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EDA approves incentives for first projects under new Grow NJ program

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Born out of the landmark Economic Opportunity Act, the newly updated Grow NJ incentive program saw its first projects receive approval Tuesday morning from the state Economic Development Authority.

Five different projects were approved Tuesday under the new program to combine for roughly $92.9 million in incentives that the EDA believes will lead to the creation of 900 new full-time jobs and the retention of another 925 full-time jobs.

"The revised Grow NJ program provides the state with an even more powerful too to create and maintain jobs," EDA CEO Michele Brown said in a release. "Together with the revised Economic Redevelopment and Growth program, New Jersey is primed for even more growth. These programs support the Christie administration's priority to continue to enhance the state's business friendly environment and remain competitive in the Northeast."

Valeant Pharmaceuticals, a Montreal-based company which maintains its U.S. headquarters in Bridgewater, was approved for the largest of the five awards with a $39.5 million grant over 10 years.

The company, according to the EDA, is currently deciding whether or not to stay in New Jersey or move its national headquarters to Rochester, N.Y.

Another projects that were approved for Grow NJ awards include:

-$24.3 million over 10 years for Newark-based IDT Corporation to maintain its headquarters there over a location in Pearl River, N.Y.

-$13.1 million over 10 years for New York-based VF Sportswear to entice it to move to a new facility in Jersey City rather than another location in Norwalk, Conn.

-$12.7 million over 10 years for Mt. Laurel-based WebiMax to encourage it to move to and expand its operations in Camden rather than to another selected site in Newark, Del.

-$3.2 million over an unknown number of years for Neptune-based Marathon Data Operating Co. to maintain 74 existing jobs in a new facility in Neptune rather than move them to another facility in Boston.

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