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Stronger and Fairer Update

 One year stronger and fairer.jpgGovernor Murphy on stage with New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Chairwoman Linda Bowden 
at Rowan University for an event celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Governor’s economic plan.

One Year Stronger and Fairer

October was a special month for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, as it marked the one-year anniversary of Governor Murphy’s economic plan: The State of Innovation: Building a Stronger and Fairer Economy in New Jersey. Since Governor Murphy took office, we have worked with partners across a broad swath of state agencies, industries, and communities to create new opportunities for New Jersey residents, support business growth and job creation, and drive transformational investments that revitalize communities.

To mark this anniversary, today’s special edition of the NJEDA’s Stronger and Fairer Update will highlight some of the most important accomplishments related to Governor Murphy’s plan in addition to providing the latest updates on all the important work that took place at the NJEDA over the past month. We’ve made a lot of progress this year, but there is still a long way to go. We are excited to continue working with partners throughout the state to drive long-term, sustainable, equitable growth.

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Students participating in the NJEDA’s free field trip program run in partnership with Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS)
toured advanced manufacturing facilities in New Jersey and learned about careers in the growing industry.

Investment in People 

Year in Review Over the past 12 months, Governor Murphy's administration and the NJEDA launched a variety of initiatives focused on equipping all New Jersey residents with the skills they need to find work that supports their goals and sustains families in today’s economy. Some of the most exciting steps forward we took this past year include:

  • Increasing funding for public schools by more than half a billion dollars;
  • Introducing tuition-free community college aid to thousands of students;
  • Launching the Computer Science for All and P-TECH programs;
  • Creating the New Jersey Apprenticeship Network, which has provided more than $7 million in grants to fund training for more than 1,200 apprentices and pre-apprentices;
  • Expanding access to paid internships in STEM and enacting the STEM Loan Forgiveness Program, which waives student debt for STEM majors who stay in New Jersey for a certain number of years after graduation; and
  • Forming the Future of Work Task Force to address the impact of technological advancements on work and prepare strategies for helping New Jersey workers adjust to these changes.

Building the Most Diverse Innovation Economy in the Nation The NJEDA recently convened the first-ever New Jersey Founders and Funders Diversity Roundtable at the Rutgers Business School in Newark to discuss steps the Garden State can take to build a more equitable, diverse innovation economy. The discussion centered around defining clear strategies to ensure equity in new and existing programs, initiatives, and policies, and the fair allocation, deployment, and tracking of capital provided to entrepreneurs of color.

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NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan delivered the keynote address at Brownfield Listings’
National Opportunity Zone Boot Camp and Pitch Competition in Newark

Investment in Communities

Year in Review Driving investments that create diverse, vibrant live/work/play communities is critical to making New Jersey attractive to workers and businesses. Over the past year, the NJEDA and other State agencies supported Governor Murphy’s goal of building world-class cities, towns, and infrastructure state-wide by:

OZs, Brownfields, and Investors Dozens of community leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors convened earlier this month at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) campus in Newark for the 2nd National Opportunity Zone Boot Camp and Pitch Competition. Organized by national redevelopment ecosystem BrownfieldListings.com (BL) in partnership with the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), the Opportunity Zone Boot Camp and Pitch Competition featured presentations from leading experts in all disciplines related to Opportunity Zone development, from finance and law to brownfield remediation and community engagement. The event concluded with an open pitch competition that gave community leaders, entrepreneurs, and developers a platform to pitch their projects to a panel of redevelopment experts.

In addition to highlighting resources available for Opportunity Zones, the event also introduced brownfield redevelopment leaders to the NJEDA’s recently-appointed Senior Brownfields Advisor Elizabeth Limbrick. Limbrick presented on her holistic approach to building out the NJEDA’s current brownfields program, which will leverage brownfields to drive economic growth and create thriving and inclusive urban centers and downtowns, with a focus on addressing environmental justice issues and reducing poverty. She highlighted the NJEDA’s enhanced loan program and proposed brownfields redevelopment tax credit that will provide gap funding for brownfield remediation.

