NJEDA expands downtown incentive program

NJBIZ STAFF//February 19, 2019//

NJEDA expands downtown incentive program

NJBIZ STAFF//February 19, 2019//

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The New Jersey Economic Development Authority Board on Tuesday announced it will expand the Business Lease Incentive program.

The expanded program will now be called the Small Business Lease Assistance Program and will include eight additional municipalities with designated Main Streets: Bridgeton, Jersey City, Millville, Mount Holly, Phillipsburg, Plainfield, Salem and Vineland.

The initial program targeted five Garden State Growth Zones: Atlantic City, Camden, Trenton, Passaic, and Paterson.

The new Small Business Lease Assistance Program will be structured as a three-year pilot with $100,000 per year allocated to each of the 13 eligible municipalities. To support this expansion, the NJEDA will devote $3.9 million to the Small Business Lease Assistance Program.

“Revamping New Jersey’s downtown corridors by supporting small businesses that provide unique, engaging experiences for their communities and create good jobs for residents is a crucial component of Gov. Murphy’s plan for building a stronger, fairer New Jersey,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan in a prepared statement. “The existing business lease program has already made an impact on the communities we targeted during the pilot phase, so expanding it to include more municipalities is the next logical step.”

Since its launch in 2017, the EDA said, the BLI program has attracted new businesses to targeted commercial corridors, bringing new life to downtowns and providing new jobs for residents.

The program requires that businesses to commit to spending at least five years in their new location, which the EDA attributes to encouraging owners to engage in the local community and train new employees from nearby neighborhoods.

Applications for the BLI program will be accepted until June 18, 2019.