As part of the State’s strategy to make its cities engines for growth and opportunity, New Jersey has urban initiatives to spur private capital investment, business development and job creation.

Garden State Growth Zones

Under the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013, 5 New Jersey municipalities are designated as Garden State Growth Zones (GSGZs).

Companies that invest and create jobs in GSGZs may qualify for generous tax incentives under the Grow New Jersey Assistance Program (Grow NJ).

New Jersey’s GSGZs include: Atlantic City; Camden; Trenton; Passaic; and, Paterson.

Atlantic City: The Gaming Capital of the East, a Strategic Location for Business

When you think of Atlantic City, what comes to mind? Beaches and boardwalks, attractions, arts and culture, shopping, spas, casinos, dining, night life?  Sure.

But think again. Atlantic City provides access to major U.S. cities, including Philadelphia, New York City and Washington D.C., by road. Atlantic City International Airport is 12 miles northwest of the City and offers non-stop flights to U.S. destinations and Canada.

A beautiful seaside location, combined with a highly-skilled workforce that has a great deal of customer experience, plus the availability of tax incentives makes Atlantic City a perfect place to build or expand your business.

In fact, Atlantic City is already seeing a resurgence of interest from companies that recognize its strategic advantages. Take Atlantic City Contact Center, a family-owned call center company based in Nevada for example. In March (2016), the business announced plans to grow its facility in Atlantic City from approximately 40 to 150 employees by the end of the year.

Non-profit, Atlantic City Development Corporation (AC DEVCO) has announced plans to develop a site on Albany Avenue that will include: a new headquarters for South Jersey Gas; a new Stockton University satellite campus; and, a parking garage that will accommodate 886 vehicles. They are scheduled to open in late 2018.

Other recent economic development activity in Atlantic City includes the opening of an 85,000-square-foot, Bass Pro Shops in April 2015 – the retailer’s first store in the region.

Camden: The Revitalization of the Waterfront

Home to Campbell’s Soup Company since 1869, the City of Camden is located on the Delaware River directly across from Philadelphia. You can get to Camden by car, public transit, ferry or bicycle, and in just minutes be in the 5th largest city economy in the nation.

Camden has been a focus of the State’s urban growth strategy and is now undergoing a revitalization.  As part of that effort, there is a concurrent, ongoing and collaborative effort to develop the Camden Waterfront, spurred by forward-thinking companies that recognize the advantages of investing in the City.

As a result, Campbell’s has continued to expand and invest in Camden. Holtec International, one of the country’s largest energy production equipment companies, broke ground for a 600,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in July, 2015. It has the potential to create 400 jobs in the short term and more than 3,000 jobs over the next 4 years.

Others making significant investments in Camden include: New Jersey American Water; Cooper Health System; Lockheed Martin; the Philadelphia 76ers; and, Subaru of North America.

Camden also has become home to a growing technology and research community. The Waterfront Technology Center at Camden is the linchpin that’s pushing continuing development of the Waterfront Technology Campus, offering state-of-the art facilities for emerging technology companies.

The Technology Campus is in close proximity to other technology companies, universities and research centers, including: the L-3 Communications Corporation; Coriell Institute for Medical Research; and, the Camden campus of Rutgers University. The City’s University District is home to well-known higher education institutions and healthcare facilities, such as: Cooper Medical School at Rowan University; Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden Board of Governors; Camden County College; and, the MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper.

Another draw: Camden Waterfront’s 1.5-mile, beautifully-maintained promenade lined with regional attractions. Over 3 million people come to the City each year just to see the promenade’s attractions, such as the Adventure Aquarium and the Susquehanna Bank Center.

Passaic: A Small City with Big Assets

Just north of Newark, in the heart of the New York metro market, lies Passaic in the County of the same name. Passaic’s solid infrastructure, experienced workforce, and ethnic diversity have attracted both companies and residents for nearly 2 centuries. Today, its business landscape continues to include major industrial parks and manufacturing facilities.

Take Patella Woodworking, for example. It’s a custom manufacturer of wood installations that chose to relocate from Rockland County, New York to Passaic in March 2016. The company was awarded $10 million in Grow NJ tax incentives over 10 years to expand in Passaic. As a result, Patella has already brought 70 skilled manufacturing jobs to the City.

While manufacturing continues to be one of its most important industries, Passaic also is home to small family businesses. The growing influx of these companies continue to fill what are now several business districts, including Main Avenue, an area well-known for its historic mansions and eclectic architecture.

One of the key reasons manufacturers like Patella, and small companies choose Passaic is the City’s location. Situated on the Passaic River just 10 miles from both Newark and New York City, Passaic has access to: Interstate 80; the Garden State Parkway; US Route 46; and, Routes 3, 21 and 208.  For those who prefer public transportation, NJ Transit provides bus and rail service to Hoboken and Secaucus Junction for connections to New York City and Newark Liberty International Airport.

