Christie Unveils Pair of Business Development Programs

Christie Unveils Pair of Business Development Programs

Published in: NJBIZ

April 12, 2010
By Beth Fitzgerald

Gov. Chris Christie chose a manufacturer’s Princeton headquarters Monday to unveil two new business development programs from the Partnership for Action, touted during his campaign.

Choose New Jersey will be a private nonprofit designed to encourage businesses to grow or relocate in New Jersey, while GPS — or Government Process Solutions — will be a navigational aid to help business owners chart a course through New Jersey’s regulatory waters.
Neither initiative will require new spending, the governor said.

As a location for the event, WorldWater & Solar Technologies was chosen because Christie “is interested in contributing to small-business development in New Jersey,” said CEO Quentin Kelly. “We export goods … and we put a lot of people to work.”

WorldWater designs and markets technology that uses solar energy to power water-purification systems; its technology has been used to supply drinking water to Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan and Darfur.

Christie, accompanied by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, said Choose New Jersey will be composed of business leaders from around the state, and “will be a marketing arm for the state.” It will be run by a chief executive officer who will be selected by the group’s members, though the governor did not provide specifics as to who will make up the group.

GPS, meanwhile, will be run out of Guadagno’s office. The staff of 26 will be made up of people currently working in the Economic Development Authority, who will directly assist businesses with their regulatory problems. GPS will be “a one-stop shop located in the lieutenant governor’s office.” Those who call will be assigned a facilitator, who will be their contact person to walk them through problems they may have with any agency in the state.

Christie said WorldWater is “the type of company we can keep in New Jersey.”

“Too often, government has been an obstacle, but New Jersey once again will become a home for economic growth that will allow people to stay here and prosper here.”

WorldWater has about a dozen direct employees, but by the end of 2011, it should have 50 workers, Kelly said. The company also has created a lot of work for vendors and outside assemblers, and estimates it create four jobs — many in the Garden State — for each direct employee.

Kelly said the company will soon announce a “very substantial” contract to supply water in a foreign country.

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