State officials have touted the triumph of Panasonic's move to Newark, a move they said legitimizes the rebirth of a once-proud New Jersey city. They'll do the same for Holtec International and its newly minted proposal to build a facility in Camden.
But Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said she’d rather tell the tale of Marathon Data Systems.
“This is going to be the story to tell,” she said Friday, speaking at the software company’s new headquarters in Neptune. “You could tell all the Panasonic stories and the Holtec story from yesterday, but I would rather tell this story because this is where most of our growth is going to be for the next 10 years.”
The story is one of small to mid-sized companies growing in New Jersey, said Guadagno, who was on hand to officially open the facility and trumpet Marathon’s decision to stay in the Garden State. In December, the company was awarded a $3.2 million Grow New Jersey tax credit for choosing to expand here rather than move 75 jobs to Boston.
That placed it among the first batch of recipients under the revamped tax credit program, which was overhauled by last fall’s highly touted Economic Opportunity Act. The award amount was boosted by Marathon’s decision to move from Wall to Route 66 in Neptune, which was identified as a distressed municipality by the incentives law.
The 30-year-old company, which provides cloud-based business management platforms for companies with a mobile workforce, had three years to add 35 jobs to its New Jersey workforce under the terms of the tax credit. But CEO Chris Sullens said it has already added 20 employees since then, and the firm will probably have another 10 new hires by year’s end.
“We probably should have applied for a much higher grant,” Sullens joked during a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Guadagno and Sills Cummis & Gross attorney Ted Zangari, who represented Marathon in the deal.
After the ceremony, Sullens said the company “invested pretty heavily through the downturn” in its products, its people and processes, “so we take a longer-term view.” That’s paying dividends at the right time, as the firm prepares to expand its marketing and sales operations.
“It’s a process in terms of how we’re going to market, and I think we’ve done it in a way that we’ve actually been able to grow through the downturn and come out of it with faster growth than we’ve had before,” Sullens said.
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