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Survey: Taxes, Lack of Financial Incentives, and Cost of Living Ranked As Biggest Issues Facing NJ Tech Companies

New Brunswick, NJ (December 14, 2017) – According to a recent survey conducted by the New Jersey Tech Council, taxes, lack of financial incentives, and cost of living ranked as the biggest issues facing New Jersey technology and life sciences companies.

The survey, conducted among the Tech Council’s 1,000 members, asked participants several questions relating to business challenges and how New Jersey’s newly elected political leaders could help strengthen the technology ecosystem while building on the state’s historical legacy of nurturing innovation.

The first part of the survey helped shed light on the most prevalent issues that life science and technology companies face today. While taxes, financial incentives, and cost of living scored highest, they were closely followed by the fight for talent and access to private capital.

“It’s no surprise that tech entrepreneurs worry about New Jersey’s taxes and cost of living,” said James Barrood, the Tech Council’s president & CEO.  “But they also recognize important opportunities for the state to target incentives and seed funding for growth companies and entrepreneurs. These are actions Governor elect Murphy and the new administration can take quickly, as they come to terms with longer-term challenges associated with the cost of doing business here.”

The second part of the survey focused on how elected officials can support the state’s ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation within universities and the industry. Results found that elected officials should increase incentives for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses as well as working on improving the state’s reputation to attract research, talent, startups and growth companies.

Barrood reiterated, “There’s a consensus in the tech community in favor of tech policies combining financial incentives, lower taxes, and more flexible regulations. It’s not about choosing just one element: these all combine to support R&D, nurture invention, and help entrepreneurs take breakthrough innovations to scale.”

By refocusing and changing the way that the state helps retain STEM talent and making the state a more appealing option for talent and companies, the greater the chance for the tech ecosystem within Jersey to thrive. A key way to tackle these issues is for elected government officials to implement such regulations to help lead the way for talent to come into this state. Barrood commends the new Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin for taking the initiative to establish the Science, Innovation and Technology Committee.

There is ample room for progress within the technology ecosystem in New Jersey as the survey suggests. 111 people took this survey and the top results were reported. The survey was distributed to the Tech Council member companies which are based in the state.

Barrood advises, “Governor-elect Murphy can learn from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s playbook, supporting New Jersey’s tech and innovation ecosystem with many of the tactics, tools, and publicity efforts Bloomberg utilized across the river. Murphy’s impressive network of industry, government, and high-profile figures suggests he can exercise similar types of leverage here, if he chooses.”

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