innovation spaces and hubs is an important aspect of building the State’s innovation economy, as these spaces support the clustering of industry stakeholders to catalyze innovation. Additionally, the plan includes goals to create the most diverse innovation ecosystem in the country, support high-wage and high-growth innovation sectors, and close the racial and gender wage and employment gaps.


New Jersey is uniquely positioned to establish itself as a central location for the fintech industry. Many of the world’s leading financial services companies have placed their back-office data and technology support operations in New Jersey. The added value of locating in New Jersey include:


• A strategic location at the heart of the densely-populated and transit-connected Northeast Corridor, next to Philadelphia and New York City


• Best-in-class digital infrastructure


• A highly-educated, skilled, and diverse workforce


• International gateway with easy access to employees, clients, and customers across the globe


Many New Jersey institutions of higher education are fintech leaders. Efforts are already underway to strengthen the fintech innovation ecosystem in New Jersey. For example, Hoboken-based Stevens Institute of Technology, in partnership with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, was awarded the first-ever National Science Foundation (“NSF”) grant to create an industry-university cooperative research center devoted specifically to financial technology and science. Stevens and Rensselaer will bring together industry and academic partners, and policy makers involved in high-impact research efforts, to conduct research that is relevant for industry and has potential for commercialization. The effort is expected to receive approximately $1 million in funding in the initial year of operation, with $300,000 provided by the NSF annually over the five-year grant period and the remainder funded by its industry members. Stevens will serve as the administrative lead institution in compliance with NSF’s newly issued rules of designating a lead institution for all industry-university cooperative research centers.

Second, The NJEDA Board recently executed a memorandum of understanding with Stockton University to support the establishment of an esports Innovation Center at the university’s Atlantic City campus. The Esports Innovation Center in tandem with ongoing revitalization and job creation efforts will help pave the way for equitable and lasting economic growth in Atlantic City. The NJEDA will provide $200,000 in funding and provide staff support for the Innovation Center.

Finally, as part of a wider NJEDA strategic effort to grow New Jersey’s innovation, sports wagering, and fintech ecosystems, the NJEDA has an agreement with New Jersey City University (“NJCU”) to support the Sports Wagering and Financial Technology Workforce Development and Innovation Center at NJCU. This Center will provide an incubator for the sports wagering and fintech industries and act as a connector between industry, academia, and relevant State agencies to grow and support innovation in sports wagering technology and fintech.

Through the NJEDA’s revitalized tax incentive programs, New Jersey is attracting new startups and well-known blue-chip companies seeking to base their operations and establish new offices in the Garden State. Some of these programs include Emerge (Per-job tax credits to projects that create/retain good-paying jobs), Aspire (gap financing for real estate development projects), the Edison Innovation Fund (develop and grow technology and life sciences businesses leading to well-paying job opportunities for New Jersey residents), Angel Investor Fund (tax credits against corporation business or gross income taxes based for qualified investment in emerging technology businesses) and the NJ Accelerate Fund (encourages the participation of New Jersey Entrepreneurs in high-quality accelerator programs, which increase the growing young, innovative companies in the state). These funds, along with other creative programs are being deployed to bring new, innovative business structures and new sectors to New Jersey. In providing these business-friendly strategies, New Jersey is establishing itself as the Innovation State.

III. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA (If applicable)
Not applicable to this RFI.


IV. RFI RESPONSE QUESTIONS
Please answer all questions that are relevant to you or your company, to the best of your ability. We recognize that many respondents will not be able to answer all questions. Answers to these questions are understood to be preliminary and non-binding.


Applicants are free to structure responses as necessary to increase clarity and efficiency of responses.


A. Description of your role and qualifications within the financial technology industry:
1) Please provide information on your company, group, government entity, or self and your capacity and qualifications within the fintech industry.
2) What is your experience or interaction with New Jersey’s financial and/or technology market (e.g., market presence, licensure status, interaction with regulators or state agencies, etc.)?


