BUSINESS & ECONOMY

What do two business leaders see for New Jersey’s economic future?

BY Rhonda Schaffler, Correspondent |

During Thursday’s Walk to Washington, NJTV News Business Correspondent Rhonda Schaffler spoke with two business leaders in New Jersey — Jim Fakult, the president of JCP&L, and Marjorie Perry, the president and CEO of MZM Construction and Management.

Asked what they want to hear addressed in next week’s budget, Fakult said infrastructure and education were top of mind. Perry added that she would also like to hear about education, in addition to how the new $15 minimum wage law will affect small businesses.

Affordability in New Jersey is getting tough in urban areas, according to Perry, with housing becoming a major issue. “Food, shelter and place to take care of their children, if we can meet those criteria in this budget, that will be a wonderful conversation,” she said.

When asked about taxes and balancing spending, while simultaneously supporting growth in the innovation economy, Perry said it’s about keeping the conversation going.

“It is an ongoing conversation,” Fakult agreed. “We have to continue the dialogue and make sure we strike the right balance between cost and what we get. I think it starts with having a conversation, and that happens a lot.”

As far as how New Jersey’s economy is today, Perry and Fakult both give the state a “B”, saying there’s always room for improvement, but that there’s a lot of value that being in New Jersey adds.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget address is March 6 at 2 p.m.