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GSGZ – The Business Lease and Business Improvement Incentive

In New Jersey’s committed effort to boost growth throughout the state, especially in under developed communities, there are a number of programs available to incentivize businesses. Two of these programs, the Business Lease Incentive and the Business Improvement Incentive, are administered by the Economic Development Authority (“EDA”) and are designed to promote occupancy in identified areas, referred to as the Garden State Growth Zones (“GSGZ”).

In identifying the eligible areas for this program, the EDA worked closely with targeted cities to align the purpose of this program with the existing redevelopment plans or zoning ordinances, and identified the following cities as the GSGZ: Atlantic City, Camden, Passaic, Paterson, and Trenton. Both programs require first-floor occupancy of industrial, retail or a commercial corridor in the identified area. Additionally, both are performance-based incentives, requiring evidence that the incentive terms have been met prior to disbursement.

The GSGZ – Business Lease Incentive program reimburses businesses 15% of their annual lease payment for a two-year period. Businesses applying for this credit must be planning to lease between 500 and 5,000 square feet for a minimum of a five-year lease term. Certain incentive requirements for reimbursement include certification from the landlord that the lease agreement is not in monetary or material default, the applying entity occupied the location for the full year, and this incentive (plus other government grants) does not exceed 80% of the total lease payment.

The GSGZ – Business Improvement Incentive is a reimbursement program of up to 50% of a total improvement project’s cost. The program requires a minimum project cost of $5,000 and reimbursement shall not exceed $20,000. It requires that projects comply with New Jersey prevailing wage requirements with a completion date of 12 months from the date of the grant, further enhancing growth in the state. Some of the incentive terms for reimbursement include: proof of completion and payment, certification of project completion and a site visit from the EDA.

As with all incentive programs, there are certain eligibility requirements for inclusion. To learn more about the requirements for these programs, or other state incentives, please fill out the form below.

Author:  Shawn Henderson, CPA  |   shenderson@withum.com

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