B. Mission and Structure of the Center
1) How do you define fintech?
2) If the NJEDA were to put $XM-YM in matching funds for a strategic innovation center, what type of projects/solutions would you bring to the Center? What types of partnership and opportunities would you bring?
3) The Center could be structured several ways, e.g. as an independent 501(c)3, as a partnership with a university, as an accelerator/incubator program. Can you comment on the strengths and shortcomings of these different structures? Are there comparable models in other parts of the country or world that should be considered?
4) What resources (capital, talents, ideas, solutions, etc.) are needed to establish a first-class fintech Center in New Jersey? What does the Center look like?
5) Describe the key factors contributing to the success of a fintech Center?
6) What are the biggest challenges/concerns/gaps in the State’s current fintech ecosystem? How can these challenges/concerns/gaps be addressed with a Center? Please provide specific examples if possible.
7) How substantial are the growth prospects for fintech industry as a whole? Where do you see the sector evolving?
8) How can we position the state for leadership in the fintech industry? What forms of growth might take place here in New Jersey for fintech?
9) What assets/advantages do we have? What resources are necessary for New Jersey to capture a significant share of that growth?
10) Explain how we compete with other states in this sector? What are other states doing that could have a significant positive impact here?


C. Scope and Service Offerings
1) Describe the main activities of the fintech Center.
2) Describe the types of programs/research that you would like to see provided at the Center.
3) Who would be interested in the Center’s research outcomes and solutions?
4) What is the demand for fintech products? Where is this located in the state of New Jersey?
5) How can the Center distinguish itself from other fintech centers in the world?
6) Who are the top 3-5 fintech stakeholders (other than yourself/your organization) that you think NJEDA should be aware of? What type of innovations/programs are they working on? Why should NJEDA be aware of them?


D. Site Location and Development
1) Is it preferable to build a physical location or repurpose/use an existing site?
2) Where should the Center be located? What are the most important factors to consider when selecting a location?

V. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (From Respondents to the NJEDA)
All questions concerning this RFI must be submitted in writing no later than 11:59 p.m. ET, on Monday, May 9, 2022 via e-mail to: FinTech@njeda.com
The subject line of the e-mail should state: “QUESTIONS-2022-RFI-OET-PFS-146 New Jersey Financial Technology Innovation Center”


Answers to questions submitted will be publicly posted on the Authority’s website on or about Monday, May 23, 2022 at: https://www.njeda.com/Bidding-Opportunities-General/Economic- Transformation-RFIs as Addendum.


IT IS THE RESPONDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO CHECK THIS URL REGULARLY FOR UPDATES.


VI. RESPONSE DETAILS (Info Provided to Respondents Regarding Document Submission)

 All RFI responses must be submitted in writing no later than 11:59 PM ET, on Monday, June 27, 2022 via e-mail to: FinTech@njeda.com 
The subject line of the e-mail should state: “RFI Response-2022-RFI-OET-PFS-146-New Jersey Financial Technology 


VII. FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS (from NJEDA) / ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Respondents may be asked to provide additional information to allow the Authority to better understand the responses or services available.


VIII. PROPRIETARY AND/OR CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
The Authority reserves the right to copy any information provided by the Respondents. The Authority reserves the right to use ideas that are provided by Respondents, applicants, stakeholders, or vendors. By submitting a Response, the submitter represents that such copying or use of information will not violate any copyrights, licenses, or other agreements with respect to information submitted or product solutions demonstrated, if applicable. Responses must clearly be marked for any information the Respondent deems Proprietary and/or Confidential.


IX. DISCLAIMER / NO OBLIGATION
This RFI is not a request for qualification/proposal. It may or may not result in further action. This RFI is issued solely as a means of gathering information regarding the Authority’s desire to understand the types of products and level of service available in the market to meet the Authority’s needs. Interested parties responding to this RFI do so at their own expense. There will be no monetary compensation from the Authority for the time and effort spent in preparing the response to this RFI. All expenses incurred are the sole responsibility of the Respondent.


Should the Authority decide to move forward and issue an RFQ/P or announce a program/product related to this RFI, Respondents need not have submitted a response to this RFI in order to be eligible to respond to the RFP. Should an RFQ/P be issued, responding to this RFI will not affect scoring or consideration for that process.

The Authority is under no obligation to contact Respondents to this RFI.


X. NEW JERSEY OPEN PUBLIC RECORDS ACT
Respondents should be aware that responses to this RFI are subject to the “New Jersey Open Public Records Act” (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.), as amended and including all applicable regulations and policies and applicable case law, including the New Jersey Right-to-Know law. All information submitted in response to the RFI is considered public information, notwithstanding any disclaimers to the contrary, except as may be exempted from public disclosure by OPRA and the common law.


