The State of Opportunity: Murphy’s Responsible Vision for NJ’s Economic Future

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EDA CEO Tim Sullivan talks about the proposed fund.

A budget reflects the values ​​of a State. Last month, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a progressive and fiscally responsible plan to move New Jersey forward through transformative commitments to people, communities and families, with major investments in affordability and infrastructure.

Since taking office, Murphy’s economic development strategy has been centered on creating a New Jersey economy that makes our state the best place in the country to live, work and raise a family. Today, perhaps more than ever, businesses and people make decisions about where to settle and live based on a combination of values ​​and values, and, under Murphy’s leadership, the New Jersey proves that social and economic progress can and do go hand in hand. hand. Our economic momentum is strong as we advance policies that are pro-family, pro-democracy, pro-worker and pro-growth.

Murphy’s and the Legislature’s budget propels our economy by combining a progressive vision with effective programming – making major investments in the New Jersey Economic Development Authoritylong-standing basic strategies. From small business support and economic security to inclusive innovation, economic diversification and community development, Budget 2023 provides EDA with a host of new tools, programs and resources designed to comprehensively invest in our economic competitiveness.

Budget 2023 provides EDA with more than $500 million for programs and initiatives that help small businesses, support economic infrastructure, grow the state’s innovation economy, increase economic diversification, and invest in communities, including the following initiatives:

Small business

  • $50 million for EDA’s Main Street Recovery Program, which ensures New Jersey small businesses can continue to grow and thrive in the transition from pandemic to recovery, with a strong focus on equity and inclusion, especially for minorities, women, LGBTQ- and veteran-owned businesses;
  • $1 million for the Small Business Bonding Readiness Program, run in conjunction with the African American Chamber of Commerce and the State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which provides education and training to better position small businesses to they can benefit from a bond and bid more competitively on public works projects.

Economic Security

  • $30 million for the Child Care Facilities Fund, which gives New Jersey child care providers much-needed funds for capital improvements, helping to ensure that every child, regardless of zip code, has access to a safe, high-quality learning environment, expanding NJEDA recovery-related support for New Jersey’s child care sector to more than $100 million;
  • $20 million in capital construction funding for the creation of the Trenton-based Maternal and Child Health Innovation Center, championed by First Lady Tammy Murphy, which aims to make New Jersey the safest place in the world. country to give birth and raise a child and end the unacceptable racial disparities affecting maternal and child health in New Jersey;
  • $12.5 million for the Child Care Employer Innovation Pilot Program, which will help New Jersey workers and small businesses develop new ways to ensure child care essentials are available to more New Jersey workers.

Inclusive innovation

  • $70 million for Strategic Innovation Centers, which will invest in accelerators, incubators, research centers, innovation service delivery centers or multi-tenant innovation clusters that bring together innovators and research institutes research to advance innovation in targeted high-growth industries;
  • $10 million in additional funding for Black and Latino startups designed to address and address systemic racial inequalities in access to start-up capital for Black and Latino entrepreneurs, a first in the country to pledge for equity in entrepreneurship;
  • $5 million to launch the New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund, a groundbreaking tool that creates state-private sector partnerships to support New Jersey entrepreneurs, encourage investment in emerging New Jersey businesses, and grow the innovation economy in our state.

Economic diversification

  • $35 million for a manufacturing industry initiative, which will grow and strengthen the state’s manufacturing sector by stimulating capital investment, increasing the adoption of new technologies and attracting new manufacturers. This program will work hand-in-hand with new funding from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development for targeted workforce programs in this sector to create and sustain good jobs that help make living a family;
  • $15 million for the Film Industry Strategic Support Fund, which will create a Film Academy, in partnership with institutions of higher education, to develop and support the workforce around the film industry in growing New Jersey, as well as making the necessary infrastructure investments to support studio development;
  • Opportunities to support small businesses in the cannabis industry through recently signed legislation that allows NJEDA to create cannabis industry-specific products and programs in the form of grants, loans, and technical assistance, to to ensure a level playing field in this new industry that can work to right the wrongs of the War on Drugs, especially in communities of color.

Communautary development

  • $50 million in funding for Strategic Site Assembly, which will advance more transformative, mixed-use, transit-oriented and affordable housing developments;
  • $25 million for a pilot program to encourage the redevelopment of so-called “fixed assets” such as suburban office parks or legacy commercial developments;
  • $25 million for a Diverse Developer Fund, which will support projects led by developers of color to help improve diversity in the real estate industry and support small MWBE businesses;
  • $15 million for Arts Support and Creative Placemaking, which will provide grants to encourage placemaking through public space activation and catalytic development in downtowns with commercial corridors that have been affected by COVID-19.

New Jersey’s motto is “Freedom and Prosperity”, incorporating the two fundamental principles of our State’s Fundamental Promise: Whoever you are, who you love or where you come from, everyone is welcome to build their future. here. Now more than ever, with fundamental freedoms such as women’s rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, the right to safe communities, the right to vote and other basic democratic freedoms under threat across the country, it is essential for our future to value both freedom and prosperity. These commitments are central to our state’s long-term competitive advantage, making our state a magnet for people, businesses and investors looking to invest and grow in places dedicated to these values. basic Americans.

Both in the laws he signed and in the recently enacted budget, Murphy is making New Jersey a national model in the fight to protect liberty and, in doing so, enhance prosperity for all.

This budget undoubtedly moves our state forward and will have a significant impact on our small businesses, our manufacturers, our downtowns and our entrepreneurs. Frankly, it’s one we should be proud of.

Tim Sullivan is the CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

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