The legacy incentive programs of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority now find themselves in a new world order.  

And at a time when more employees are working remotely, NJBIA is supporting new legislation that brings flexibility to in-person worker requirements necessary for participating businesses to receive their awards. 

Bill A-4929 (Pintor Martin, D-29) easily advanced in the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee on Tuesday. 

“That’s what this bill is – it’s flexibility,” NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Christopher Emigholz told the committee.  

“It’s not saying you don’t have to create the jobs that you promised. It’s not saying you get these tax credits without doing what you were supposed to do. These jobs are in the state. They’ve been created. They’re going to generate the tax revenue that we want for our state. We’re just asking for a little flexibility.” 

The bill provides accommodations to businesses participating in the Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP), the Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant (BRAG) Program, the Grow New Jersey Assistance (GROW) Program, and the Urban Transit Hub (HUB) Program. 

NJEDA had previously waived the requirement that a full-time employee at a business participating in any of the programs needs to spend at least 80% of his or her time at the qualified business’ facility to be eligible for an award under the program.    

The New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 even lowered the requirement for spending time at the qualified business facility to 60% of the employee’s time. 

But bill A-4929 waives that 60% on-site requirement for a full-time employee from July 1, 2022 to Dec. 31, 2023 – as long as the business satisfies the following criteria: 

  • Any full-time employee employed by the business must spend at least 10% of his or her time at the qualified business facility through the 2023 tax period;  
  • The business must pay NJEDA 5% of the amount of the tax credit the business receives for the 2022 tax period, which would be used to support small business and downtown activation activities. 

“We hope this bill moves because this flexibility will make a big difference in helping the job creation that’s already happened and the future job creation that we all want to see,” Emigholz added. 

Perhaps the bigger question that remains is how, or if, continued, post-pandemic remote work changes the criteria for future NJEDA tax credits.  

Emigholz said only time will tell. 

“It’s a cliché word, but what we saw (from the pandemic) was unprecedented,” he said. “There’s a lot we just don’t know because it’s never happened before.  

“Obviously, (remote work) is here to stay to some extent. We know the workforce is not going to be quite the same as it was in the winter of 2020. But how much it’s changing and for how long, we don’t know.”