Business Report: Amazon to hire more in NJ, state focuses on small businesses, Comcast invests in South Jersey

Amazon has announced it will hire another 8,700 workers in the Garden State

One of New Jersey’s biggest employers is about to get even bigger. Amazon has announced it will hire another 8,700 workers in the Garden State. The e-commerce giant already employs about 40,000 workers here. Amazon is hiring for warehouse and transportation jobs, with starting pay at $18 an hour. The company says the positions will be in 40 municipalities across the state.

This week there’s a focus on Main Street companies as the Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week is underway. Usually the occasion is marked by lots of local events, but it’s being held virtually this year due to COVID-19. The focus is on resiliency as many companies had to fight for survival during the pandemic. SBA Chief of Staff Antwaun Griffin says small businesses need support because they are big job creators in New Jersey, employing 2 million workers. To help them, the SBA recently beefed up a low-interest loan program for companies hurt by the pandemic.

The state is seeking feedback on a tax break program designed to encourage development. The NJ Aspire program was created as one of the replacements for New Jersey’s old tax incentive program, which came under fire for its awarding of tax breaks. The new incentive programs are capped and are designed to have a broader reach. NJ Aspire would provide gap financing for both commercial and residential developments.

Comcast is making broadband investments in South Jersey, part of a two-year $26 million investment covering some 4,000 businesses in New Jersey and Philadelphia. Among other things, the improvements are designed to bring on new customers more quickly.

Inflation may be cooling, based on new government figures released Tuesday. Price increases eased in August, although in the past year they are up more than 5% due to big jumps in the costs of gasoline, fuel oil and used cars.

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