Carteret, NJ – Mayor Dan Reiman and the Economic Development Office have announced that the New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) Authority has awarded Carteret $200,000 for the continuation of the Borough’s small business grant and start-up loan programs.
Earlier this year, Carteret applied for and was granted a 15 year extension to its Urban Enterprise Zone designation. Continuing UEZ status will allow for ongoing economic growth in the Borough, according to Mayor Reiman, by providing consumer incentives through the program’s 3.5% savings on state sales tax, and the generation of up to $1.5 million in annual UEZ revenue for reinvestment.
The additional $200,000 will allow the Borough’s UEZ to continue and expand its broad range of small business micro-loan and start-up grant programs. Funding will provide a match to private investment through the promotion of business investment, sustainable employment, and economic growth in Carteret.
New Jersey’s Urban Enterprise Program was enacted in 1983, and as of October 2008 is administered by the Department of Community Affairs. The program was created to foster an economic climate that revitalizes designated urban communities and stimulates their growth by encouraging businesses to develop and create private sector jobs through, public and private investment.
The program was designed specifically to benefit business communities in “urban need” areas like Carteret, offering participating businesses many incentives that encourage business growth and stimulate local economies state-wide. It now supports more than 6,500 businesses and 139,000 full-time jobs in the state, and has attracted $26.4 billion in private investment. Benefits include a number of tax and other financial incentives that have contributed to the establishment and/or growth of 28,000 businesses state-wide.
Through the program, sales tax revenues generated by UEZ businesses are dedicated for use within the zones for economic development projects. To date, more than 2,281 such projects have been approved at a value of $774 million. Businesses participating in the UEZ Program can charge half the standard sales tax rate on certain purchases. In addition, UEZ businesses may enjoy tax exemptions on certain purchases and manufacturers may qualify for sales tax exemption on their energy and utility consumption when they meet specified employment and other criteria.
For each new permanent full-time employee hired, businesses may receive a one-time $1,500 tax credit. Alternatively, the UEZ Program allows a tax credit against the Corporate Business Tax up to eight percent of qualified investments within the zone. Also, businesses may be eligible for priority financial assistance.
Employers may also benefit from subsidized unemployment insurance costs for certain employees who earn less than $4,500 per quarter.
From the initial 10 UEZs that were designated in 1984, the program has grown to 32 zones in 37 municipalities throughout the state.
Carteret received its initial U.E.Z. designation in 1995. Since then, approximately 2/3 of the densely populated 4.4 square mile town has been designated U.E.Z.. 307 businesses have registered with the U.E.Z. to date, leading to the establishment of 2,773 full-time jobs, 268 part-time jobs, and the reinvestment of $839,357,562 in private business revenue.
Other notable businesses that have been established within the U.E.Z. include Radisson Suites and P.C. Richard & Son, who recently constructed a 330,000 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution facility, with a 60,000 sq. ft. retail and clearance center. The $100 million private investment has provided for $15 million in union construction jobs, and the conversion of 15 acres of formerly underperforming light industrial space.
“There’s an impressive range of improvements that can be attributed to Carteret’s participation in the U.E.Z. program,” Mayor Reiman stated. “We now play home to high-tech industries whose presence would have been unthinkable 10 years ago, contributing substantially to our commercial tax base, providing thousands of private sector jobs, and setting new quality of life standards in the Borough. Small business programs and streetscape improvements made possible through the U.E.Z. have provided incentives towards the establishment of new businesses, and the growth of our existing business community, allowing us to continually reinvest in both Carteret and New Jersey at no cost to taxpayers and entrepreneurs, and to readjust these programs according to evolving needs within our redevelopment areas and business districts.”
Since its inception the Carteret UEZ Zone Assistance fund has provided $5,434,405 million of sales tax revenue for Carteret UEZ projects, directed to create employment services, business stimulus, infrastructure, redevelopment, and additional property tax relief. This resource has allowed for an enormous range of local improvements, according to the Borough’s Office of Economic Development, along with a range of new business start-up programs and loans.
“The Borough has relied substantially on the U.E.Z. to make many of our programs and improvements possible, so we’re especially thankful that the U.E.Z. Authority has recognized the importance of Carteret’s small business programs,” Councilman and Borough Finance Chair Jorge Diaz stated.