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Stronger and Fairer Update

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The Impact of Small Business on the New Jersey Economy

Under Governor Murphy's leadership and his plan for a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy, there has been an increased emphasis on the importance of small businesses and new business creation within the Garden State. Last year, the NJEDA realigned its operations to create a new small business-dedicated team, and has since introduced a variety of new small business programs.

Learn more about New Jersey’s small business climate in the first post on the NJEDA’s new blog: The Economist’s Corner. This blog, curated by the NJEDA’s Chief Economist Richard Kasmin, will provide in-depth analysis of New Jersey economics for folks who want to really understand what’s happening in the Garden State economy. Read the first post here, and be sure to check back for more analysis.



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Representatives of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and New Jersey state leaders discuss strategy
for alignment of New Jersey's workforce and economic development programs

Investment in People 

NY Fed Visits NJ Representatives of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the head of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development met with leaders from the NJEDA, Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE), Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL), and the New Jersey Office of Innovation to discuss strategy for aligning New Jersey's workforce and economic development programs.

NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan launched the conversation by laying out the NJEDA's comprehensive approach to economic development. While Sullivan focused on presenting New Jersey's programs for attracting and growing businesses, NJDOL Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo and Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis discussed the State's workforce development efforts.

Commissioner Asaro-Angelo highlighted ways the NJDOL is moving away from a transactional approach to workforce development toward a work-based approach fueled by input from businesses. Secretary Smith Ellis focused on ways New Jersey is making higher education more accessible, highlighting New Jersey's work in high schools to get students on the college-bound track and the NJ Education to Earnings data system, which analyzes data on students from Pre-K to college graduation to determine interventions that will enhance retention and boost educational attainment.



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Investment in Communities

Opportunity Zone Challenge Grants Awarded Five communities will receive grants through the Opportunity Zone Challenge Program. While the federal Opportunity Zone program is designed to focus capital flows and economic investment into communities that have historically faced economic challenges, long-term investment scarcity and strained local governments have made it difficult for many of the communities most in need to develop and capitalize critical projects. The NJEDA developed the Opportunity Zone Challenge Program to help address this problem by encouraging communities to come up with specific plans for pursuing Opportunity Zone-based investments.

The first round of applications for the Opportunity Zone Challenge concluded in September. Of the 22 applications submitted, the NJEDA selected five communities to receive grants. The five projects receiving funding are:

  • Cumberland County: The Cumberland County plan is a combined marketing and regulatory reform initiative built around a microtargeting-driven marketing campaign focused on attracting Opportunity Zone investment.
  • Hackensack: The Hackensack plan will facilitate the Hackensack Life Science Zone Assessment Report. The city will partner with the Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) to provide technical expertise and industry data that will guide the planning process. Once this plan is complete, the City will have the information it needs to designate the tract as an area in need of redevelopment for life science purposes.
  • Flemington: The Flemington plan includes a series of charettes (in-depth community stakeholder meetings) to help create community participation in Opportunity Zone strategic planning, a borough-wide examination of zoning to reduce regulatory hurdles and encourage development, and new project marketing plans designed to showcase Flemington's Opportunity Zone investment projects.
  • Paterson: The Paterson plan will examine street-level zoning codes and regulations in each of the City's eight Opportunity Zones to ensure investors have the information they need to successfully guide a project to completion.
  • Jersey City: The Jersey City plan will consist of an in-depth, partner-oriented financial feasibility study leading to an investment prospectus to enhance the infrastructural and economic capacity of the two Opportunity Zones located in the Journal Square neighborhood, which is poised to be the Jersey City Cultural Arts District.



 
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NJEDA representatives visited Onkos Surgical's office in Parsippany to learn about the NJ business's
innovative treatments for patients with rare cancers


Making New Jersey the State of Innovation 

Onkos Surgical: A New Jersey Success Story that Does Well by Doing Good. Onkos Surgical is a true New Jersey success story. In just four years, the Parsippany-based startup has taken advantage of New Jersey’s highly-skilled talent pool and robust innovation ecosystem to pioneer new treatments for some of the most difficult to treat cancers. On a recent visit to Onkos's headquarters, representatives from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) learned how the company is pioneering innovation to deliver patient-specific solutions, including 3D printed offerings. This work has made it possible for surgeons to complete procedures that used to require amputations or the installation of clunky implants with virtually no long-term effects.

Although Onkos now has more than 40 employees, when the company launched in October 2015 it was only seven people. During this early stage, Onkos attracted nearly $1 million in investments through New Jersey's Angel Investor Tax Credit Program. Onkos also successfully solicited venture capital from high-profile funds such as 1315 Capital and Canaan Partners. Looking ahead, Onkos plans to build on its success by addressing other challenges surgeons and patients face during sarcoma treatment.

Founders & Funders. The NJEDA connected more than two dozen New Jersey entrepreneurs with investors from around the Mid-Atlantic region during its latest New Jersey Founders & Funders event at Princeton Innovation Center Biolabs (PICb). PICb is also one of 16 incubators, accelerators, and coworking spaces to participate in the NJEDA’s NJ Ignite Program, which offers rent support to startups moving to a collaborative workspace. New Jersey Founders & Funders enables early-stage New Jersey technology and life sciences companies to meet potential investors in 10-minute, one-on-one “speed dating” sessions to discuss strategy, business models, and funding opportunities.




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Making Government Easier to Do Business With 

New Microbusiness Loan Program. The NJEDA's new Microbusiness Loan Program will make financing of up to $50,000 available to for-profit New Jersey businesses for working capital or equipment. To ensure that the financing is accessible to the early-stage and microbusinesses that need it most, eligible businesses must have annual revenues of less than $1,500,000, and cannot have more than 10 full-time employees at time of application. Startup businesses may be eligible for financing, but must first demonstrate that they have completed an entrepreneurship training program or Small Business Development Center counseling sessions.

Camden-Based Contractor Grows with Support from State Training Program. Less than six months after graduating from the NJEDA and African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey's (AACCNJ) inaugural Small Business Bonding Readiness Program, Camden entrepreneur Franchesca Abed has greatly expanded her business: Ralf's Heating Plumbing & General Contractors.

Abed was among 27 small business owners in the first class to graduate from the Small Business Bonding Readiness Assistance Program. The program provides a comprehensive series of classroom trainings, workshops, and strategic counseling sessions covering a variety of topics relevant to small businesses.

Equipped with knowledge and tools Abed gained through the program, Ralf’s secured a contract from the Borough of Sayreville for waterproofing and the excavation of the basement of the city's municipal building. All together, members of the first class of the Small Business Bonding Readiness Assistance Program have, to date, qualified for more than $5 million in surety bonding.

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ECONversations  | 
Brownfields The NJEDA's holistic approach to Brownfields redevelopment is based on encouraging thriving and inclusive urban centers and downtowns, with a focus on reducing poverty and driving economic growth. On this episode of ECONversations, NJEDA Senior Brownfields Advisor Elizabeth Limbrick discusses the NJEDA's enhanced brownfields loan program, the proposed brownfields tax credit, and other efforts to support contaminated site revitalization. Listen to the latest episode and all our past episodes here https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/econversations-episode-5-elizabeth-limbrick/id1479092247?i=1000457572804. Don’t forget to subscribe!







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

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36 West State Street
P.O. Box 990
Trenton, NJ 08625-0990

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