Smack In the middle of his four-year tenure as governor, Phil Murphy faced the COVID-19 health crisis which in New Jersey has now resulted in just under a million confirmed cases and around 27 000 deaths.
He issued many executive orders to help and protect residents, while many of the same executive orders have created significant economic challenges for New Jersey businesses. On the other hand, he and his administration have also provided assistance to small businesses during this time, giving them some $ 1 billion in economic aid. Through it all, the governor maintained his mantra that “public health creates economic health”.
Now Murphy is running for a second term in the face of the pandemic. No other governor of the state has fgone through such a crisis in over 100 years. At a reception of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) Legislative Employers’ Committee held last summer, Murphy addressed the issue in front of a room full of business people. “That would be an understatementent to say the last [year and a half] were difficult. We have felt sorrow and have witnessed the inequalities that the virus has exposed. We have all witnessed the hardships our communities, businesses, neighbors and families have faced. And, we lost over 26,000 blessingsd members of our New Jersey family, ”said Murphy.
Despite these difficulties, Murphy is optimistic about the state’s future, saying the recovery begins on Main Street for small businesses in the state. “Through our partnership with the Legislative Assembly, we havered that the federal assistance we received went directly to the small businesses that needed it most, ”said Murphy.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority, for example, has given tens of thousands of small businesses “loans, grants, and more.”pes of capital during the pandemic, ”Murphy said, adding:“ We also know that more is needed to ensure that our main streets remain healthy and viable as we seek to emerge from the pandemic. “
He said that the incentives presented in the New Jersey Economic RecovThe ery Act (NJERA) of 2020, which was signed earlier this year, reflects the principles of fairness. “The policies we have implemented are built on the framework of a stronger, fairer economy that works for both our residents and our businesses. ” Wallphy told the audience.
Among the NJERA programs that Murphy spoke about was the NJ Innovation Evergreen Fund. “This will combine state resources with private venture capital investments in a wide range of New Jersey-based start-ups. It will be a game changer in our efforts to make the state a global center for new innovative companies working at the forefront of the future economy. … New Jersey has the talent, the location and the good ideas, but we lacked the capital, especially the business capital, ”he said.
The governor commented on NJERA’s Historic Properties Reinvestment Program, which is a competitive $ 50 million tax credit program – to leverage the similar federal historic program – to support transformative rehabilitation projects in iidentified historic properties. “As seen in other states, we know that repurposed historic buildings create new homes for businesses, while strengthening the core of a community and honoring [a town’s] past, ”said the governor.
Adding that new businesses will be connected and supported by more reliable transportation and energy infrastructure, Murphy said the state is embarking on the largest infrastructure investment program in state history. “By working in partnership with the Biden administration, we reimagour entire transportation network, from the new North Portal Bridge, which has received the green light, to the Gateway program with two new tunnels under the Hudson River, ”said the Governor.
He said the state’s future will be fueled by bold ideas and a shared commitment to move forward in rapidly developing the clean energy economy. “This is a once in a generation opportunity,” he said. “We are consolidating our position as the national leader in offshore wind power with the launch of the New Jersey Wind Port, which will make our state a hub not only for the installation of offshore wind technologies, but also for the manufacturing and logistics that accompany the industry.
In addition to helping businesses, Murphy pointed out that the state was able to give nearly $ 320 million in direct tax refunds to more than 760,000 working and middle-class families across the state. “On top of that, we are expanding the child and dependent care tax credit and the earned income tax credit,” he said.
Murphy pointed out that after the most recent economic downturn (the Great Recession), “short-sighted and unsuccessful ways of doing things led New Jersey to one of the slowest recoveries of any American state. I share with everyone in this room a vision for a very different endingult this time of the pandemic.
“Over the past three and a half years, we have been clear on how, where and why we would invest. we have restored to our public finances and strengthened the foundations of our economic base. As we come out of this pandemic, [our] decisions are even more important and impactful.