New Jersey is often panned as a state that’s unfriendly to business, but this is misleading in many ways. Ideally located with access to all types of transportation infrastructure, a highly educated workforce, and population density all make NJ a great place to do business.
It’s not uncommon and not unreasonable to hear various voices talk about the high costs of doing business in New Jersey. I’m not here to debate inarguable numbers or tax rates; that’s a fool’s errand I’m not interested in taking up. That said, there’s more that goes into running a business than simply tax rates, and New Jersey has many of those factors heavily in its favor.
Today, I will discuss something that doesn’t get discussed enough, the specific reasons why New Jersey is an excellent state to conduct business in.
New Jersey is in the dead center of the megalopolis that stretches from Boston to Washington DC. This location gives New Jersey access to shipping ports, airports, train lines, as well as some of the most utilized interstate highways in the country.
If this area were considered a country, it would have the 7th largest economy in the world, with nearly $4 trillion in economic output annually. While it’s true that number includes other cities besides the territory within New Jersey’s borders, this shocking statistic indicates a tremendously large customer base with a large amount of capital to spend on the goods and services provided right here in the Garden State.
Not only is the population in this region estimated at over 50 million people, it has amongst the highest population densities anywhere on earth.
The existence of transportation infrastructure makes it possible for New Jersey businesses to competitively import and export goods or quickly hop over to another city for business meetings to maintain relationships or pursue new ventures.
The ports in Newark/Elizabeth are the third-largest in the nation, second-largest by tonnage, and the largest on the eastern seaboard. This substantially simplifies the costs of obtaining many goods from overseas for New Jersey business owners.
Beyond the financial benefits of proximity to ports, effectively run ports have been shown to spur economic development. Cities near ports simply grow faster than cities farther inland. This type of spark for economic growth is the type of beneficial situation that no political program, policy, or platform could ever provide and is just an aspect of New Jersey’s good fortune to be a coastal state.
The Advantages to Business Provided by New Jersey’s Tourism
New Jersey is a prime destination for tourists. From Sandy Hook to Cape May (and of course inland as well), NJ welcomed 116.2 million visitors in 2019 who spent an estimated 46.2 billion dollars. The decade prior saw year-over-year growth in both visitors and the amount they spent.
Clearly, the last two years are bound to have provided far less favorable growth numbers due to the COVID pandemic and the many state restrictions put in place. That said, any state that can boast about improving the numbers of visitors and the amount they’re contributing to the economy every year is extremely encouraging to businesses.
Businesses in New Jersey in any industry can be assured that the state’s greatest population density in the US will provide them a healthy customer base in need of what they provide. This density also reduces marketing costs as greater numbers can be reached in a smaller radius.
Businesses in New Jersey don’t have to search for customers as the demand for daycare, legal services, construction, and entertainment are seemingly insatiable. Even areas that seem to be saturated with a particular business type regularly see the success of yet another bar, gym, or doctor’s office that opens up shop. This density allows for rapid business growth.
New Jersey’s public school system routinely ranks amongst the best in the nation. While it slipped to 3rd place in 2021, it took 1st place in 2020 and regularly boasts some of the highest graduation rates and lowest dropout rates across the country.
The impressive performances of New Jersey’s public school system and the numerous private schools that operate within the state result in a highly educated and capable workforce. Beyond that, those educated workers seeking to give better opportunities to their children often relocate to New Jersey precisely because of their schools. This further adds to the talented workforce that sets New Jersey apart from many other areas in the nation.
It would be shameful to ignore that New Jersey is also home to Princeton University, one of the most prestigious universities in the country and the world. Many talented foreigners come to Princeton to study and stay in NJ to put their talents to use, further adding to the value of the workforce.
Despite the high costs of living in New Jersey, plenty of factors make the Garden State a business person’s dream location. Our ports, airports, trains, and interstates make it possible to quickly connect to the biggest cities in the Northeastern US. The population density makes it such that there’s always a high consumer demand, regardless of the product or service offered. Finally, the education system at all levels is considered amongst the best in the country.
What more could a business ask for?