Paterson has continued its population surge into the 21st century, adapting from its historic focus on fabric production to related industries such as dyeing and polymers. Tourism, too, has become a growth industry in the Great Falls area in specific and in New Jersey in general. The Great Falls/S.U.M. National Historic Landmark District has received $4.147 million in federal funding that will repair and stabilize bridges, preserve the upper raceway on the Falls, and create solutions for deteriorating ruins along the site.
The City of Paterson has created a Department of Community Development that has an aim of revitalizing the city and its neighborhoods through redevelopment, restoration, and attraction and retention of sustainable industries. The city is currently targeting advanced manufacturing businesses, aerospace innovators, and automotive manufacturers.
The Urban Enterprise Zone program has helped the initiation of Main Street facade treatment programs. The Paterson Small Business Development Center has provided the Department of Public Works with funds for sewer repairs, trash receptacles, street paving, and tree maintenance.
Major Industries and Commercial Activity
As the seat of Passaic County, with its Superior Court, the Roe Federal Building, and the Paterson City Hall, government is Paterson's largest single employer. It is followed in importance by health care. Textiles also remain an important industry, but hundreds of smaller industries also keep the former mills humming.
Because of the city's proximity to New York City and easy access via major highways, Paterson has been selected as the right site for many companies that conduct business in the metropolitan New York area. In addition, the city's close proximity to the Port of New York/New Jersey and Newark International Airport make it a desirable business location.
Items and goods produced: garments, textiles, electronic components, machine tools, ribbons, rubber goods, plastics, cosmetics, packaging
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
Paterson is located at the crossroads of major transportation routes, close to international shipping ports, in the heart of the East Coast population center and a stone's throw from New York City. The city offers manufacturers, light industry, warehouse operations, and high-tech companies many benefits. These include tax incentives, quality real estate available at fair prices, and energy savings plans.
Paterson's Department of Community Development functions as a one-stop resource for entrepreneurs and companies considering relocation. Services include information, assistance with permit acquisition and licensing and referrals to technical assistance and financing. The Small Business Development Center serves as a major resource for financial and planning assistance for existing small businesses and new enterprise.
Paterson has a designated Urban Enterprise Zone that covers 30 percent of the landmass of the city. Economic development within the UEZ entitles a qualified business to many tax incentives, such as a $500-$1,500 tax credit for hiring city residents or residents of other zone cities who were formerly unemployed or on public assistance.
New Jersey's Urban Enterprise Zone program allows participating businesses to receive 100 percent exemption for state sales tax for the purchase of most tangible property, including office supplies, equipment, furnishings, and services, including installation and building materials. Repairs and improvements to existing properties are also exempt, as are energy and utility services. Corporate tax credits are available to employers who hire from designated prospective employee pools.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) offers a wide range of financial, real estate development, and technical services to encourage business development and growth in the state. The majority of its assistance is geared toward small and mid-sized businesses and, in more recent years, the high-tech industry. Businesses specializing in technology or biotechnology can transfer tax certificates to other New Jersey businesses, realizing up to 75 percent of their value in cash that can be spent on equipment, facilities, or for other expenses related to the business. The EDA issues bonds to provide financing at favorable interest rates for business ventures, makes low-interest loans, and guarantees loans made by private investors and lenders. It also offers a full range of real estate development services to stimulate both private and public development projects. In addition, the EDA administers a business incentive program that provides grants to expanding or relocating businesses that will create new jobs in New Jersey. A Brownfields Redevelopment Loan Program underwrites the efforts of municipalities and private property owners to remediate hazardous sites around the state.
Further tax credit programs apply to businesses that create new jobs, as well as those companies that invest in recycling equipment. The Commerce division of the State of New Jersey supports approximately 12 "incubator" businesses concentrated on science and technology activities; these businesses receive assistance in facility and equipment costs, along with essential training.
Job training programs
For more than 30 years, the Greater Paterson Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc., has coordinated a network of employment and training programs that seek to improve the living conditions of economically challenged, unemployed, and underemployed workers through job skill training and education. Specialized programs offer assistance with childcare, transportation, driver education, and mental health services; additionally, the OIC has created a partnership with Passaic County Community College that allows the agency to offer an Opportunities Career Advancement Program with a technological spin.
