LI, NYC businesses wooed by New Jersey again

Choose New Jersey CEO Tracye McDaniel shows the advertising poster on Feb. 26, 2014, that will appear in Long Island Rail Road cars and stations beginning March 10, 2014. Her office is in Princeton, N.J.

New Jersey, armed with a new package of tax breaks, is making another play for businesses on Long Island and in New York City to move there, officials said Wednesday.

Starting March 10, Long Island Rail Road cars and stations will be filled with poster advertisements urging companies to "Grow in New Jersey."

Radio spots with the same message began airing last week on three AM stations: WCBS 880, 1010 WINS and 770 WABC.


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The $212,000 ad campaign, which also covers the city's northern suburbs, Philadelphia and southwestern Connecticut, is aimed at "getting the word out" about Grow NJ incentives, said Tracye McDaniel, chief executive of the not-for-profit booster group Choose New Jersey Inc.

Since September, the Garden State has given out $270 million in tax breaks to 16 expanding companies that have promised to create 2,578 jobs in the state and retain another 1,895.

Recipients include Wenner Bread Products of Bayport, which plans to move manufacturing from Bayport to New Brunswick, N.J., in return for $30.3 million in tax cuts over 10 years. The company, which makes breads and frozen dough for supermarket bakeries and restaurants, has pledged to create 253 jobs.

Wenner also has agreed to keep about 170 workers in Ronkonkoma because of tax help and utility bill reductions from New York State and Suffolk County.

"We're getting a great reaction in the tri-state area and in Long Island from companies who are interested in sitting down with us," McDaniel said, noting that Forbes magazine is moving its headquarters to Jersey City from Manhattan.

New York and New Jersey had the worst and second-worst tax climates last year, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation in Washington.

The Grow NJ program, signed into law last fall, is more generous than its predecessor, covers the entire state and impacts businesses of all sizes. Depending on where it locates, a firm can receive up to $300 million in tax breaks over time.

Local economic developers have said that New Jersey has become as much a threat to lure businesses away as are the Carolinas, Texas and Florida.

High-profile companies such as natural foods purveyor Hain Celestial Group and investor communications provider Broadridge Financial Solutions stayed on Long Island after getting government aid, but each was wooed by New Jersey.

"It's a constant battle," said Joseph J. Kearney of the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency.

New York State has been rolling out its START-UP NY program for companies that locate on college campuses. Kenneth Adams, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's economic development czar, said, "We're focused on what we have to offer here in New York, including START-UP NY . . . that puts an offer on the table that no other state has: zero taxes for 10 years for businesses and their employees."

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