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Corzine to Authorize $120M for N.J. Businesses That Hire & Invest

corzine1.jpgNJ Governor Jon Corzine today is expected to authorize as much as $120 million in grants to businesses that expand or hire more employees within two years.

As part of his economic stimulus package, Corzine will sign a bill to offer incentives to sustain small businesses during the recession. He is scheduled to sign the measure this afternoon in Woodbridge, at the New Jersey Business and Industry Association’s 2008 Public Policy Forum.

Last month, the NJBIA released a survey showing New Jersey employers – most of them with 49 or fewer workers – are gloomy about the financial condition of their businesses and believe the economy will only get worse next year.

Only 17 percent of business owners surveyed said they expect to expand payrolls in 2009, a hiring outlook even weaker than the 2001 recession. Nearly 20 percent said they expect to shrink payrolls. The number of businesses that expect to hire more workers is at the second-lowest level of the past 28 years. And over the past 25 years, only the 1991 survey has produced a more negative employment outlook.

Corzine and lawmakers hope to improve that scenario by establishing an InvestNJ Business Grant Program within the state Economic Development Agency. It will give qualifying businesses grants of $3,000 for each full-time job they create for at least one year, starting this month and ending Jan. 1, 2011. A business can receive up to $500,000, and the entire initiative will dole out up to $50 million in grants.

Another $70 million in grants are also being made available, including for an initiative that will pay up to 7 percent of a business’s capital investment for those that qualify.

(Source: NJ Star Ledger)

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