Choose NJ says it’s drawn 33 businesses to stay, move to NJ

Daniel J. Munoz//February 2, 2021

Choose NJ says it’s drawn 33 businesses to stay, move to NJ

Daniel J. Munoz//February 2, 2021

Choose New Jersey – the primary, non-profit marketing arm for the state – said it managed to lure 33 companies to New Jersey in 2020 or entice them to expand their operations, according to their 2020 report released on Feb. 2.

The newly released data comes despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of any flagship economic incentive program last year, which business leaders lamented as an albatross around the state’s neck when trying to promote New Jersey as the place to do business.

The report found that those 33 companies led to a combined 1,455 jobs that were either created or kept in the state – a breakdown into those two categories was not immediately available – and $607 million of capital investment into building new facilities or expanding the existing ones.

Jose Lozano, the chief executive officer at Choose NJ, said Tuesday in a statement that the migration to New Jersey was driven by businesses hoping to get a hold of their supply chain issues amid the pandemic, and broaden the capability of their manufacturing and distribution.

“We also ramped up our efforts around the mass exodus of New York City companies looking to move to more spacious suburban locations,” Lozano added.

The three biggest sectors interested in New Jersey are life sciences, technology and manufacturing, according to the 12-page report.

Choose NJ was tapped by the Murphy administration to handle a $2 million “2020 State of Innovation” marketing campaign to draw more businesses into the state. They paid for Gov. Phil Murphy’s trade missions to Germany and Israel in 2018, and India in 2019.

“While 2020 was a challenging year, Choose New Jersey still saw promising growth, and we look forward to doing everything we can to help strengthen New Jersey’s economy in the years ahead,” Choose NJ board chair and PSEG Chief Operating Officer Ralph LaRossa said in the Tuesday statement.

The nonprofit has some heavy financial backers and supporters: its board includes PSEG, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, PNC Bank, Hackensack Meridian Health, United Airlines, Prudential Financial and RWJ Barnabas Health.