This morning, Gov. Phil Murphy spoke at the New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s (NJBIA) annual Public Policy forum, sharing some of what his administration has done – and plans to do – to guide New Jersey through the devastating fiscal woes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This forum and the discussions and solutions that come out of it, will be more important than ever before,” Murphy said. “Our administration is laser focused on supporting New Jersey’s businesses and ensuring a quick recovery from the financial crisis that has sprung from the pandemic.”
So far, there has been $250 million allocated for small business relief in New Jersey, and more than $166 million has been provided to nearly 35,000 businesses across the state. Murphy highlighted that 26% of Phase II small business grants went to women-owned businesses, and 24% went to those that are minority-owned.
Additionally, several weeks ago, the New Jersey CEO Council, which is an offshoot of the governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission, pledged to hire or train more than 30,000 residents by 2030 and spend an additional $250 million on procurement with state-based, diverse companies by 2025.
“This commitment demonstrates just how impactful good corporate citizenship can be,” Murphy said. “[It shows how] together we can come up with innovative solutions such as, for example, pursuing the first statewide and government supported Career Impact Bond fund and developing a New Jersey Procurement Center of Excellence.”
Murphy also said that he is proud of his revised budget, stating it will “encourage a quick economic recovery and avoid austerity measures that would only serve to handicap [the] state.”
Touching on infrastructure, he lauded a $60-million appropriation to ensure access to clean water through lead pipe replacements, saying the investments, “not only serve [the] state’s health needs, but also create good jobs and help position [New Jersey] for a strong recovery.”
In terms of a new incentive program, Murphy said he is, “currently in the process of revising our tax incentives to align with state programs with our goal of building a stronger economy that works not just for some, but for all of New Jersey.”
He added that the incentives revision will include a number of reforms as well as a priority on new job creation, and investment in urban centers and other “distressed” communities. Additionally, the proposed Innovation Evergreen Fund will aim to connect startups with funding to grow and foster an innovation ecosystem in the state.
“These changes will ensure a robust incentive program that addresses businesses needs, while ensuring New Jersey residents share in the benefits of economic growth and development,” Murphy said.
Acknowledging the anxiety felt by many when peering into the future, Murphy described the state’s outlook for next year and beyond as “incredibly promising.”
“We are making choices in the best interest of our residents, and economic health will follow public health,” Murphy said.
The governor added that the state’s many unique benefits, including its location, public education system, highly skilled workforce, and strong innovation ecosystem, will be keys to its recovery.
“These fundamentals will remain important, and may even take on new significance as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Murphy said. “In particular, we are excited to see our first-in-the-nation purpose built wind port come to fruition, which will create thousands of jobs, invite new investments into our state, and put us on a path to reaching our goal of 3,500MW of offshore wind by 2030.
“There is no denying that we are in a challenging time,” Murphy said. “But we will emerge from this season ready to not only recover, but to grow.”
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