Senator M. TERESA RUIZ
District 29 (Essex)
Senator NILSA CRUZ-PEREZ
District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)
Senators Turner and Pou
Establishes Emerging Technology Urban Grant Program in EDA.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Economic Growth Committee on February 24, 2020, with amendments.
An Act establishing the Emerging Technology Grant Program and supplementing P.L.1974, c.80 (C.34:1B-1 et seq.).
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. The Legislature finds, declares, and determines that:
a. High-growth start-up technology companies are critical to developing urban areas into vibrant economies that thrive on innovation and entrepreneurship.
b. New Jersey should catalyze the transformation of specified urban areas by attracting emerging technology businesses to create high-quality jobs and a sustainable knowledge-based economy through the establishment of an Emerging Technology Urban Grant Program.
c. The goal of the Emerging Technology Urban Grant Program is to attract high-growth emerging technology businesses to urban areas, called urban technology zones, through financial incentives for their use of a cloud-based capacity-building technology service, which is a computing service that allows a user to retrieve stored information and resources from the Internet through web-based tools and applications rather than through a direct connection to a server.
d. The creation of urban technology zones comprised of high-bandwidth emerging technology businesses that rely on cloud computing services will accelerate the transformation of these urban areas and reconnect them to the larger economy.
e. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority, through the Emerging Technology Urban Grant Program, shall seek to consolidate public and private economic development efforts through various funding sources into one targeted program to attract high-growth emerging technology businesses.
2. As used in P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):
“Authority” means the New Jersey Economic Development Authority established pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1974, c.80 (C.34:1B-4).
"Chief Executive Officer" means the Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.
“Cloud computing service” means a service that enables on-demand self-service network access to a shared pool of configurable computer resources to provide user-based productivity applications, including, but not limited to, data storage, analytics, electronic commerce, streaming services, mobile services, electronic mail, and document sharing and editing, which can be rapidly provided and released with minimal management effort or cloud computing service provider interaction.
“Emerging technology business” or “business” means a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or sole proprietorship that is engaged in the design, development, and introduction of new technology, including, but not limited to, biotechnology, information technology, technology manufacturing, advanced materials, processing engineering or electronic technology products, or innovative manufacturing processes.
“Full-time employee” means a person who is employed for consideration for at least 35 hours a week, or who renders any other standard of service generally accepted by custom or practice as full-time employment, whose wages are subject to withholding as provided in the "New Jersey Gross Income Tax Act," N.J.S.54A:1-1 et seq., and who is determined by the authority to be employed in a permanent position according to criteria it develops, or who is a partner of an eligible partnership, who works for the partnership for at least 35 hours a week, or who renders any other standard of service generally accepted by custom or practice as full-time employment, and whose distributive share of income, gain, loss, or deduction, or whose guaranteed payments, or any combination thereof, is subject to the payment of estimated taxes, as provided in the "New Jersey Gross Income Tax Act," N.J.S.54A:1-1 et seq. "Full-time employee" shall not include any person who works as an independent contractor or on a consulting basis for the business.
“Headquarters” means the single location that serves as the national administrative center of a business, at which the primary office of the chief executive officer or chief operating officer of the business, as well as the offices of the management officials responsible for key business-wide functions such as finance, legal, marketing, and human resources, are located.
“Information technology” means software publishing, digital media production, telecommunications, data processing, hosting and related services, custom computer programming services, computer system design, computer facilities management services, other computer-related services, and computer training.
“Program” means the Emerging Technology Urban Grant Program, established pursuant to section 3 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).
“Urban technology zone” ” means: a city of the first class in which there is located a terminal of an international airport; a city of the second class that is the State capital; a city that qualifies under the “Municipal Rehabilitation and Economic Recovery Act,” P.L.2002, c.43 (C.52:27BBB-1 et al.); and a city of the second class, having a population greater than 54,000 people but less than 59,000 according to the latest federal decennial census, in a county of the second class having a population greater than 808,000 people but less than 818,000 people according to the latest federal decennial census.
3. a. The authority shall, subject to appropriation, establish an “Emerging Technology Urban Grant Program” within the authority for the purpose of awarding grants to qualifying emerging technology businesses to cover 1[to] the1 cost of using cloud computing services in order to encourage the businesses to locate in an urban technology zone, facilitating economic growth and job creation in New Jersey’s urban core. The award of a grant to a qualifying business shall, subject to appropriation, be limited to the amount of the cost of cloud computing services and shall be applied to cover the cost of those services.
b. The Chief Executive Officer shall approve for grant eligibility an emerging technology business that:
(1) is located in an urban technology zone;
(2) commits to maintaining its United States headquarters in an urban technology zone for the duration of the grant term of two years and at least three additional years;
(3) employs 100 or less full-time employees; and
(4) has experienced a net increase of 20 percent in full-time employees or an increase of 20 percent in gross annual revenue during the twelve-month period preceding the application.
c. An emerging technology business seeking to participate in the program shall submit an application in a form determined by the Chief Executive Officer. The application shall include information that the Chief Executive Officer determines is necessary to administer the program. All applications shall be submitted prior to June 30, 2022 and shall be reviewed by the authority by December 31, 2022.
d. The Chief Executive Officer shall award the grant upon the submission of proof by an approved emerging technology business that the business has fulfilled the eligibility requirements pursuant to subsection b. of this section and any other requirements determined by the authority. The submission of proof shall be subject to review and audit by the authority in consultation with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
e. The value of a grant made under the program shall be no more than $125,000 per quarter for two years, provided that the grantee shall not receive more than $1,000,000 in grants pursuant to this section over the duration of the program. The sum of grants awarded under the program shall not exceed $80,000,000, with not more than $20,000,000 granted to businesses in each urban technology zone.
f. The Chief Executive Officer shall release grant funds to grantees quarterly upon the business’s submission of proof of payment for cloud computing services and usage reports for the relevant three months, submission of proof that the business has continued to experience a net increase of 20 percent in full-time employment or an increase of 20 percent in annual gross revenue during the preceding twelve-months, and any other requirements determined by the authority. The submission of proof shall be subject to review and audit by the authority in consultation with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
4. The authority shall, subject to appropriation, develop a marketing program in conjunction with local officials from each urban technology zone to promote and attract emerging technology businesses to the urban technology zones.
5. The authority shall, subject to appropriation, engage with providers of cloud computing services to ensure that the maximum amount of credits and discounts for cloud computing services are being provided to emerging technology businesses located in urban technology zones in addition to grants awarded under the program.
6. The authority shall review the performance of the Emerging Technology Urban Grant Program and shall report to the Legislature, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), on the performance and economic impact of the program within two years of the date of enactment.
7. The authority may adopt rules and regulations, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), necessary for the implementation of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), which may include, but not be limited to, a procedure for recapturing grants awarded pursuant to P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) in cases in which the authority determines that the emerging technology business receiving the grant award fails to meet any condition or requirement established by the authority and attached to the receipt of the grant award or included in rules and regulations adopted by the authority governing the implementation of the program.
8. In addition to any monies appropriated to the authority to effectuate the purposes of P.L. , c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the program shall also be credited with:
a. any additional monies made available by the authority for the purposes of the program; and
b. monies received by the authority from any public or private source for the purposes of the program, the coordination and consolidation of which shall enhance efforts to attract emerging technology businesses to accelerate the development of urban technology zones.
9. This act shall take effect on the 60th day following the date of enactment, except the authority may take any anticipatory administrative action in advance as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.