As the head of Choose New Jersey—a non-profit organization based in Princeton, NJ, Tracye McDaniel is accustomed to being at the forefront of growth and development. In fact, she is often the one to initiate it. Her organization, among other things, is responsible for marketing New Jersey and attracting new businesses to set-up shop in the Garden State—a daunting task when you consider the state has long ranked as one of the most expensive places to live and do business in the country.
In December, McDaniel, a native of Texas, was named as one of the top 100 most powerful business leaders in New Jersey by NJBIZ—a weekly business publication. She said one of her biggest challenges as the president of the organization is help dismiss the outdated and negative impressions of the state—many of which are exaggerated or fallacies perpetuated by the national media.
“Since 2010 the Christie Administration and state legislators have worked diligently to improve the state’s business climate and increase the state’s competitiveness in the global marketplace,” McDaniel said in a recent interview with TNJ.com. She adds, “There are measures in place to lower property taxes and cut through red tape and offer incentives to individuals and businesses that choose New Jersey.”
Among other things, McDaniel touts New Jersey as being a prime location for small and mid-sized IT firms, with the heavily travel stretch of Route 1 in Central Jersey being nicknamed “Einstein Alley”, due in large part to the close proximity of both Princeton and Rutgers University. Some IT industry experts contend that New Jersey could indeed become the East Coast equivalent of Silicon Valley. “When you consider that we have more scientists, engineers and researchers per square mile than anywhere else in the world, it’s no wonder high tech companies are anxious to locate here,” she said.
At any rate, McDaniel said her team at Choose NJ has an active pipeline with more than 120 projects and the potential to create more than 10,000 jobs and more than a billion dollars in capital investments. “For companies serious about improving their bottom line, I encourage them to consider New Jersey,” McDaniel said. “Our state has a talented workforce and financial and game changing incentives that can help businesses big and small improve their bottom line—choose New Jersey!” she concludes.