Of the City’s 3.2 square miles, more than 1/3 of the area has been preserved for parks and open space. This part of Passaic’s city planning has helped attract younger families seeking a good work-life balance. The City provides just that, with space for recreational activities, social gatherings and cultural events.

Paterson: A Proud History of Manufacturing

Passaic County is also the home of the City of Paterson. The largest city in the County, Paterson is Passaic’s County seat and is situated approximately 30 miles west of New York City.

Paterson was the first planned industrial city in the U.S. It was founded in 1792 after Alexander Hamilton visited the 77-foot-high Great Falls of the Passaic River in 1778.  He was impressed by the falls and the area’s potential for industry. When Hamilton was the nation’s Secretary of Treasury, he selected and planned the site for industry, which he called a “national manufactory.” The City is often credited as the birthplace of the U.S. Industrial Revolution. Silk, locomotives, firearms and textiles were all manufactured in Paterson.

Paterson continues to be an attractive location for manufacturers, due to its proximity to New York City and access to major highways, including: Interstate 80; the Garden State Parkway; US Route 46; and, Routes 3, 4, 19, 20 and 208. In addition, the City’s close proximity to the Port of New York and New Jersey and Newark International Airport make it ideal for companies that require global access.

Its infrastructure and connectivity also make the City a desirable business location. In 2014, Paterson was ranked the #6 Small American City of the Future, Infrastructure, and the #3 Small American City of the Future, Connectivity for 2015/2016 by fDi Magazine.

Woman-owned Accurate Box Company, a manufacturer of high-quality corrugated boxes and packaging material, sees the advantages of a Paterson location: It’s investing $20 million to expand and renovate its 30-year-old facility, enlarging its 287,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing operation to 365,000 square feet. Accurate was awarded $40 million in Grow NJ tax incentives over 10 years, tied to the creation of 51 new jobs and the retention of 224 more.

Full of ethnic diversity, the shops and restaurants in Paterson’s neighborhoods cater to the tastes and cultures of their residents. The City draws people from across the globe, creating a lovely multi-cultural environment. Paterson’s population includes: the 3rd-largest Dominican-American population in the U.S.; the largest Turkish-American immigrant community in the nation; as well as African-American, Costa Rican, Puerto Rican, Peruvian and Bangladeshi communities.

Trenton: New Jersey’s Capital City

The epicenter of New Jersey government and politics is in the City of Trenton, the State’s Capital City.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, Trenton was a major manufacturing center, with rubber, iron, steel, and ceramics contributing to its economic health. To this day, the Trenton Bridge still bears the slogan “Trenton Makes. The World Takes.”

Manufacturing continues to contribute to Trenton’s economy, but it’s today’s major private-sector employers that make the City fruitful. Trenton’s largest employers include: The Hibbert Group; NJ Manufacturers Insurance; Capital Health Systems; Parsons Advanced Technologies; and, Thomas Edison State University.

20,000+ state workers work in and around the New Jersey State House.

Trenton’s Perfect Location Draws Business and Tourism:

Looking for a strategic place to settle your company? Trenton may be your company’s perfect location.

Mid-way between New York City and Philadelphia it is an ideal place for companies that require access to major U.S. East Coast cities, the rest of the nation, and, the world.

Travelers in Trenton can roll out of town on an Amtrak train to any number of U.S. cities, including Washington D.C., New York City and Boston. Local rail travel is provided by NJ Transit, which offers commuter rail service to New York City and throughout the State. SEPTA’s regional rail provides easy access to Philadelphia and other points of interest in nearby Pennsylvania.

Those who prefer to drive into or out of Trenton can choose among major highways, including Route 1 and Interstates 95, 295, and 195.

By air, travelers can fly from or to Trenton Mercer Airport, minutes from downtown and a hub for Frontier Airlines flights to several Southeast and Midwest destinations. Newark Liberty International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport also are within reach by car or train.

Looking for a go-to destination full of fun for the family? Trenton will keep them occupied year round. Visit the New Jersey State Museum, Sun National Bank Center and Arm & Hammer Park – home to the Trenton Thunder, the New York Yankees’ AA baseball team.

Interested in revolution-era history? Then Trenton’s the place. New Jersey is considered the “Crossroads of the Revolution,” and in Trenton, the American Revolution is still a living, breathing part of the city. Each year during Patriots’ Week – from the day after Christmas through New Year’s Eve – thousands of visitors come to the city to celebrate the life and times of Revolutionary War-era Trenton. Colonial art, music, literature, battlefield re-enactments, and living history events commemorate the important role the city played in the American Revolution.

