New Jersey’s Long-Term Unemployment Rate Is One of the Highest in the Nation. Will Entrepreneurs or Established Businesses Lead the Way Out?

New Jersey is not known as a particularly business friendly state. It seems that hardly a quarter goes by without a chamber of commerce or business organization remarking on the state’s high costs of doing business, excessive regulations, and other undesirable features of the state. What these individuals often forget to mention is that the state is still home to economic opportunity. It is uniquely and strategically positioned on the I-95 corridor and is located between the major metropolises of New York City and Philadelphia. The state also boasts world-class colleges and universities that have led to the growth of one of the largest enclaves of pharmaceutical companies in the world and a burgeoning technology start-up sector.

However the state has also been plagued by the highest six-month or greater unemployment rate in the nation. Across the country, about 30 percent of the jobless have been unemployed for 27 weeks – 6 months or half a year. In New Jersey more than 125,000 out of the 302,000 currently unemployed have been unable to find a job for 6 months or more – 41 percent. As home to a highly educated population, numerous small businesses, and major corporations the state has the tools to emerge from this downturn, but the question remains: Who will lead?

For the entrepreneur lacking funding or office space to start a business

One of the biggest objections that people have to starting a small business is that they are down, out and unable to secure the funding necessary to open a storefront, secure regulatory permits or otherwise capitalize their business. However, in recent years the Internet has greatly reduced barriers to market entry. In the past an office or a storefront used to be a necessity for retail, professional or practically any business. Today, while an office can improve the outside perception of your company it is no longer essential for many types of businesses. That is, the functions once served by a localized storefront can now be accomplished more efficiently and on a global scale over the Internet.

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However not every business  can run 100% virtually.  In light of these business needs, both virtual offices and shared office spaces can provide a central rallying point or a satellite base of operations. For companies that are still in the development stage, New Jersey is home to a network of government and private incubators that can provide office space, resources, guidance, and funding.  New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJ EDA) is the state government organization providing an array of services to companies in the R&D stages. Private organizations that can provide similar services include New Jersey Business Incubation Network (NJBIN), New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC), New Jersey Entrepreneurs Forum (NJEF) and others.

Choosing an industry or sector can be difficult

Ideally, you’ll be able to work in something that already are passionate about or to address a problem that you have already identified. However for many, it can be difficult to pin down exactly what they’d like to do or develop. In recognition of this fact, the federal government has provided grant money through its Ready to Work program. The Ready to Work program is designed and intended to help individuals who have been employed for 6 months or more by providing job training, outreach, support and placement services. In New Jersey, one of the grants was awarded to the New Jersey Council of County Colleges. This program is slated to focus on training individuals for positions in life sciences, technology and manufacturing. To incentivize the hiring of individual who have been unemployed long-term, the program can also provide up to a 90 percent salary reimbursement.

Start-ups and established businesses should understand state tax concessions and business development incentives

To improve the competitive environment in the state a number of tax benefits for tech start-ups and other incentives have been passed into law. Some of the available tax credits include:

  • Grow New Jersey Assistance Tax Credit – Companies in “desirable” industries can receive up to $8,000 should the work facility be within a short distance from public transit and when other conditions are met.
  • New Jobs Investment Tax Credit – Investments that create 5 or more jobs may be eligible for a tax credit.
  • New Jersey Angel Investor Tax Credit – This tax credit is intended to incentivize investing in emerging start-up companies in the state.

Incentive programs available in the state include the  CBT Tax Benefit Certificate Transfer Program, Business Employment Incentive Grant, Technology Business Tax Credit Certificate Transfer Program and the Edison Innovation Fund.

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The Jayson Law Group can assist with the formation of a new business or the expansion of an already-existing company. We can work to find business development incentives & tax credits to improve the viability of your business while addressing any structural or entity issues we may identify. To schedule a free and confidential initial consultation, call The Jayson Law Group at 908-768-3633 or contact us online.

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