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    NJFC Issues ‘Incentive Package’

    Proposal follows report that many state residents live in food deserts

    The New Jersey Food Council (NJFC) has released an eight-point legislative agenda to spur growth in the Garden State supermarket industry. The “N.J. Supermarket Incentive Package” looks at statutory changes in the areas of tax policy, unit pricing, energy costs, organized retail theft, in addition to other regulatory reforms.

    “Thanks to the work of the Christie administration and the legislature, we have seen unprecedented reforms designed to improve the business climate here in New Jersey,” noted Linda Doherty, president of Trenton-based NJFC. “What we are proposing … aims to grow the state’s food retail and distribution industry, which accounts for 9 percent of gross state product and 17 percent of all New Jersey jobs.”

    The release also comes in the wake of a Newark Star Ledger report that more than 340,000 New Jersey residents live in so-called “food deserts,” or underserved areas.

    “The food-desert issue is a main reason as to why these proposed incentives and reforms are needed,” noted Doherty. “New Jersey is such a high-cost state, and with food retailers working on such low margins, retailers are choosing elsewhere to set up shop. By enacting these reforms, we can bring supermarkets into areas of New Jersey that would otherwise be underserved.”

    The proposed package consists of tax incentive programs and tax reforms, reducing supermarket energy costs, unit pricing reforms, ways to deal with organized retail theft, and regulatory reforms.
     

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