Any proprietary and/or confidential information submitted in response to this RFI will be redacted by the Authority. A person or entity submitting a response to this RFI may designate specific information as not subject to disclosure pursuant to the exceptions to OPRA found at N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1, when such person or entity has a good faith legal and/or factual basis for such assertion (i.e. information that may be included in another ongoing public procurement or solicitation). The Authority reserves the right to make the determination as to what is proprietary or confidential and will advise the person or entity accordingly. The Authority will not honor any attempt to designate the entirety of a submission as proprietary, confidential and/or to claim copyright protection for the entire proposal. In the event of any challenge to the Respondent’s assertion of confidentiality with which the Authority does not concur, the Respondent shall be solely responsible for defending its designation.

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REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (“RFI”)
2022-RFI-Diversity & Inclusion-141
Barriers Minority and/or Women Owned Real Estate Developers Face in Accessing Capital

ADDENDUM #3
ADDENDUM #2
ADDENDUM #1

  1. INTENT/SUMMARY OF SCOPE

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“Authority”, “NJEDA”), is an independent Authority of the State of New Jersey and is seeking information to better understand the challenges faced by minority and women owned developers (“MWDE”) in New Jersey in accessing capital, especially businesses that are engaged in the development of residential and commercial real estate.  Access to capital is critical for the success of any business owner.  A lack of access to capital can impede the ability of business owners to maintain cash flow, cover operating costs, and/or start or expand a business.  Recent studies have found that minority and women-owned businesses have greater difficulty gaining access to capital than other businesses.   One study reported that 82% of entrepreneurs of color say they must work harder compared to their non-diverse peers.  Another study found almost 60% of women entrepreneurs say they do not have the same access to capital as their male counterparts.  A report in Chicago noted that MBE developers face several hurdles, including poor access to and high cost of debt capital, and weak ties to sources of equity funding.

Governor Murphy and the NJEDA are exploring a diverse developer fund to help grow existing MBWE developers by addressing barriers to capital.  The purpose of this Request for Information (“RFI”) is to inform the fund’s guidelines. The NJEDA is seeking information and ideas from qualified entities (“Respondents”), including but not limited to minority and/or women-owned developers, Community Development Finance Institutions, community development lending units of medium and large banks, other mission-based lenders, community development organizations that work closely with MWDE developers,  state and local government entities, and other stakeholders with perspectives on structural barriers and disparities encountered by real estate developers owned by minorities and/or women in terms of access to capital. The NJEDA also seeks interest and ideas on solutions to address those obstacles, including but not limited to, existing programs that address the disparities in financing available for residential and commercial development.  The NJEDA is interested in receiving comments, questions, recommendations, facts, information, ideas, and responses that will help the NJEDA better understand the scope and characteristics of access to capital and other forms of financing available to underserved real estate developers.

2. BACKGROUND

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth.  The Authority is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy.  Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the Authority creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.

In The State of Innovation, Building a Stronger and Fairer Economy in New Jersey, the State’s comprehensive Economic Development Plan released in October 2018, Governor Murphy reiterated the importance of supporting the small business community in New Jersey, which employs more than 50% of New Jersey residents. Two of the five explicit goals of the plan are “Closing the racial and gender wage gaps and Encouraging thriving and inclusive New Jersey urban centers and downtowns, with a focus on reducing poverty.” Governor Murphy’s plan also committed to a New Jersey future that supports all the State’s businesses, specifically calling out the importance of ensuring that underserved businesses have enhanced access to the capital, programs, and networks that they need to successfully start and scale their businesses.   

This RFI focuses on the challenges faced by, and potential solutions for increasing capital available to underserved developers and is one of several steps being taken by the Authority and the Murphy Administration to address the goals of the State’s Economic Development plan. Understanding the importance of addressing the existing barriers to create a stronger and fairer economy, NJEDA will continue to engage and connect with other state entities to determine additional resources that may be utilized in reducing the necessary capital needed to acquire/rehabilitate proposed project(s), including:

  • New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (“NJHMFA”), which provides financing, and access to affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities for low and moderate-income families, older adults, and individuals with specialized housing needs;
  • The New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (“NJRA”), which operates as a catalyst to improve the quality of life by creating value in New Jersey’s urban communities; and
  • The Department of Community Affairs (“DCA”), which aims to provide administrative guidance, financial support and technical assistance to local governments, community development organizations, businesses and individuals to improve the quality of life in New Jersey.

3. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA (If applicable)

This section is not applicable to this RFI.

4. RFI RESPONSE QUESTIONS

Please answer all questions below that are relevant to you or your organization, to the best of your ability. You can but need not answer any question that does not pertain to you or your organization.  Feel free to structure your response and add information beyond these questions to increase clarity and efficiency.  Answers to these questions are understood to be preliminary and non-binding.

