CEO of NJEDA Addresses Challenges Facing NJ Businesses
Tim Sullivan, CEO of New Jersey Economic Development Authority talks about the challenges New Jersey businesses face and ways to keep businesses from fleeing the state. Sullivan also discusses the loss of young talent to surrounding states and ways to stop the “brain drain.”
"Welcome to State of Affairs. I'm Steve Adubato. We, in fact, are coming to you from the Agnes Varis NJTV Studio in Newark, New Jersey. I'm pleased to welcome, for the first time with us, Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, otherwise known as the New Jersey EDA. Good to see you Tim. Thank you so much for having me. Great to be here. How would you describe the EDA? The EDA is a really important part of the state's efforts to diversify and grow the economy, and we have a broad set of tools that, under Governor Murphy's leadership, we're looking forward to deploying, to strengthen and grow and diversify the economy, and make it stronger and fairer in New Jersey. Let's break this down a little bit. A new governor comes in, Governor Murphy, he or she? Right. Does he or she appoint the head of the EDA? And then there's a vote by the board? Makes a recommendation to the board, and then the board takes that recommendation up, which I was fortunate to get that recommendation and vote back in February. Describe your background. I grew up Bergen County. So born and raised in New Jersey. I was... Bergen Catholic? Bergen Catholic. Deus Vult! Here we go! Go Crusaders! And... Essex Catholic? Eagles? My high school doesn't exist... That's fine. ...anymore, but that sounds... That's fine. [laughter] Okay, go ahead. [laughter] Go ahead. Bergen County? Yeah. Bergen County. I went to school down in Washington, and I worked in New York City for a bunch of years. I worked for Mayor Bloomberg when he was the mayor. I did economic development policy for Mayor Bloomberg and his Deputy Mayor, Bob Steel. Then spent the last four and a half years or so up in Connecticut, working for Governor Dan Malloy. Hmm. And I was really thrilled to get the call from Governor Murphy to come home and work for the home state. Let's break this down a little bit. The EDA provides, can we say, "loans" to get projects going that otherwise might not get going? That's one of the things we do. Sure. So it provides loans and tax credits. By the way, excuse me. We're talking to Tim Sullivan, and the EDA... the website is up right now, check out more information. I'm sorry Tim. Of course. We do a bunch of... you know, the EDA has a whole bunch of tools. One of them is we can provide loans to small businesses that might otherwise have difficulty accessing the traditional banking markets. We can provide tax credits to help..."