Urban Enterprise Zone Program

New Jersey's Urban Enterprise (UEZ) Program enacted in 1983 is in the Department of Community Affairs. The UEZ Program exists to foster an economic climate that revitalizes designated urban communities and stimulates their growth by encouraging businesses to develop and create private sector jobs through public and private investment.

The UEZ Program offers participating businesses incentives that encourage business growth and stimulate local economies. Approximately 6,800 and growing certified UEZ businesses participate and benefit from the advantages of the UEZ Program. These include a number of tax and other financial incentives.   

These benefits will be available on line through the New Jersey Business Action Center as of July 1, 2011 at www.newjerseybusiness.gov. Click on the UEZ link to determine if your firm is in a zone and if you qualify for the program.  If you do, you may complete your registration, reporting and sales tax payments on line from your computer.

Benefits to UEZ firms include:

  • Businesses participating in the UEZ Program can charge half the standard sales tax rate on certain purchases, currently 3.5%.
  • UEZ businesses may enjoy tax exemptions on certain purchases including capital equipment acquired and investments made to build a new facility, expand, or upgrade an existing facility.
  • For each new permanent full-time employee hired, businesses may receive a one-time $1,500 tax credit.
  • Alternatively, the UEZ Program allows a tax credit against the Corporate Business Tax up to eight percent of qualified investments within the zone.
  • Businesses may be eligible for priority financial assistance.
  • Employers may benefit from subsidized unemployment insurance costs for certain employees who earn less than $4,500 per quarter.
  • Electricity and natural gas sales tax exemption on consumption within an enterprise zone by manufacturing firms with at least 250 employees, over 50% of whom are in a manufacturing process.

Governor Christie recognized the need for change and consolidated all State economic development activities under the leadership of Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, creating the New Jersey Business Action Center (BAC) in the Department of State. Depending on the project, UEZ benefits will be coordinated by the economic development team in the New Jersey Business Action Center (BAC) in the Department of State. The team includes  development partners in the Governor’s and Lieutenant Governor’s Office, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“EDA”), the New Jersey Department of Labor, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Community Affairs, and the local Mayor’s office.  Programs of interest to zone businesses include but are not limited to:

  • The New Jersey Business Action Center plays a key role in helping grow, retain and attract business to the State. The center serves as a “one-stop” shop for business. The team at the Center works to encourage entrepreneurship by supporting New Jersey’s businesses of all sizes, supporting global competitiveness of New Jersey companies, as well as to promote the State’s attractiveness as a vacation destination and business investment location nationally and internationally.
  • Business Retention and Relocation Assistance Grant, available through the EDA, (“BRRAG”) for relocation and retention of at least 250 non-retail jobs where the grant is a material factor.  Special limitations/bonuses for UEZs.
  • Business Employment Incentive Program (“BEIP”) applicants may be eligible for a grant award of up to 50% of the State income taxes withheld for new employees hired, may increase up to 80% if  “Smart Growth”.
  • Assistance from the New Jersey Department of Labor through its One Stop Centers in hiring, training, and retraining existing or new employees.

New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone Program Assessment February 2011

There are 32 active zones in 37 municipalities throughout New Jersey. For more information regarding the UEZ Program, contact:

Executive Director
Urban Enterprise Zone Program
Department of Community Affairs
101 South Broad Street
1st Floor
Trenton, NJ 08625
(609) 292-1912 main