  1. What current obstacles in public and private funding programs should this fund address?
  2. Have you observed business practices that provide differential challenges to MWDE real estate developers compared to their professional peers? For example, have you observed business practices and/or standards that result in different interest rates quoted; joint venture equity stakes sought; underwriting standards used; debt-coverage ratios set or reserves required; fees charged; personal income or asset thresholds utilized; legal standards applied; surety bonds required; or other business practices that increase the cost of debt, make credit harder to obtain, devalue contributed equity or require greater equity contributions, or otherwise differentially constrain economic opportunity for MWDE real estate developers?
  3. If there are differential business practices you have observed, which have had – or continue to have – the greatest negative effect on your ability to advance real estate projects?
  4.  At what project stage do MWDE developers most need capital?  
  5. The fund is exploring a number of eligible uses and investments.  Please rate each of the potential uses on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the most critical) in addressing barriers to capital for MWDE developers:

a. Acquisition                                                 ______

b. Early Stage/Predevelopment                      ______

c. Subordinate Debt                                       ______

d. Guarantee                                                ______

e. Tax Credit Bridge Loan                               ______

f. Other    ___________________                       ______

6. Are there existing programs or models across the country that this fund should emulate? For example, are there credit enhancement models that you have observed in other states, at the Federal level, or in other program settings that could offer a model for MWDE credit enhancement and that could be implemented in New Jersey?

7. What range of project size, or total development cost (inclusive of acquisition), should this fund target? 

a. Under $1 million

b. $1 to $5 million

c. Over $5 million

8. What should the maximum loan to cost ratio be for investments?

9. What should the maximum interest rate be for any loan or equity investment?

10. What should the maximum repayment term, or length of loan in years, be?

11. Which types of projects should be eligible (Please circle as many as you wish)? 

a. Market rate residential or commercial

b. Affordable Housing

c. Acquisition of Existing Asset

d. Community facility

e. Other 

12. Which communities/municipalities should this fund target?  Why?

13. Are there existing lending programs that this fund should be leveraged with?

14. Are there existing partners that the fund should collaborate with?  How? 

15. What other policy measures will help the fund succeed?

Additionally, please provide the following personal information:

16. Please provide information on your company, group, government entity, or self and your experience, capacity and qualifications with respect to MWDE Developers and/or their access to capital.

17. What is your experience with, and understanding of, the real estate development environment, both private and public, specifically in New Jersey?

18. Please include prior experience related to real estate development, inclusive of residential and commercial properties.

5. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (From Respondents to the EDA)

All questions concerning this RFI must be submitted in writing no later than Friday, May 6, 2022 via e-mail to: MWDE-BarriersRFI@njeda.com.

The subject line of the e-mail should state: “QUESTIONS-2022 RFI-DI-141 – MWDE RE BARRIERS”.

Answers to questions submitted will be publicly posted on the Authority’s website under the RFIs section, on or about Friday, May 13, 2022.

IT IS THE RESPONDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO CHECK THIS URL REGULARLY FOR UPDATES.

6. RESPONSE DETAILS (Info Provided to Respondents Regarding Document Submission)

All RFI responses must be submitted in writing no later than 11:59 PM EST, on Friday, May 27, 2022 via e-mail to: MWDE-BarriersRFI@njeda.com.

The subject line of the e-mail should state: “RFI Response-2022-RFI-DI-141 – MWDE DEVELOPER BARRIERS.”

7. FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS (from EDA) / ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Respondents may be asked to provide additional information to allow the Authority to better understand the responses.

8. PROPRIETARY AND/OR CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

The Authority reserves the right to copy any information provided by the Respondents.  The Authority reserves the right to use ideas that are provided by or through Respondents.  By submitting a Response, the Respondent represents that such copying or use of information will not violate any copyrights, licenses, or other agreements with respect to information submitted or product solutions demonstrated, if applicable.  Responses must clearly be marked for any information the Respondent deems Proprietary and/or Confidential.

9. DISCLAIMER / NO OBLIGATION

This RFI is not a request for qualification/proposal.  It will not result in a contract award.  It may or may not result in any further action.

This RFI is issued solely as a means of gathering information. Interested parties responding to this RFI do so at their own expense.  There will be no monetary compensation from the Authority for the time and effort spent in preparing the response to this RFI.  All expenses incurred are the sole responsibility of the Respondent.

