Actions taken by the Board of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) today illustrate the various ways the state is able to support the growth of small businesses.
“As the backbone of New Jersey’s economy, small businesses create jobs and have a critical impact on local economies,” said EDA Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen. “The actions taken by the EDA Board today will broaden our reach to small businesses, both directly and through our expanding network of banking and community development partners.”
A $1 million loan to New Jersey Community Capital will support the community development financial institution’s South Jersey Economic Initiative Fund (SJEIF), designed to expand local and regional capacity to generate jobs and economic growth in targeted areas of Southern New Jersey. EDA assistance will be used to boost the loan fund portion of the $15 million initiative, supporting small businesses in Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem and Atlantic counties.
EDA also approved the addition of Atlantic Stewardship Bank to its growing list of Premier Lender banking partners. Atlantic Stewardship Bank provides products and services to small and medium sized businesses and the professional community as well as those residing, working and shopping in Bergen, Morris and Passaic Counties.
To help lower the cost of borrowing for businesses, EDA works with over 30 banks, providing loan participations or guarantees. Banks that have been approved by the EDA for Premier Lender status benefit from faster turnaround and reduced risk. The streamlined process involves the EDA approving finance applications in as early as three to five business days, the result of which speeds the flow of capital to businesses. The EDA can participate in up to 50 percent of a bank loan for fixed assets (up to $2 million) or working capital (up to $750,000); the maximum guarantee for fixed assets and working capital is $1.5 million.
Premier Lender activity this month included the approval of a 32 percent EDA participation in a $4.7 million Santander Bank loan to support the acquisition of property in South Brunswick for specialty foods importer SLT Foods. Plastic milk crate manufacturer Farmplast is purchasing the property it had been leasing in Parsippany with the help of a $3.9 million Two River Community Bank loan that includes a 45 percent EDA participation.
A $380,000 direct loan from EDA will allow two related small businesses to establish a permanent home in Elizabeth. Pets First, Inc., an importer and wholesaler of pet clothing and accessories, and Impact Design, an importer of fashion accessories, expect to expand from a total of 10 to 25 employees with the purchase of the 37,500-square-foot industrial facility on 3rd Street.
Tax-exempt bonds will allow Triangle Manufacturing Co., Inc. to purchase a property in Upper Saddle River to house its operations, and will also help Pollaro Custom Furniture move its manufacturing operations to a permanent location in Hillside. Triangle specializes in the precision engineering and manufacturing of highly complex, tight-tolerance machined parts and assemblies. Pollaro is a supplier of premium custom furniture to residential and corporate clients throughout the United States.
The Board also approved a range of manufacturers through the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ), highlighting how the program is now able to support small and mid-sized businesses looking to expand in New Jersey. Representing the anticipated private investment of over $17 million, the four projects would create an estimated 137 new jobs and support the retention of nearly 360 jobs certified as at risk of being relocated out of state.
Rubbercycle, LLC, a Lakewood manufacturer that recycles used tires into low cost, high quality rubber products, is considering moving its operations to New York; Northeast Precast, a manufacturer of precast concrete, is considering an expansion in Millville or North Carolina; Contemporary Graphics and Bindery, an FDA-approved manufacturer of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical packaging, is weighing a move to Camden; and, French-based manufacturer Groupe SEB USA is contemplating an expansion in Parsippany or New York.
The EDA is part of the state’s results-driven Partnership for Action. Created by Governor Christie and led by Lt. Governor Guadagno, the Partnership is the hub for all economic development activity in New Jersey and is comprised of four interconnected and highly focused organizational elements: Choose New Jersey, the Business Action Center, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the EDA.