BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Business Report Plus: State’s business groups welcome Murphy

BY Rhonda Schaffler, Correspondent |
  • State’s business groups give Governor-elect Murphy a to-do list
  • The Port Authority won’t be increasing tolls or raising fares for a third year in a row
  • Number of women-owned businesses in New Jersey has risen 76 percent in the past 20 years
  • New Jersey added 6,500 new private sector jobs in October
  • ADP deals with boardroom drama this week
  • Senate GOP releases their version of a tax plan
  • Take our poll at the end of this article and tell us what you think Phil Murphy can do to help the state’s business climate

The election is over, and now it’s time to get down to business in New Jersey. Governor-elect Phil Murphy has his work cut out for him, and several business groups around the state are already giving him a to-do list on how to improve the business climate and economy in the Garden State.

RELATED: Task force aims to increase number of Latinos in state government

Running a business, or starting one up, is extremely difficult, especially when there are factors out of your control. That includes things like taxes and other high costs. So what should Murphy do to help?
Here’s your opportunity to add your two cents. Take our NJTV poll below and share your thoughts with us, and we’ll share them with our viewers. We’ll also see how closely your priorities match those put forward by groups including NJBIA and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, which are both pushing our state lawmakers to work toward making New Jersey more affordable.

The Port Authority will have a surplus in 2018, meaning PATH fares, as well as tolls at bridges and tunnels, won’t be increased

Sometimes it seems like costs for everything are going up. But that’s not the case for the tolls you pay to travel into New York. The Port Authority says for the third year in a row, it won’t be increasing tolls or raising fares on PATH trains. The Port Authority says it will actually have surplus funds in 2018, so commuters are catching a break.

We got some data this week that shows why one should never underestimate a Jersey Girl! The number of businesses owned by women in New Jersey has risen 76 percent in the past twenty years, according to a survey by American Express OPEN, which provides services to small businesses. There are now 274,000 women-owned businesses in the state. The national survey revealed some other interesting data: The number of female-owned businesses is growing 2.5 times faster than the national average. And even more impressive is that the number of firms owned by women of color hasrocketed 467% higher over the past twenty years!

Source: American Express OPEN Survey

Job growth overall was healthy in New Jersey last month, according to Roseland-based ADP. Six thousand five hundred new private sector jobs were added in the state last month, with the overwhelming majority of those positions in the services sector. The good news is that those numbers more than make up for what happened the prior month, when ADP reported a decline in new jobs. Fingers crossed, it looks like the state is back on trend.

In between all that number crunching, ADP was busy this week dealing with some boardroom drama. Bill Ackman, one of the most well-known activist investors on Wall Street, was engaged in a bitter proxy fight to win seats on ADP’s board of directors. Ackman had been very vocal about what he believed to be the failings of ADP’s management, even though ADP’s stock has actually done better than the overall stock market this year. Maybe that’s why Ackman’s argument fell on deaf ears. A vote was held this week and ADP’s shareholders backed the current management. Carlos Rodriguez, the president of ADP, had some choice words about the vote that he shared with Reuters. This is a family friendly column, so we can’t share them here.

It was an up and down week for stocks, as investors tried to make sense of what happens to tax reform. Senate Republicans released their version of the tax bill this week, and it was a disappointment for New Jersey. Like the House version, senators want to eliminate the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes. No doubt we’ll be hearing a lot more about this in the weeks ahead.