Carteret ,NJ – Mayor Dan Reiman was joined by members of the Borough Council and Carteret residents on Friday to welcome two new businesses to the Plaza 12 shopping area. The Carteret Farmer’s Market, and Asian Food Products, inc., opened last month, occupying stores that had been vacant for 2 years.
Also in attendance was N.J. Assemblyman Joe Vas (D-13), and business owners Andy Macchio, Stu Kaminsky, and Balvinder Singh.
The Carteret Farmer’s Market – the first business of its kind in Carteret, hosts 6,400 square feet of fresh produce, Boar’s Head Deli products, and fresh baked goods. Monmouth County residents Stu Kaminsky and Andy Macchio invested $150,000 in the project establishing a specialty market in what they consider to be a very strategic location.
Mayoral Commendations were presented to both the Farmer’s Market, and Asian Food Products, Inc., a regional chain with over seven years of history in the specialty food business. Asian Food Market’s 2,650 square foot store represents a $250,000 private investment, offering a range of ethnic specialty food products.
Immediately accessible from N.J. Turnpike Interchange 12, Plaza 12 and neighboring shopping centers host a range of commercial businesses which include Holiday Inn, Walgreens, and Shop Rite, to name a few, as well as a number of regionally owned “mom & pop” stores and eateries. According to Carteret’s Office of Economic Development, the Plaza 12 business district represents the commercial epicenter of the Borough, because of its density, and is the most commonly frequented by consumers.
$120 million in upgrades to both the interchange itself and the adjacent portion of Roosevelt Avenue are well underway, and slated for completion by the Fall of 2010.
“Promising new businesses always receive a warm welcome here,” Mayor Reiman commented. “They represent tax ratables and future improvements to Carteret, but more importantly they are the manifestation of progress. Our business community has undergone an incredible rebirth in recent years, and I am sure these new businesses will be a part of our continued growth.”
Both businesses have already benefitted from their location within a U.E.Z. (Urban Enterprise Zone). The Carteret UEZ provides an advantage, as qualified zone retailers are permitted to charge 50 percent of the general sales tax rate on in-person purchase. Carteret sales tax revenue is placed in a Zone Assistance Fund and to be available for reinvesting in improvement projects and further economic development. Small UEZ businesses with less than $3 million in annual gross receipts in the prior tax year can enjoy 100 percent sales tax exemption at the time of purchase of certain materials and tangible personal property. Larger businesses may file for a rebate after paying the applicable sales tax. Approximately 40% of Carteret has received UEZ designation.
The Carteret Farmer’s Market has received a total of $5,000 through the U.E.Z. Business Start Up Program, and is in the process of applying for additional façade and signage funding. The Asian Food Market has qualified for $6,500 through the same programs, as well as a $20,000 low-interest loan.
Carteret’s Office of Economic Development has established a number of local programs that have also assisted with the establishment of the Farmer’s Market. Carteret Small Business Loan Program has provided funding for over 20 projects including loans, new and expanded small business grants, and facade improvement matching grants including awning and signs. Carteret Small Business Resources from the Urban Enterprise Program (UEZ), Carteret Business Partnership (CBP)/Special Improvement District (SID), Community Development Program allocated from 2004-present $685,000 to fund these Small Business Programs. Currently total investments of $509,000 from these program resources have been invested in Carteret Small Business Projects. In addition, 2006/2007 private sector investments in Carteret total 88.1 million, which includes Small Business Program matches and contributions, construction improvements and new hotel facility. The Carteret Farmer’s Market has qualified for $2,500 through the SID’s Marketing Grant program.