Trenton – In an effort to claw back thousands of jobs lost during the COVID-19 outbreak and boost New Jersey’s economy going forward, the Senate today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez and Senate President Steve Sweeney that would provide incentives for small businesses to hire unemployed workers.
Under the bill creating the New Jobs for New Jersey Act, businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees would be eligible for a refundable tax credit against the corporation business tax or the gross income tax for each new worker hired above the number of workers employed in the previous year. The credits can be applied for up to four tax years, and employers would be able to sign up for incentives for new hires through December 2023.
“New Jersey’s working class has been devastated by the pandemic, with more than 2 million residents filing unemployment claims since mid-March of 2020,” said Senator Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/Gloucester). “This tax credit will target those businesses most impacted by the pandemic, and in particular in the service and entertainment industries. Through this program, we can assist businesses as they fight to stabilize their companies while hiring back laid off workers.”
“Because of the shutdown, many beloved local businesses, including smaller retailers and family-owned restaurants, were forced to close. Tens of thousands of our friends and neighbors, including shop clerks, truck drivers, bartenders, dishwashers and other hard workers who form the backbone of local economies lost their jobs,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland).
“Many of these businesses operate on small margins. We may never bring back all of the lost jobs or lost profits, but the New Jobs for New Jersey Act will give shop owners, restaurant entrepreneurs and other businesses a fighting chance of making a recovery sooner rather than later,” Senator Sweeney said.
“New Jersey’s economy thrives if businesses are flourishing and able to grow the state’s workforce. As New Jersey begins its economic recovery, this bill helps businesses climb out from the hole created by the pandemic while providing an avenue for unemployed New Jerseyans to re-enter the workforce,” said Christina Renna, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey. “This is precisely the type of innovative program that New Jersey needs as we look ahead to a post-pandemic world.”
The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 34-0.