By Tom Olsen
From the September/October 2014 issue
Always a competitive global destination for business, New Jersey has become even more compelling thanks to new game-changing tax incentives signed into law that are spurring companies from near and far to expand and relocate in the Garden State.
Ranked in the top 10 in the nation for its GDP, New Jersey offers a powerful combination of assets for business, including strategic access to local and global markets, a highly educated and trained workforce and a business-friendly environment that makes the state one of the best values in the Northeast.
“New Jersey has a perfect location along the East Coast, an incredible transportation infrastructure and a super-smart talent pool,” said Tracye McDaniel, President and CEO, Choose New Jersey, Inc., a privately funded nonprofit corporation that markets the state as part of the Partnership for Action led by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. “And with New Jersey’s competitive new incentives, executives are increasingly deciding to invest in the state.”
The new Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ) provides tax credits ranging from $500 to $5,000 per job, per year, for up to 10 years, with numerous bonus credits ranging from $250 to $3,000 per job, per year, if the project meets certain requirements, such as location in an urban area, or high job creation levels. Maximum awards can reach as high as $15,000 per job, per year, and projects can earn up to $300 million over 10 years.
Interest in Grow NJ has also been exceptionally strong. Since the incentives were signed into law in September 2013, a total of 56 projects have been awarded Grow NJ incentives totaling more than $1.2 billion (December 2013 – September 2014). Among those companies that recently took advantage of Grow NJ incentives are Forbes Media, which announced its decision earlier this year to relocate 350 jobs from Manhattan to a mixed-use development site in Jersey City with the help of $27.1 million in tax incentives, and Wenner Breads, which was awarded $30.3 million in tax credits in January 2014 to relocate from Long Island to New Brunswick and create 253 jobs.
Other recent New Jersey projects include Honeywell’s headquarters relocation and expansion, a $94 million project, which created 1,061 jobs in December 2013, Bayer Healthcare’s $99 million investment in Whippany-based headquarters, which created 1,500 jobs in October 2013 and Destination Maternity’s $49.7 million investment, which created 620 new jobs and retained 197. These three projects alone were made possible thanks to a combined $127.2 million in tax incentives.
PERFECTLY LOCATED AND GLOBALLY CONNECTED
New Jersey is an international gateway that is home to 21 Fortune 500 companies, more than 270 foreign company headquarters and five foreign trade zones. Ranked #3 in the U.S. for integration into the global economy and #4 for incoming foreign direct investment, New Jersey is truly connected to the world when it comes to doing business.
The state’s advanced infrastructure ensures that it is connected to the world physically. The Port of New York and New Jersey is the third largest port in North America and the largest maritime cargo center on the East Coast. Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and other nearby international airports offer non-stop flights to more than 105 international destinations and 90 U.S. cities. Rail access is also superb, with 1,000 miles of rail freight lines, and passenger rail service serving 100 million passengers annually.
The Garden State is also situated at the heart of the Northeast corridor of the United States, within a day’s drive to more than 130 million consumers with a $3 trillion disposable income, making it an attractive place for companies to do business. This is particularly true for companies like Amazon and Goya Foods, which require large distribution centers with quick access to their consumer base. In 2013, Amazon invested a total of $200 million to open the first of two large distribution centers that the company pledged to build in the Garden State. Ultimately, Amazon expects to create 1,500 jobs. Goya, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the U.S., followed in Amazon’s footsteps this year when it announced plans to open a new $127 million, 638,000-square-foot Northeast headquarters and regional distribution center in Jersey City before year’s end.
Home to 63 colleges and universities, world-class research institutions, 13 teaching hospitals and four medical schools, New Jersey ranked #4 for education in CNBC’s 2014 “Top States for Business.” More than 34% of New Jersey’s workforce has earned a bachelor’s degree or higher as compared to the national average of 28.5%, and more than 13% of the state’s workforce has a graduate or professional degree as compared to 10.6% nationwide. Some 225,000 scientists and engineers are located in the state—the highest concentration per square mile anywhere in the world.
Dubbed “the medicine chest of the world,” New Jersey is home to some of the biggest players in the life science industry, including 14 of the 20 largest biopharmaceutical companies and more than 3,000 biotech establishments. The number of trained pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology workers has tripled in the last decade and companies such as Allergan, Celgene, Bayer, Ferring and Novartis, among others, are tapping into this dense availability of skilled workers.
Most recently, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which purchased Bausch & Lomb in 2013, announced plans to relocate Bausch & Lomb’s headquarters from Rochester, NY to Bridgewater, NJ—an investment expected to create up to 550 new jobs in the state to add to 274 already located at New Jersey facilities in Bridgewater and Madison. The Canadian-based company was awarded a 10-year, $39.5 million Grow NJ grant.
Just as popular for the food industry, the Garden State hosts a number of global companies: Campbell’s Soup, Pinnacle Foods, Goya, LiDestri Foods, Mars Chocolate, Mondelez, Unilever and Best Foods. These companies utilize New Jersey’s strengths in manufacturing, distribution and innovation to drive their business.