Should the Authority decide to move forward and issue an RFQ/P or announce a program/product related to this RFI, Respondents need not have submitted a response to this RFI in order to be eligible to respond to the RFQ/PP.  Should an RFQ/P be issued, responding to this RFI will not affect scoring or consideration for that process.

The Authority is under no obligation to contact Respondents to this RFI.

10. NEW JERSEY OPEN PUBLIC RECORDS ACT

Respondents should be aware that responses to this RFI are subject to the “New Jersey Open Public Records Act” (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.), as amended and including all applicable regulations and policies and applicable case law, including the New Jersey Right-to-Know law.  All information submitted in response to the RFI is considered public information, notwithstanding any disclaimers to the contrary, except as may be exempted from public disclosure by OPRA and the common law.

A person or entity submitting a response to this RFI may designate specific information as not subject to disclosure pursuant to the exceptions to OPRA found at N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1, when such person or entity has a good faith legal and/or factual basis for such assertion (i.e. information that may be included in another ongoing public procurement or solicitation).  The Authority reserves the right to make the determination as to what is proprietary or confidential and will advise the person or entity accordingly.  The Authority will not honor any attempt to designate the entirety of a submission as proprietary, confidential and/or to claim copyright protection for the entire proposal.  In the event it receives an OPRA request that encompasses the response, the Authority will redact any information that is not subject to OPRA, including proprietary and/or confidential information.  In the event of any challenge to the Respondent’s assertion of confidentiality with which the Authority does not concur, the Respondent shall be solely responsible for defending its designation.

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SOLICITUD DE INFORMACIÓN (“RFI”)  
2022-RFI-Diversidad e Inclusión-141 

Barreras que enfrentan los desarrolladores inmobiliarios propiedad de minorías o mujeres para acceder al capital 
ADDENDUM #2
ADDENDUM #1

  1. INTENCIÓN/RESUMEN DEL ALCANCE 

La Autoridad para el Desarrollo Económico de New Jersey (“Autoridad”, “NJEDA”) es una autoridad independiente del Estado de New Jersey y está buscando información para entender mejor los desafíos que enfrentan los desarrolladores propiedad de minorías y mujeres (“MWDE”, por sus siglas en inglés) en New Jersey para acceder al capital, en especial las empresas que participan en el desarrollo de inmuebles residenciales y comerciales. El acceso al capital es fundamental para el éxito de cualquier comerciante. La falta de acceso al capital impide la posibilidad de que los comerciantes mantengan el flujo de efectivo, cubran los costos operativos o inicien o expandan un negocio. En estudios recientes se concluyó que los negocios que son propiedad de minorías y mujeres tienen más dificultad para acceder al capital que otras empresas.  En un estudio se informó que el 82% de los emprendedores de color dicen que deben trabajar más arduamente en comparación con sus pares de grupos mayoritarios. En otro estudio se descubrió que casi el 60% de las mujeres emprendedoras sostienen que no tienen el mismo acceso al capital que sus homólogos de sexo masculino. En un informe de Chicago, se observó que los desarrolladores de empresas propiedad de minorías enfrentan varios obstáculos, incluidos el acceso deficiente y el alto costo del capital en títulos de deuda, y conexiones débiles con las fuentes de financiación con recursos propios.  

El gobernador Murphy y la NJEDA están analizando la posibilidad de instaurar un fondo para desarrolladores de grupos minoritarios para ayudar al crecimiento de los desarrolladores propiedad de minorías o mujeres ya existentes al abordar las barreras al capital. El propósito de esta Solicitud de información (“RFI”, por sus siglas en inglés) es informar las pautas para el fondo. La NJEDA está buscando información e ideas de las entidades calificadas (“Encuestados”), incluidos, entre otros, los desarrolladores propiedad de minorías o mujeres, las Instituciones Financieras de Desarrollo Comunitario, las unidades de préstamo para desarrollo comunitario de bancos medianos y grandes, otros prestamistas por misión, las organizaciones de desarrollo comunitario que trabajan cerca de los desarrolladores propiedad de minorías o mujeres, y otras partes interesadas con perspectivas en las barreras y disparidades estructurales que encuentran los desarrolladores inmobiliarios propiedad de minorías o mujeres en términos de acceso al capital. La NJEDA también busca generar interés y recibir ideas sobre soluciones para abordar dichos obstáculos, incluidos, entre otros, los programas existentes que abordan las disparidades en el financiamiento disponible para el desarrollo residencial y comercial. A la NJEDA le interesa recibir comentarios, preguntas, recomendaciones, datos, información, ideas y respuestas que ayudarán a que la NJEDA entienda mejor el alcance y las características del acceso al capital y otras formas de financiación disponibles para los desarrolladores inmobiliarios marginados. 

