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Industry Insights

The ideal state for business? It's New Jersey

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It's no secret that businesses have been leaving New Jersey. And others are weighing their options, with an eye toward lower taxes, loser regulations, and perhaps even warmer weather.

Those that left probably made a mistake; those that are considering a move should stay.

As a New Jersey-based entrepreneur since 1949, I’ve learned some things while operating my commercial real estate firm. Very simply, the Garden State is our nation’s finest location for conducting business. And while pop culture has made our home state a frequent target, reality is different than the jokes. From the highlands in the north to our famous shoreline, New Jersey’s business environment is unmatched.

As an example, consider Holmdel’s “Bell Works.” This two million-square-foot structure has been reconfigured into an indoor village featuring retail, office, entertainment, and future residential space. It’s an environment that helps illustrate the intense demand for industrial and office space throughout the state.

Businesses benefit from access to exceptional sea ports, from Port Newark, to the world-class facilities in New York and Philadelphia. And with the raising of the Bayonne Bridge, larger ships can now reach our terminals and service the companies opening in and relocating here. Four of the nation’s business airports – Newark, LaGuardia, JFK, and Philadelphia – are at our figurative fingertips, plus the state is dotted with efficient private airports. Factor in all the highways and rail lines, and it’s hard to imagine any location providing more varied shipping options.

Overall, we’ve been gifted with remarkable geography. The state is sandwiched between New York – the planet’s most influential city – and Philadelphia, with its 1.5 million residents. As a result, a New Jersey-based business is included within both the first and seventh largest metropolitan areas in the country – and this provides a vast pool of prospective customers and employees.

Our workforce is exceptionally well-prepared. According to one survey, New Jersey’s public schools are the second best in the U.S., while a separate 2017 study identifies our residents as the nation’s 10th best-educated. And, according to 2016 research, we’re the fourth most affluent state, meaning those who live here have the income to buy things, whether real estate, consumer goods, or luxury items.

For anyone who has decided to conduct business here, there’s an incomparable choice of available office buildings, retail locations, warehouses, and distribution centers. And I’d know, having sold and managed such structures throughout the state for six decades. Whatever type of building a particular business requires, there’s a perfectly suited facility here.

New Jersey offers exceptional guidance for all types of businesses, with an emphasis on state government initiatives related to finances and business models. And the wealth of service companies operating in every corner of the state ensures that no business will need to look far for top-notch support. In addition, the state’s intensely competitive business environment practically guarantees vendors will be true leaders in their fields.

Finally, if you intend to conduct business in New Jersey, you’ll probably want to live here. I’ve done so all my life, and would not reside elsewhere. Whatever you need – perhaps a retail location, restaurant, gym, school, or park – it’s almost certainly nearby. Our state ranks among the nation’s most suburban states, a distinction that ensures quick access to key conveniences.

New Jersey isn’t perfect – no place is. But if I were establishing a company today, I’d give the Garden State serious consideration as my base of operations. When you assess the pros and cons, there’s no better state for business.

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Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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