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This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the September 15, 2004 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Life in the Fast Lane
Shortly after Governor James McGreevey made his surprise announcement that he would resign his post, the state’s third annual economic conference was abruptly canceled. Set for Friday, September 10, it was to feature the governor as keynote speaker. (The conference, sponsored by the New Jersey Commerce and Economic Growth Commission, has been rescheduled for, November 12.)
Nevertheless, the engines of state government continue to pump out economic initiatives that had already been put in place. Just announced: The New Jersey Economic Development Authority will join PNC Bank to offer up to $100 million in loans at below-market rates for businesses that grow and keep jobs in the state.
Called the New Jersey Job Growth Loan Fund, this program represents the single, largest bank commitment of its kind in New Jersey’s history, says EDA’s CEO Caren S. Franzini. “Never before has a financial institution committed such a significant level of its own funds to specifically target job growth and business development in partnership with the EDA.”
The below-market interest rates — floating at prime (currently 4.50 percent) minus 2.5 percent, or fixed at the five-year U.S. Treasury rate, currently 3.5 percent. Half of any single loan will be guaranteed by the EDA, which has committed $10 million to the program.
Applications for the loan program will be available starting October 1 at PNC Bank branches, or at 877-287-2654, option 3, and also at www.pnc.com (or www.njeda.com).
Successful applicants will have annual sales of $20 million or less and will seek loans of between $100,000 and $2 million to purchase equipment or real estate. Applicants must submit projects that are planned to create one job for every $50,000 borrowed. Manufacturers, however, need not create jobs — they need only promise to maintain jobs. Preference will be given to industries and geographic areas currently targeted by the EDA for special attention.
“When economic conditions are favorable for growth, such as lower interest rates and greater availability of capital, job gains are close behind,” says Jeff Schmidt, PNC manager and senior vice president of Business Banking.
Another state initiative: Governor McGreevey had promised to commit $10 million to fund life sciences discoveries. As promised, State Treasurer John McCormac is using the $10 million from taxes collected through the revised Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP) funds to help the biotech industry.
With BEIP, businesses who create extra jobs get a break on their taxes, and some of the extra monies that the jobs generate will go to this program.
A Philadelphia-based venture capital fund, QuakerBioVentures, has been chosen to manage the $40 million Garden State Life Sciences Fund, which will help finance early to mid-stage biotechnology companies in New Jersey. There is no formal application process for the fund but companies can start applying to the EDA.
Though its headquarters is in Philadelphia, Quaker BioVentures has an office in Moorestown, and to have one foot in each state will likely be useful. That’s because Quaker is supposed to match New Jersey’s dollars three for one from outside equity investors. And though New Jersey likes to talk about its wealthy investors, it will certainly help to have great contacts in Philadelphia.
Quaker was chosen because of its strong track record and because it would commit to investing only in firms based in New Jersey or were willing to locate in New Jersey. “Quaker, which has total commitments of $275 million, will help us meet the critical needs of emerging life sciences companies in New Jersey for financial support,” says EDA’s Franzini.
Garibaldi Morford & Dodds, 163 Nassau Street, Princeton 08542. 609-452-8880; fax, 609-924-9778. Home page: www.garibaldi.com
Peter M. Dodds of Keller, Dodds & Woodworth Inc. has joined Robert T. Morford of the Garibaldi Group, and their new commercial real estate office is now named Garibaldi, Morford & Dodds. Morford has moved from 1 Palmer Square to the Dodds office on Nassau Street office, and there is a new phone and fax.
An accounting major at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Dodds had worked at Ernst & Whinney and Keller Realty Associates. Morford is a graduate of the University of Delaware.
Headquartered in Chatham, the Garibaldi Group is a member of CORFAC International, which consists of privately-held commercial real estate firms in 100 major North American markets, or in an international alliance.
Woodworth Realty LLC, 344 Wall Street, Research Park, Princeton 08540. Buzz Woodworth. 609-921-3339; fax, 609-921-3337.
Buzz Woodworth has left Keller Dodds & Woodworth on Nassau Street to open his own commercial real estate office in Research Park, and he will focus on tenant representation. A Princeton native and 1977 graduate of Middlebury College, he had worked for Helmsley Spear on Herrontown Road before joining Peter Dodds.
Proximities Inc., 1335 Gateway Drive, Suite 2005, Melbourne 32901. John W. Lerch, CEO. tel, 321-723-2985; fax, 321-821-0261. Home page: www.proximities.com
Thomas Peff and John Lerch have moved their firm, Proximities, from Forrestal Drive on the Forrestal campus to just south of the Kennedy Space Center and Cocoa Beach. “Coincidentally, we are just a few blocks from Route 1, just a little further south,” says Peff. Proximities has radio frequency identification cards and wrist bands for entertainment venues (U.S. 1, May 14, 2003).
Stuart Robson, 90, on September 7. A former Princeton tax assessor, he taught at Princeton Day School.
Benedict Yedlin, 81, on September 10. A real estate developer and building contractor, he founded the Yedlin Company, which built Redding Terrace, one of the first affordable housing developments in Princeton. A memorial service will be in November.
For the complete calendar events in central New Jersey, go to www.princetoninfo.com/us1evts.htm
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