  1. ANTECEDENTES 

La Autoridad para el Desarrollo Económico de New Jersey presta servicios como organismo principal del Estado para impulsar el crecimiento económico. La Autoridad se compromete a hacer que New Jersey sea un modelo para todo el país de desarrollo económico inclusivo y sustentable al enfocarse en estrategias claves para ayudar a construir comunidades fuertes y dinámicas, crear buenos empleos para los residentes de New Jersey y ofrecer caminos a una economía más fuerte y más justa. Mediante asociaciones con una diversa gama de partes interesadas, la Autoridad crea e implementa iniciativas para mejorar la vitalidad económica y la calidad de vida en el Estado y fortalecer la competitividad económica a largo plazo de New Jersey. 

En The State of Innovation, Building a Stronger and Fairer Economy in New Jersey (por su significado en inglés, El estado de la innovación: cómo construir una economía más fuerte y más justa en New Jersey), el Plan de Desarrollo Económico integral del Estado publicado en octubre de 2018, el gobernador Murphy reiteró la importancia de apoyar a la comunidad de pequeñas empresas de New Jersey, que emplea a más del 50% de los residentes de New Jersey. Dos de las cinco metas explícitas del plan son “Cerrar las grietas del ingreso por raza y género” y “Alentar los centros urbanos y centros comerciales prósperos e inclusivos de New Jersey, enfocándonos en reducir la pobreza”. En el plan, el gobernador Murphy también se comprometió con un futuro para New Jersey que apoye a todas las empresas del Estado resaltando la importancia de asegurar que se mejore el acceso al capital, los programas y las redes de los comercios marginados que necesitan iniciar con éxito y escalar sus negocios.   

Esta solicitud de información se enfoca en los desafíos que enfrentan y en las posibles soluciones para mejorar el capital disponible para los desarrolladores marginados, y es uno de los varios pasos que dieron la Autoridad y la administración Murphy para abordar las metas del plan de desarrollo económico del Estado. Al entender la importancia de abordar las barreras existentes para crear una economía más fuerte y más justa, la NJEDA seguirá participando y conectándose con otras entidades estatales para determinar más recursos que se puedan utilizar para reducir el capital necesario que se necesita para adquirir o rehabilitar los proyectos propuestos, incluso: 

  • La Agencia Financiera para Viviendas e Hipotecas de New Jersey (“NJHMFA”, por sus siglas en inglés), que brinda financiamiento y acceso a viviendas de alquiler asequibles y oportunidades para convertirse en propietarios de viviendas para familias de ingresos bajos a moderados, adultos mayores y personas con necesidades de viviendas especializadas; 
  • La Autoridad para el Redesarrollo de New Jersey (“NJRA”, por sus siglas en inglés), que opera como catalizador para mejorar la calidad de vida creando valor en las comunidades urbanas de New Jersey; y 
  • El Departamento de Asuntos Comunitarios (“DCA”, por sus siglas en inglés), que apunta a dar orientación administrativa, apoyo financiero y asistencia técnica a los gobiernos locales, organizaciones de desarrollo comunitario, empresas e individuos para mejorar la calidad de vida en New Jersey. 
  1. CRITERIOS DE ELEGIBILIDAD (si corresponde) 

Esta sección no corresponde para esta Solicitud de información. 

  1. PREGUNTAS PARA RESPONDER A LA SOLICITUD DE INFORMACIÓN 

Responda todas las preguntas siguientes que sean pertinentes para usted o su organización, lo mejor que pueda. Puede responder cualquier pregunta que no sea pertinente para usted o su organización, pero no es obligatorio. No dude en estructurar su respuesta y agregar información más allá de estas preguntas para mejorar la claridad y eficiencia. Las respuestas a estas preguntas se consideran preliminares y no son vinculantes. 

