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Stronger and Fairer Update


Entrepreneurship NJ: The Importance of Being Entrepreneurist

Check out Entrepreneurship NJ, a new series of blogs focused on entrepreneurship in New Jersey. This series is an effort to build a community of learners in the small business space and to help the NJEDA learn more about the entrepreneurial experience to better tailor our efforts and resources to meet entrepreneurs’ needs. This first post tells the story of Diena Seeger’s path from New Jersey high schools to founding her own high-tech fitness company. Read more here


Investment in People 

Better Than a Golden Goose First Lady Tammy Murphy and the NJEDA announced plans in June to organize a New Jersey chapter of Golden Seeds, a national angel investor network dedicated to investing in women-led startup companies. The partnership with Golden Seeds supports Governor Murphy’s efforts to create a diverse innovation ecosystem in New Jersey by increasing the availability of angel capital for women-led businesses and mentoring opportunities for women businesses leaders. It will also foster a strong, cohesive angel investing community in New Jersey by bringing members together to identify investment opportunities, conduct due diligence, and support companies in which they choose to invest. Investors interested in getting more information about the NJ Chapter of Golden Seeds should contact GoldenSeeds@njeda.com


Investment in Communities

Opportunity Zone Opportunity This fall, the NJEDA is launching a competitive grant program aimed at supporting community efforts to attract investments in Opportunity Zones. The Opportunity Zone Challenge Program will award five grants of up to $100,000 each—for a total of $500,000—to select municipal or county governments or municipal partnerships whose applications demonstrate a clear strategic plan to build investment capacity in their Opportunity Zones. The final plans developed using the Opportunity Zone Challenge grant funding are expected to be detailed strategic plans that will guide a community’s approach for attracting Opportunity Zone investments. They will allow local government entities to better implement their strategies based on the community’s unique needs and vision for long-term, socially responsible growth.


Making New Jersey the State of Innovation 

Angels in the Outfield Board Room Governor Murphy expanded New Jersey’s Angel Investor Tax Credit Program, which provides a tax credit for a percentage of an angel investor’s investment in a qualifying emerging New Jersey technology or life science business. Under the expanded program, the available tax credit increases from 10 percent to 20 percent of a qualified investment, with an additional five percent bonus available for investments in a business located in a qualified Opportunity Zone, low-income community, or a business that is certified as minority- or women-owned by the State.  

Sharing (Work Space) is Caring Health-technology startup Big Magic, Inc. is the second company approved to benefit from the NJ Ignite program, which provides up to nine months of rent support for startup technology and life sciences businesses moving to an approved collaborative workspace. Big Magic recently moved to VentureLink, the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s (NJIT) high-tech accelerator/incubator in Newark where it will expand on its work to advise doctors and other health care practitioners on strategies to improve their online reputation and minimize new-patient acquisition costs.

Business Energy is another NJ Ignite success story. More than a dozen startup companies have moved into the coworking space in downtown Westfield since it opened in October 2018. Now, thanks to the NJ Ignite program, the collaborative workspace has an added tool to attract even more companies. Business Energy is one of 16 spaces currently approved to offer rent support through NJ Ignite. 

For Your Commute Listen to the latest episode of ECONversations, the NJEDA podcast. This month, host Tai Cooper, NJEDA’s Vice President, Policy and Communications talks with Brian Sabina, Senior Vice President, Economic Transformation about how the NJEDA’s Office of Economic Transformation is working to restore New Jersey’s leadership in innovation. Click here to listen to the podcast! 


Making Government Easier to Do Business With 

New Resources for Small Businesses The NJEDA’s new Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Initiative will make up to $15 million available to CDFIs to expand their capacity to provide financing to New Jersey small businesses. The initiative is the direct result of feedback the NJEDA has received from CDFI leaders and other organizations that support small businesses in New Jersey.
Financing will be available in two ways. The first is through the Loans to Lenders component of the CDFI Initiative, in which the NJEDA will provide direct loans of up to $1.5 million to experienced CDFIs with demonstrated lending and portfolio management history. The CDFIs will then use the NJEDA financing to administer term loans or lines of credit to qualified New Jersey small businesses. The second component of the CDFI Initiative is the Premier CDFI Program, in which NJEDA will provide participations and guarantees of up to $500,000 on CDFI term loans or working capital lines of credit for qualified New Jersey small businesses. NJEDA’s participation provides more flexibility to CDFIs and the borrowing business by reducing the CDFI’s overall exposure in the transaction.

Out and About NJEDA staff visited businesses that have received support through the Premier Lender and Small Business Lease Assistance Programs. These included Alliance Calibrations Group (ACG) in North Brunswick, which purchased a new 11,000-square-foot facility with a loan from Premier Lender M&T bank which included an NJEDA participation, and Haleemah Islamic Fashions in downtown Trenton, which recently took advantage of the Small Business Lease Assistance Program to expand into a new, larger location.

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



New Jersey Economic Development Authority
36 West State Street
P.O. Box 990
Trenton, NJ 08625-0990

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