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Making New Jersey the State of Innovation 

Year in Review Innovation is the rocket fuel that powers modern economic growth and supporting innovative New Jersey-based companies while creating an innovation ecosystem that provides skilled workers and fosters connections between companies is a central pillar of Governor Murphy’s economic plan. Over the past year, New Jersey has taken major steps to build a stronger innovation economy, including:

  • Invigorating the offshore wind (OSW) industry through a historic 1100 MW solicitation and the creation of the WIND Institute to bring together stakeholders, researchers, and policymakers to drive OSW growth;
  • Enhancing the Angel Investor Tax Credit and adding bonuses for minority- and women-owned businesses as well as businesses in under-resourced communities;
  • Launching NJ Ignite to provide rent support to startups in collaborative workspaces;
  • Restoring the Film and Digital Media Tax Credit to attract major productions including “Joker” and Steven Spielberg’s remake of “West Side Story;”
  • Reducing Clean Energy Fund divisions and introducing the Partnership to Plug-In to incentivize electric vehicle ownership;
  • Starting the New Jersey chapter of the women-focused Golden Seeds Angel Investor Network.

Growing by Leaps and Bounds Leap Insurance Agency, LLC. (Leap), a tech company that provides a digital platform to pre-qualify renters looking for apartments and insure rent payments to landlords, recently celebrated its first anniversary of locating in Jersey City. Leap credits the New Jersey Angel Investor Tax Credit Program with securing funding to help establish the company’s location and add to its workforce.

In a little over a year, Leap has co-signed nearly 1,000 leases for apartments throughout New Jersey and in 35 states throughout the country. To date, Leap has attracted more than $1.8 million in funding from investors who participated in the State’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program. This funding made the company’s move to Jersey City possible and also supported the hiring of ten New Jersey-based employees.

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First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy and NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan visited Mill Hill Pharmacy, a women-run pharmacy in downtown
Trenton that received rent support through the Small Business Lease Assistance Program.

Making Government Easier to Do Business With 

Year in Review While it is critical to hold businesses accountable and ensure adequate regulations are in place to protect consumers, in order to drive inclusive economic growth, New Jersey also needs to create a government infrastructure that supports entrepreneurs and provides the tools business owners need to grow their companies. Over the past year, we have taken steps to make New Jersey easier to do business with, including:

Supporting Small Business Innovation The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) has announced approval of the creation of a new program to provide technical and financial support to Garden State companies pursuing federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) funding. These highly-competitive, three-phase federal grant programs provide qualified small businesses opportunities to propose innovative ideas that meet specific research and development (R&D) needs of the federal government.

The New Jersey SBIR/STTR Support Program has two core components: technical assistance and direct grant funding. Through the first component, the CSIT will select and provide up to $125,000 of matching grant funding to one New Jersey technical assistance provider per year that is applying to the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Grant Program. The program will also create a State SBIR/STTR one-stop website and establish a SBIR/STTR Alumni Advisory Group to provide additional support to NJ businesses that are applying to the federal SBIR/STTR Programs.

The second component of the SBIR/STTR Support Program will offer $375,000 in matching grants to New Jersey small businesses in two stages of the federal SBIR/STTR programs. The first stage will provide $25,000 matching grants for general business operating costs to seven businesses that have received a federal Phase I SBIR/STTR award. The second will provide $50,000 bridge funding grants to four NJ small businesses that successfully complete Phase I and apply for Phase II of the federal program. These funds can be utilized to maintain project activities and cover general operating costs.

Growing NJ’s Offshore Wind Supply Chain The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) recently unveiled its proposal for an Offshore Wind Technical Assistance Program that will support local companies to develop the skills and competencies needed to participate in New Jersey’s burgeoning offshore wind (OSW) industry. Through this proposed program, the NJEDA will contract with an experienced OSW advisory and certification company to help participating small- and medium-sized businesses assess their current capacity to supply the OSW market and develop an action plan to get up to the current industry standards. Companies that complete the program will receive assistance implementing their action plan and will be independently certified with industry credentials that are important for securing contracts. The Technical Assistance Program complements other NJEDA efforts to grow New Jersey’s OSW industry, such as the Offshore Wind Tax Credit and the Offshore Wind Supply Chain Registry

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ECONversations  | A Year in Review In this special episode of ECONversations celebrating the one-year anniversary of Governor Murphy’s economic plan, host Tai Cooper sits down with four of the most influential women in New Jersey government to discuss how the agencies they lead contributed to building a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy over the past year and what they have planned for the future. Listen to the latest episode and all our past episodes here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/econversations-episode-4-economic-plan-one-year-anniversary/id1479092247?i=1000455390823. Don’t forget to subscribe!

   To find out more about NJEDA and its resources, go to www.NJEDA.com



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