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EDA approves plan for program to attract angel financing for tech startups

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The state's angel investor tax credit program, a move intended to spur growth in emerging technology industries, will launch July 1.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority today approved implementation of the credit, the same day it approved a program offering low-interest loans of up to $5 million to businesses and nonprofits damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

EDA CEO Michele Brown said the angel investor program will nurture New Jersey's early-stage technology businesses. The credit was authorized by the Angel Investor Tax Credit Act that Gov. Chris Christie signed in January.

"This program will serve to strengthen New Jersey's competitive edge, incentivize significant private investment in our most promising companies and create jobs of the 21stcentury," Brown said in a news release.

The program provides credits against New Jersey corporation business or gross income tax for 10 percent of a qualified investment in an emerging technology business with physical presence in New Jersey that conducts research, manufacturing or technology commercialization in the state. Credits will be available to taxpayers who invested in an emerging technology business in 2012 or after.

To qualify, technology business must employ fewer than 225 employees, 75 percent of whom must work in New Jersey. Businesses must also conduct at least one of the following in New Jersey. Eligible technologies include advanced computing, advanced materials, biotechnology, electronic devices, IT, life sciences, medical devices, mobile communications, and renewable energy.

Credits will be capped at $500,000 per tax year for each qualified investment. The total program is subject to an annual cap of $25 million. For more information, visit njeda.com/angeltaxcredit.

The loan program approved by the EDA today enables the state to administer $100 million of New Jersey's disaster recovery allocation provided by the federal government. It is the second Community Development Block Grant initiative aimed at storm recovery.

Called the Stronger New Jersey Business Loan Program, it applies to businesses and nonprofits that suffered physical damage from Hurricane Sandy, as well as businesses looking to expand within storm-slammed communities. It will focus nine counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union.

To be eligible, applicants must either demonstrate they positively impact the economy through capital investment or jobs, or demonstrate they suffered at least $5,000 in physical damage or losses resulting from the storm. Businesses outside the nine-county area must demonstrate they suffered $5,000 in damages or losses.

Beginning July 1, businesses and nonprofits can call the EDA's Sandy hotline at (855) 726-3929 to apply. For more information, visit application.njeda.com/strongernjbusiness.

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