The New Jersey legislature is looking at establishing a Main Street Economic Growth Program.
Assemblyman Dan Benson says his bill is intended to encourage business development in small towns.
“It’s meant to really help out a lot of our smaller, older municipalities that don’t have the ability to build out like so many of our larger communities. Really their whole thriving economic base is dependent on a downtown area. So this bill provides a small tax incentive for those that want to grow their business in a downtown. If they’re increasing hiring, they’ll get a tax break.”
Benson says towns with a population of less than 11,000 and that are more than 70 percent developed would be eligible.
“Many of these have aging infrastructure. Many of these downtowns have seen better days. So all it really needs is just a little bit of priming the pump to get some economic development. We’ve seen it places like Cranbury in my district, Red Bank, and other great downtowns that have come back, but those tend to be a little bit slightly larger municipalities that have an established track record.”
Benson says the program would provide financial and technical assistance to businesses that’s often not available in smaller municipalities. He believes that could help revitalize their downtown areas.