Then there’s The Old Barracks, a fascinating piece of history. The structure was built in 1758 by the Colony of New Jersey during the French and Indian War, as quarters for British regulars. It witnessed the Battle of Trenton in 1776, the turning point of the American Revolution. A group of patriotic women, determined not to let this only remaining example of barracks from that war-time era disappear, bought and reopened the site as the Old Barrack Museum in 1903. They gave it to the State in 1914 to preserve the building and grounds. The Old Barracks still serves as an educational center for Colonial and American history and stands as the last remaining structure of its kind.

With museum and historic sites, affordable sports and entertainment venues like these, your family and your guests can have a great time.

Newark: The State’s Urban Transit Hub

Newark is the largest city in the State, located in the heart of New Jersey’s Gateway Region. With a vast highway and public transportation network, plus top-tier international air and sea ports, Newark is a perfect location for businesses to flourish.

More than 50 Fortune 500 companies prove it. They have all chosen locations in the City, including such global leaders as PSEG, Prudential Financial, Audible, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, and Panasonic Corporation of North America. Each has established their headquarters here.

The Easiest Access

Newark’s transportation options were and continue to be one of its big draws. Ours is the only U.S. state whose air, rail and port facilities are within 1 square mile of each other, and Newark is the hub.

Start with Newark Liberty International Airport, one of the busiest in the U.S. How busy? In 2014, Newark International saw: carriers fly more than 35 million passengers in and out of the city; move 666,841 tons of air cargo; and, 36,366 air mail tons.

The airport has 1.3 million square feet of cargo space and is the overnight small package center for the New York/ New Jersey region, offering a full range of short-, medium- and long-haul services to domestic and international destinations.

Getting to and from Liberty International by rail makes flying even easier. AirTrain Newark supplies service to the Airport’s train station, enabling passengers to hop on to NJ Transit or Amtrak for connections to New York City, Philadelphia, other points across New Jersey, and beyond. AirTrain Newark also takes travelers between passenger terminals and connects them to the airport’s parking lots and rental car areas.

In addition, PATH and Newark Light Rail offer exceptional options for rail commuters and business travelers. New York City is only 20 minutes away by train.  A number of major highways, including Interstates 95, 280 and 78; the Garden State Parkway; U.S. Routes 1/9 and 22; and Route 21 provide connections to major cities across North America.

Newark also is home to the 3rd largest seaport in North America and the biggest maritime cargo center on the East Coast. The Port of New York and New Jersey offers easy goods transport to national and international markets. When combined with the region’s air cargo network, the deep-water ports of Newark, Elizabeth and Bayonne serve as a North American gateway for international freight and a leading domestic cargo hub.

Want to travel but not leave Newark? Then you’ve come to the right place. Use broadband. The development of state-of-the-art fiber infrastructure in the city has resulted in the availability of broadband speeds 250 times faster than the average – an asset that continues to attract high-tech companies. Downtown Newark is home to the 3rd largest telco hotel in the U.S., housing operations for 58 leading network and service providers.

A Perfect Place to Hire Superior Employees.

Businesses in Newark have access to a highly-skilled and diverse workforce, fueled by 7 colleges and universities. The roster includes: Rutgers University-Newark; New Jersey Institute of Technology; Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (formerly UMDNJ); Seton Hall University School of Law; Berkley College; Pillar College; and, Essex County College. In total, these higher education institutions teach more than 40,000 students.

New Jersey’s Urban Enterprise Zones: Revitalizing Urban Communities

The Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program fosters economic revitalization in designated urban communities by offering incentives that encourage businesses to create private sector jobs through public and private investment.

Approximately 6,800 certified businesses in 32 UEZs benefit from a number of tax and other financial incentives, including:

  • Reduced Sales Tax – currently 3.5%
  • Tax Free Purchases on certain items such as capital equipment, facility expansions, and upgrades
  • Financial Assistance from agencies such as NJEDA, if they qualify.
  • Subsidized unemployment insurance costs for employees who earn less than $4,500 per quarter
  • Energy Sales Tax Exemption for qualified manufacturing firms with at least 250 employees, 50% of whom are working in manufacturing
  • Tax Credit Options (owners may elect one of the following)
    • Up to $1,500 for new, permanent full-time employees hired
    • Up to 8% Corporate Business Tax credit on qualified investments.

For more information – or to get certified as a UEZ business – visit the State of New Jersey, Department of Community Affairs’ website.

Urban Enterprize Zone



what can choose New Jersey do for you?

Margie Piliere headshot

Margie Piliere Chief Economic
Development Officer

Peter Coats headshot

Peter Coats Economic Development Associate,
Manufacturing and Food

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