To me, one of the kickers of this request, from Newark’s West Ward councilman, is the last line directed at Gov. Chris Christie: “In this instance, please be pro-business.” – promoted by Rosi
The recommendations of the Governor’s task force to eliminate the Urban Enterprise Zone program (UEZ) is ill-timed at best and potentially disastrous to small business survival, stabilization and growth in urban areas like Newark at the worst. When President Obama is providing small businesses with help via tax credits to spur hiring and other incentives for technology and investments in our national economy, the state of New Jersey could potentially strike a blow against small businesses for short term budget in urban areas that are barely holding on.
Urban areas, like Newark, have a hard enough time encouraging, supporting, and working collaboratively to develop small businesses in robust economic times for many reasons: access to capital, technical training, staying afloat during that critical first two years, and the fighting the negative ( and some would say racially prejudicial/inaccurate) perceptions of crime and safety. In harsh economic times, the UEZ is not only helping to sustain small businesses, but also the jobs they provide. The UEZ program has created real opportunities in places like Newark, Jersey City, Bayonne, Trenton, Rahway, etc. and an understanding of its history and real results will clarify these facts separate and apart from short term and myopic opinions that do not take into account the total impact and provisions of the program.
The UEZ program was enacted in 1983 with a duration of 20 years. The program has worked so well that….
A look at the benefits to businesses, after the jump.