The Garden State is also a leader in aviation, defense and security manufacturing with top companies such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing operating in the state. Additionally, New Jersey, as part of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, is one of only six entities nationwide designated by the FAA to conduct research and testing of unmanned aviation systems.
Located right across the Hudson River from Wall Street, Northern New Jersey—sometimes referred to as “Wall Street West”—is a favorable spot for financial services companies. New Jersey has been a top choice for headquarters, major operation centers and data facilities for PNC Financial, Merrill Lynch, Commerce Bank, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, UBS, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of New York/Mellon and Goldman Sachs, among others.
VINELAND, NJ: LOGISTICS SOLUTIONS
In today’s fast-paced world, everything moves rapidly when it comes to business. Customers want their products quickly, making it necessary for manufacturing companies to locate near distribution centers, around major thoroughfares, and in geographically sensible places.
Located in the heart of the northeast corridor, just 30 miles east of Philadelphia, the City of Vineland, NJ offers easy access to millions of potential customers in the large east coast markets of New York City, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. With an excellent utility infrastructure, available land, existing facilities, and a willing and able workforce, Vineland is well suited to meet your company’s specific transportation logistics, warehousing, and distribution needs, whether by land, air, or sea.
Geographical proximity is only as good as the highways which get you there. Vineland is located along New Jersey Route 55, a four-lane highway providing a quick and direct link to the Atlantic City Expressway, the New Jersey Turnpike and Interstates 95 and 295. The city is home to a UPS Regional Distribution Center, and a number of well-established trucking firms including Bradway Trucking, American Transport Systems, Levari Trucking, Brunozzi Transfer and Santelli Trucking, all of which transport market-ready products and fresh produce in modern dry and refrigerated trailers to points throughout the country.
Vineland also offers competitive rail service to destinations across the United States and Canada via the Norfolk Southern and CSX railroads. Short-line railroads, such as the Winchester & Western and the Southern Railroad of New Jersey, provide connections to established national freight carriers.
Air service, both passenger and freight, is easily available at the Philadelphia International Airport or the Atlantic City Airport. Additionally, the nearby Millville Municipal Airport operates a Foreign Trade Zone and features a 6,100-foot runway with the capacity to land executive jets, and a range of commercial and freight aircraft. International markets are also accessible via large cargo ships which service port facilities in Salem City, Camden, and Philadelphia, all just a short drive away.
“In addition to location and accessibility, Vineland has developed and maintains a utilities infrastructure to support commercial, industrial, and residential development to include excellent municipally owned electric, water, and sewerage facilities,” said Vineland Director of Economic Development Sandy Forosisky. “By taking a thoughtful approach to planning, efficiency, and sustainable living practices, the city is well positioned for future growth.”
For example, the Vineland Municipal Electric Utility (VMEU) is the only municipally owned electric generating utility in NJ. The VMEU owns and operates two generating units capable of producing 86 MW. Construction is well underway on a new 60 MW gas turbine generator scheduled to come online in June of 2015. In addition to offering electric rates up to 37% lower than surrounding utilities, the VMEU has been recognized as a national leader in the integration and delivery of solar-based renewable energy solutions. Additionally, South Jersey Gas augments the VMEU by providing safe, reliable natural gas service to customers throughout the city.
The Vineland Water Utility is one of the 25 largest water suppliers in the State of New Jersey, providing customers with approximately 3.5 billion gallons of water each year. The city draws its water from the 17 trillion gallon Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer, utilizing a system of 14 municipal wells at depths ranging from 160 feet to 200 feet.
The Landis Sewerage Authority (LSA) provides a modern, cost-effective treatment and disposal system for Vineland customers. The LSA currently has the capability of processing up to 8.2 million gallons per day. With plans in place to expand capacity to 10.2 million gallons per day, the LSA is well positioned for future growth within the city. The LSA has been recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency for utilizing green energy sources including reclaimed methane gas, solar arrays, and wind turbines.
The City of Vineland has two municipally owned industrial parks which offer per acre prices significantly lower than most other northeast locations. In addition, Vineland maintains one of the lowest construction cost indices in New Jersey. There are also a number of affordable sites and existing facilities which are located outside of the two industrial parks.
Vineland draws from a multi-county region that includes a labor force of over 300,000. In particular, the pool of potential manufacturing workers is especially deep. “A strong work ethic thrives in Vineland,” Forosisky continued. “Employers will find a productive and stable workforce with a variety of skills at very competitive labor costs.” Vineland also has a well-established network of business support services and resources including financial incentives and customized workforce education and training programs to fit an employer’s individual needs.
Whether you are a company looking to relocate or a new business start-up, selecting the right location is critical to your success. The Vineland economic development team provides a one-stop source for moving your project forward through the development and approval process. “Our commitment to your success begins with our focus on your needs. We understand the challenges you will face and are anxious to meet with you regarding available sites throughout the city. Your business is important to our community, and we are excited to be your partner in finding the perfect location for your business to thrive. Discover the difference in Vineland, it’s all here waiting for you!” Forosisky concluded.
For more information, please contact the Vineland Department of Economic Development at (856) 794-4100 or by e-mail at [email protected].