Business leaders voice support for Murphy’s incentive proposals

In a series of statements provided by the Governor’s Office on Wednesday, several business leaders supported Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed tax incentive programs.

They include:

James Barrood, CEO and president of the New Jersey Tech Council:

The Tech Council has been investing in New Jersey startups for nearly two decades and we strongly believe that, through its self-sustaining nature and mentor-centric focus, the proposed New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund will play a major role reshaping New Jersey’s innovation economy and propelling the Garden State into a national leader in this vital sector. We wholeheartedly welcome the proposed fund and see it as a game-changer for the investor community.

Jay Bhatti, cofounder at BrandProject LP:

As an investor and board member in two leading New Jersey tech startups, Vydia and Gridless Power, I find the governor’s proposal having huge potential to positively impact New Jersey’s innovation economy. For too long, young companies have not had the incentives, resources or access to senior leadership from the state that bigger companies have enjoyed. By making it easier for young/small businesses to access incentives from the EDA, we can ensure that these companies can get big and contribute to the state and their local community. Gov. Murphy’s pro-growth agenda with small businesses and startups is critical to the future of New Jersey’s reemergence as a hub for innovation. In fact, after his speech, I spoke with a few New Jersey VCs, and we all agreed this is important for the state and the tech industry. We stand in strong support with Gov. Murphy and Tim Sullivan at the (Economic Development Authority).”

Jim Gunton, managing partner of Tech Council Ventures:

The New Jersey startup tech community is replete with talented entrepreneurs and innovators. Gov. Murphy’s Innovation Evergreen Fund is exactly the catalyst needed to compete with the nation’s other hotbeds.

John Harmon, CEO and president of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey:

Gov. Murphy’s thoughtful approach to incentives will help to ensure equitable, inclusive economic development that will benefit more New Jerseyans. Supporting businesses that offer employment opportunities in high-growth sectors and drive investment in communities where it’s most needed will lead to improved quality of life for New Jersey families. Lastly, good stewardship of taxpayers’ dollars achieves its objectives when accountability is baked into the process, resources and opportunities are distributed equitably, and the transformational effects of the investment are experienced by all stakeholders.

Debbie Hart, president of BioNJ:

At BioNJ, we support a strong package of incentives that has the ability to attract and retain companies at all levels. We are hopeful that programs such as the Innovation Evergreen Fund will make their way to reality, along with a broad array of other incentives, so that our biopharmaceutical companies and future companies can look to New Jersey as a place in which to grow and prosper.

Hosea Johnson, chairman of the board of directors of the AACCNJ:

Gov. Murphy’s presentation in Cherry Hill clearly articulated policy positions that create a fairer economy for New Jersey taxpayers, workers and the business community. The governor provides optimism that we can have a fair economic democracy in New Jersey, rather than policy that concentrates wealth in the hands of a very few. He also encouraged the New Jersey business community to practice a corporate statesmanship that truly will lift all boats. I share the governor’s positions that we must support our labor unions and new forms of labor associations to give workers and taxpayers more voice. There are many things that can be done. The point is to begin.

Anne-Marie Maman, executive director of Princeton Entrepreneurship Council:

With the increase of great technologies being spun out of Princeton University, and with high-growth-potential companies filling up the Princeton Innovation Center Biolabs, we are looking forward to the impact of the New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund. Increased availability of venture funding for high quality technology companies will help to push innovation forward in New Jersey.

Carlos Medina, CEO and president of Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey:

The mission of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey is to help position diverse entrepreneurs and business owners for success. Gov. Murphy’s vision for incentives that target businesses of all sizes and foster a supportive business climate aligns with the chamber’s goals and will help to extend more inclusive opportunities to New Jersey’s 120,000 Hispanic-owned businesses.

Aaron Price, founder of Propelify:

As a leader among the startup community, I’m tired of watching my founder friends move across the river or across the country. Finally, we have a leader in Gov. Murphy who understands that the startup and innovation economy in New Jersey is both inventing our future and employing our neighbors. In particular, I’m excited about the how the Evergreen Fund will infuse the startup ecosystem with capital to draw smart and experienced investors with best-in-class companies to the state.”

Suuchi Ramesh, CEO of Suuchi Inc.:

Much of the success we are experiencing here is a result of the state’s logistical advantages and the availability to recruit diverse, skilled employees that can hit the ground running. Gov. Murphy’s focus on building a talent pool and business climate that support the jobs of the future will enable high-growth sectors such as advanced manufacturing and modern technology to flourish. We are excited to continue to grow here in the Garden State and expand our customer base.

Stephen Socolof, managing partner, Tech Council Ventures:

The proposed New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund will bring more capital for growth to the most promising startups in the state by providing matching capital to our local leading venture funds like Tech Council Ventures and by attracting venture funds from outside the state to invest here with the promise of the additional matching capital from the Innovation Evergreen Fund.

Chris Sugden, managing partner, Edison Partners:

Public and private partnership supporting New Jersey’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is a win-win-win for the state, its investors and our innovation economy. Earlier-stage entrepreneurs have an identified need and the New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund and EDA are looking to put investment dollars to good, right and useful work. We’re very proud to add that our own last two growth investments were in two such homegrown New Jersey tech companies and local employers: Suuchi Inc. and Northpass.

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