The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) kicked off the commemoration of its 50th anniversary recently at its February Board meeting. The NJEDA was established by a bill signed on August 7, 1974 by then-Governor Brendan Byrne, and sponsored by Assemblyman Herbert Klein. The bill was designed to create new jobs for the working men and women of New Jersey, by creating an authority that would seek to attract new industry and expand existing industry in the state.
“Fifty years and ten governors after its creation, the work of the NJEDA is more essential than ever as we continue to build and shape a stronger, fairer New Jersey economy that supports good-paying, family-supporting jobs of the future,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “The Authority’s role has continued to grow and evolve over the years as new challenges arise, and through it all, NJEDA has remained nimble, listening and responding to the needs of businesses and communities – large and small. As a result, we have unleashed extraordinary economic growth in recent years, transforming New Jersey into one of the best states in the nation to start or grow a business.”
Under this administration, the NJEDA has created a vast array of innovative resources that can be adapted to the needs of New Jersey entrepreneurs, small businesses, municipalities, and developers. These offerings range from cannabis grants, to historic preservation tax credits and offshore wind workforce development, to income replacement for entrepreneurs, new ways to help Main Street businesses grow, and the attraction of high-profile film projects.
“Time and again, Governor Murphy and the legislature have entrusted the NJEDA with developing and executing on resources that address the needs of New Jersey businesses, and proactively foster the growth of industries and development projects that can deliver on the promise of Governor Murphy’s Economic Development Strategic Plan,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan. “As we work to create opportunities for New Jerseyans from all backgrounds and foster the growth of New Jersey’s economy during 2024, we will continue to build on the momentum of 50 years of creating new jobs, driving economic activity, and revitalizing communities.”
Throughout its history, the NJEDA has stepped in to support New Jersey’s businesses during state and national crises. In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the NJEDA delivered federal Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery Program funds to small businesses and communities in the form of grants and loans. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the NJEDA created programs leveraging federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act money to help small businesses keep their doors open and staff on payroll. Since the pandemic, programs created under the Economic Recovery Act of 2020 have continued to help small businesses expand their operations and strengthen communities across the state.