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Chris Emigholz

Christopher Emigholz, NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs

The Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation supported by NJBIA that revises some provisions of the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020 to make incentives more accessible to small businesses and encourage further investments in innovation.

A-5939, sponsored by Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin (D-29), serves as “cleanup legislation” for the $14.5 billion economic incentive program signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in January. The legislation provides more more accessibility and flexibility for awardees seeking incentives. 

The bill also contains a key provision, strongly advocated by NJBIA, that broadens requirements related to the percentage of workers that need to be physically located in the company’s workplace for incentives to be awarded. Currently, the policy is 80% of an awarded company’s employees must work on site. The bill lowers that threshold to 60%. 

“We think this legislation takes positive steps forward to address the new, post-pandemic remote workforce realities,” NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Christopher Emigholz said. “As we have seen, more businesses are allowing hybrid work scenarios as a result of the productivity they found during the pandemic.” 

The bill also slightly expands the definition of microbusinesses, by earnings, under the Main Street Recovery grant and loan program. Under the legislation, state subsidies will go from $4 million to $8 million for Brownfields tax credits. A total of $350 million from the NJ Aspire and NJ Emerge programs will also be put toward tax credits for offshore wind projects. 

“Overall, we were pleased with the incentive program that was signed earlier this year,” Emigholz said. “But we think these proposed revisions will lend more accessibility to small businesses and can also help boost innovation in the state.”