  1. ¿Cuáles son los obstáculos actuales en los programas de financiamiento público y privado que debería abordar este fondo?  
  1. ¿Ha observado algunas prácticas comerciales que generen desafíos por hacer diferencias con los desarrolladores inmobiliarios propiedad de minorías o mujeres en comparación con sus homólogos profesionales? Por ejemplo, ¿ha observado prácticas o normas comerciales que tengan como resultado la cotización de tasas de interés distintas, que se busquen participaciones en acciones en uniones transitorias de empresas, que se utilicen normas de suscripción de títulos valores, que se fijen cocientes de cobertura de deuda, que se apliquen normas legales, que se exijan cauciones personales, u otras prácticas comerciales que incrementen el costo de la deuda, que dificulten la obtención de créditos o que de otra manera hagan diferencias para restringir las oportunidades económicas para los desarrolladores inmobiliarios propiedad de minorías o mujeres? 
  1. Si observó que existen prácticas comerciales que hacen diferencias, ¿cuáles tuvieron, o siguen teniendo, el mayor impacto negativo en su capacidad de avanzar en los proyectos inmobiliarios? 
  1. ¿En qué etapa del proyecto los desarrolladores propiedad de minorías o mujeres necesitan más el capital?    
  1. Para el fondo se están explorando diversos usos e inversiones elegibles. Califique cada uno de los posibles usos en una escala del 1 al 5 (donde 5 es el más fundamental) para abordar las barreras al capital para los desarrolladores propiedad de minorías o mujeres: 

a. Adquisición ______ 

b. Etapa inicial/Predesarrollo ______ 

c. Deuda subordinada ______ 

d. Garantía ______ 

e. Préstamo puente por crédito fiscal ______ 

f. Otros ___________________ ______ 

  1. ¿Existen programas o modelos en el país que este fondo deba emular? Por ejemplo, ¿hay modelos de mejoramiento crediticio que usted haya observado en otros estados, a nivel federal o en otros entornos de programa, que podrían ser un modelo para el mejoramiento crediticio de las empresas propiedad de minorías o mujeres y que se podrían implementar en New Jersey? 
  1. ¿A qué rango de tamaño de proyecto o costo total de desarrollo (incluida la adquisición) debería apuntar este fondo?   

a. Menos de $1 millón 

b. De $1 a $5 millones 

c. Más de $5 millones  

  1. ¿Cuál debería ser el préstamo máximo según el cociente de costo para las inversiones? 
  1. ¿Cuál debería ser la tasa máxima de interés para cualquier préstamo o inversión en capital? 
  1. ¿Cuál debería ser el plazo máximo de reintegro o cuántos años debería durar un préstamo?  
  1. ¿Qué tipos de proyectos cumplirían los requisitos (marque con un círculo tantos como desee)?   

a. Proyectos residenciales o comerciales a las tasas del mercado 

b. Viviendas asequibles 

c. Adquisición de activos existentes  

d. Instalaciones comunitarias 

e. Otros   

  1. ¿A qué comunidades o municipalidades debería destinarse este fondo?  ¿Por qué?  
  1. ¿Hay algún programa de préstamo existente que se debería apalancar con este fondo?  
  1. ¿Hay algún socio existente con el que el fondo debería colaborar?  ¿Cómo?   
  1. ¿Qué otras medidas en cuanto a políticas ayudarán a que el fondo tenga éxito?  

Además, denos la siguiente información personal: 

  1. Denos información sobre su empresa, grupo, entidad gubernamental o sobre su persona y experiencia, capacidad y formación con respecto a los Desarrolladores propiedad de minorías o mujeres o su acceso al capital. 
  1. ¿Cuál es su experiencia y entendimiento del entorno de desarrollos inmobiliarios, tanto privado como público, específicamente en New Jersey?  
  1. Incluya la experiencia anterior relacionada con el desarrollo inmobiliario, incluso de propiedades residenciales y comerciales. 
  1. PREGUNTAS Y RESPUESTAS (De los Encuestados a la Administración de Desarrollo Económico [EDA, por sus siglas en inglés]) 

Todas las preguntas referidas a esta Solicitud de información se deben presentar por escrito hasta el viernes 6 de mayo de 2022 por correo electrónico a: MWDE-BarriersRFI@njeda.com. 

En la línea de asunto del correo electrónico debe decir: “PREGUNTAS-2022 RFI-DI-141 – ASUNTO BARRERAS PARA LAS MWDE”. 

Las respuestas a las preguntas enviadas se publicarán para el público en el sitio web de la Autoridad bajo la sección Solicitudes de información, alrededor del viernes 13 de mayo de 2022

ES RESPONSABILIDAD DEL ENCUESTADO REVISAR ESTE URL CON REGULARIDAD EN BUSCA DE ACTUALIZACIONES. 

