Applications Open for Emerge Job Creation Tax Credit Program
Applications are now open for the Emerge Program, a new jobs-based tax credit program created under the New Jersey Economic Recovery Act (ERA) of 2020 and administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). The Emerge Program, which replaced the Grow NJ Program, makes tax credits available to projects that invest private capital into the state and create jobs, with a focus on the State’s priority sectors.
The Emerge Program application, as well as complete rules, eligibility requirements, award sizes, and other information, are available at https://www.njeda.com/emerge.
The Emerge Program is part of the suite of programs created under the ERA for small and large businesses, as well as non-profits, that can apply for tax credits to support projects that meet minimum capital investment, job creation or retention, and other requirements. Projects can qualify to receive tax credits over a seven-year eligibility period, starting after the NJEDA confirms the applicant has completed its investment, employment, and other eligibility requirements.
Base tax credits will range from $500 to $4,000 per job, per year, depending on location and other aspects of the project. Bonuses are also available based on certain criteria such as project location, industry, and alignment with other policy objectives.
To be eligible for tax credits under the Emerge Program, projects must create or retain a minimum number of jobs. The job creation requirement is lower if a business is primarily engaged in a targeted industry or if a business is a “small business” as defined in the program rules. Additionally, at least 80 percent of incented employees’ work time must be spent in New Jersey, and the business must commit to stay in the qualified business facility for at least 1.5 times the duration of the eligibility period. A minimum capital investment in the qualified business facility is required based on the use. Small businesses are not required to make capital investments.
All projects that receive tax credits under the Emerge Program must meet minimum environmental standards, meet prevailing wage obligations for all construction workers and building service workers, and provide health care for employees.
The Emerge Program is capped with the Aspire Program – a separate ERA program designed to catalyze community redevelopment – at $1.1 billion per year over six years. To ensure the benefits of the program are distributed equitably throughout the state, the Emerge and Aspire Program cap is split between northern and southern counties for the first three years of the respective programs. Any unused tax credits for a particular year may be carried forward to the subsequent year subject to geographical and amount limitations in place at that time.
In addition to the Emerge Program, the ERA creates a suite of programs that includes tax credits to incentivize job creation, new construction, and revitalization of brownfields and historic properties; financial resources for small businesses; support for new supermarkets and healthy food retailers in food desert communities; new funding opportunities for early-stage companies in New Jersey; and support for the growing film and digital media industry. More information about these programs is available at https://njeda.com/economicrecoveryact.