With New Brunswick changing over the past couple decades due to the integration of Johnson & Johnson, along with Rutgers and Robert Wood Johnson, many of the neighborhoods have been going through a lot of changes. Which also affects local business owners. Wondering how new businesses and older businesses are coping with the may changes throughout the city I began to research what type of economic development programs New Brunswick has offered its constituents. Some of these programs include micro-lending programs such as the Intersect Fund which helps small businesses take care of their cash flow. Aside from loans the fund also assists with counseling on financial information but they do lend from $500 to $10,000.
There is also the The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) which specializes in providing loans for:
- Women and minority-owned businesses
- Technology and life sciences
- Logistics, including warehousing, distribution and port operations
- Financial services
- Arts, culture, and tourism
For another course I am taking at Rutgers regarding Community Development, we were able to interview the Unity Square Partnership who had told us that the Unity Square Neighborhood surrounding George street does not suffer from structural employment which Levy defines as the “longterm mismatch between the supply of labor and the demand for labor. The mismatch may apply to skills” (Levy 264). Instead many of the issues concern wage theft due to the number of illegal immigrants that have migrated to this area.
However it is a good thing that the people within the New Brunswick area who are providing for their families aren’t struggling so much in terms of finding a job, this is probably due to the economic development efforts the local government has aided with to create these employment oppurtunites ”
Increasing the size of the local economy seems like an obvious way to reduce unemployment. In fact, economic development often decreases local unemployment by considerably less than one might expect. One big reason is that new jobs encourage in-migration and so many of the jobs are taken by new residents (Levy 269).
There are still improvements left to be made. According to New Brunswick’s website, there are many opportunities for local businesses to receive loans and educate themselves on how to receive more credit but nothing regarding how to help families as well not just businesses. I think one way they can strengthen local economic development for families is providing property tax relief for homeowners. This is mentioned by Levy pg. 269 of his book outlaying how property tax relief “is by far the largest source of locally raised revenue for substate levels of government (269)”
Levy, John M. (2012-09-20). Contemporary Urban Planning (10th Edition) Pearson HE, Inc.. Kindle Edition.