  1. DETALLES DE LAS RESPUESTAS (Información dada a los encuestados con respecto a la presentación de documentos) 

Todas las respuestas deben enviarse por escrito a más tardar a las 11:59 p.m. Hora del Este, el viernes 27 de mayo de 2022 por correo electrónico a: MWDE-BarriersRFI@njeda.com

En la línea de asunto del correo electrónico debe decir: “Respuesta a la Solicitud de información-2022-RFI-DI-141 – BARRERAS PARA DESARROLLADORES MWDE”. 

  1. PREGUNTAS DE SEGUIMIENTO (de la EDA) / INFORMACIÓN ADICIONAL 

Se puede pedir a los encuestados que brinden más información para que la Autoridad entienda mejor las respuestas. 

  1. INFORMACIÓN PROPIETARIA O CONFIDENCIAL 

La Autoridad se reserva el derecho de copiar cualquier información suministrada por los Encuestados. La Autoridad se reserva el derecho de usar las ideas aportadas por o a través de los Encuestados. Al presentar una Respuesta, el Encuestado manifiesta que tal copia o uso de la información no infringirá ningún derecho de propiedad intelectual, licencia ni otros acuerdos con respecto a la información presentada ni a las soluciones para productos demostradas, si corresponde. En las respuestas el Encuestado debe marcar con claridad cualquier información que considere Propietaria o Confidencial. 

  1. EXENCIÓN DE RESPONSABILIDAD/NO OBLIGACIÓN 

La Solicitud de información no es una solicitud para calificar ni proponer. No tendrá como resultado la asignación de un contrato. Puede tener como consecuencia o no otra acción. 

Esta Solicitud de información se emitió solo como medio para reunir información. Las partes interesadas que respondan a esta Solicitud de información lo hacen a su propio cargo. No habrá ninguna compensación monetaria por parte de la Autoridad por el tiempo y esfuerzo dedicados a la preparación de la respuesta a esta Solicitud de información. Todos los gastos en que se incurra son responsabilidad exclusiva del Encuestado. 

Si la Autoridad decide avanzar y emitir una Solicitud de calificaciones o propuestas (RFQ/P, por sus siglas en inglés) o anunciar un programa o producto relacionado con esta Solicitud de información, los Encuestados deberán no haber presentado una respuesta a esta Solicitud de información para cumplir los requisitos para responder a las Solicitudes de calificaciones o propuestas. Si se emite una Solicitud de calificaciones o propuestas, responder a esta Solicitud de información no afectará la puntuación ni la consideración para ese proceso. 

La Autoridad no está obligada de ningún modo a comunicarse con los Encuestados que respondan esta Solicitud de información. 

  1. LEY DE REGISTROS PÚBLICOS ABIERTOS DE NEW JERSEY 

Los Encuestados deben estar conscientes de que las respuestas a esta Solicitud de información están sujetas a la “Ley de registros públicos abiertos de New Jersey” (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 y sig.), y sus enmiendas, incluidas todas las normas y políticas aplicables y la jurisprudencia aplicable, incluida la ley del Derecho a saber de New Jersey. Toda la información presentada en respuesta a la Solicitud de información se considera información pública, independientemente de cualquier exención de responsabilidad que sostenga lo contrario, excepto como se pueda eximir de la divulgación pública mediante la Ley de registros públicos abiertos (OPRA, por sus siglas en inglés) y el derecho consuetudinario. 

Toda persona o entidad que presente una respuesta a esta Solicitud de información puede designar información específica como no sujeta a divulgación de acuerdo con las excepciones a la Ley de registros públicos abiertos que se encuentran en N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1, cuando dicha persona o entidad se fundamente en la buena fe, la ley o los hechos para tal declaración (es decir, información que puede estar incluida en otra adquisición o requerimiento público actual). La Autoridad se reserva el derecho de determinar qué es propietario o confidencial y asesorará a la persona o entidad en consecuencia. La Autoridad no respetará ningún intento de designar la totalidad de una presentación como propietaria o confidencial ni reclamará la protección de derechos intelectuales de la propuesta total. En caso de que reciba una solicitud de la Ley de registros públicos abiertos que abarque la respuesta, la Autoridad redactará cualquier información que no esté sujeta a dicha Ley, incluida la información propietaria o confidencial. En caso de cualquier cuestionamiento a la declaración de confidencialidad del Encuestado con la que la Autoridad no esté de acuerdo, el Encuestado será el único responsable de defender tal designación.