The Passaic County Workforce Development Center staffs a One Stop Career Center in Paterson, where workers can improve interviewing skills, assess career aptitudes, and practice computer skills. The Workforce Investment Board of Passaic County provides easy access to a number of employment services, including labor statistics, job training, funding resources, and career counseling programs. Continuing education is also available through William Paterson University's specialized center.
All local Workforce Development offices are coordinated by the state Workforce Development Partnership program, which in turn is part of the New Jersey Department of Labor. The state agency provides training programs for new and existing businesses via its Business Resource Center.
In 1998, Passaic County Community College received a grant of $184,425 through the Urban Revitalization Implementation program. The college has partnered with the City of Paterson, the Hispanic Multipurpose Center, Paterson Small Development Center and others in efforts to create a Paterson Community Technology Center that will assist displaced manufacturing workers in learning new technology skills as they cross the digital divide.
In 2000, the Paterson YMCA completed a large-scale renovation of its fitness facilities, the Marcal Company moved to a local 204,000-square-foot facility, and Kirker Enterprises, Inc. purchased and renovated 165,000 square feet of office and warehouse space in the city. Also in 2000, city officials approved the construction of 34 condominiums in a former textile mill in the Great Falls Historic District, and Fairfield Textiles had plans for a 120,000-square-foot expansion of its facilities in the Bunker Hill district of the city. The Great Falls/S.U.M. National Historic Landmark District recently received $4.147 million in federal funding that will repair and stabilize bridges, preserve the upper raceway on the Falls, and create solutions for deteriorating ruins along the site. Ideally, the restoration project will stimulate increased tourism to the Great Falls area.
In late June of 2004, Barnert Hospital opened a downtown women's clinic designed to better address the health issues of a growing urban population. The new facility contributes 7,000 square feet of examination and treatment space to the community medical services available.
Economic Development Information: City of Paterson Department of Community Development, 125 Ellison St., 2nd floor, Paterson, NJ 07505; telephone (973) 321-1212
Newark Liberty International Airport (NLIA) is located less than 15 miles southeast of Paterson, with passenger and cargo service to all points of the globe. Several cargo-specific businesses and structures exist at NLIA, including the FedEx Complex (a regional hub), the United Parcel Service package handling and distribution center, and the 250,000 square foot Air Cargo Center. Cargo processing is state-of-the-art, with capacity to handle sophisticated and delicate materials with a high level of efficiency. The Port Authority maintains an administration building near the Air Cargo Center.
The Port of New York and New Jersey provides further access, via water, to other parts of the United States and the world. The Port Authority is equipped to deal with virtually every type of cargo, including vehicles, live animals, large containers, liquid and dry bulk loads, and more. In 2004, the Port saw more than $110 billion in goods pass through its gates.
The highway system in New Jersey is the most dense in the nation, guaranteeing ample routes into, out of, and around Paterson and the surrounding major metropolitan areas of Newark and New York. Interstates 280, 80, 295 and 95 link Paterson to other large cities, along with a network of U.S. and state highways. Businesses have a wide choice of ground transportation vendors for cargo shipping purposes, from well-established family trucking companies to nationally-known experts such as FedEx and UPS.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
Paterson has always exhibited economic strength that rests in having a diverse population of hard-working immigrant peoples. As of the 2000 census, the city's population included Latinos from more than a score of Latin American countries, people from the Middle East, Asians of Chinese and Korean descent, and African Americans, in addition to citizens of European ancestry.
It's expected that total non-farm employment in Passaic County will continue to increase through 2012 but at a more gradual rate than it has during the 10 year span from 1992 to 2002. Three particular industry sectors should account for approximately three quarters of the projected growth: education and health services, professional and business services, and retail trade. While job loss in the manufacturing sector is anticipated to decrease, about 18.4 percent of positions in that industry are expected to be sacrificed. In 2012, employment requiring a "high" level of education and experience will account for only 26.4 percent of all jobs, while positions solely requiring on-the-job training should comprise 56.4 percent of total employment.
The following is a summary of data regarding the New York–White Plains metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.
Size of nonagricultural labor force: 5,007,500
Number of workers employed in . . .
construction and mining: 176,100
trade, transportation and utilities: 866,200
financial activities: 542,100
professional and business services: 743,400
educational and health services: 894,100
leisure and hospitality: 368,400
other services: 209,800
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $15.67 (New Jersey; 2004 annual average)
Unemployment rate: 5.4% (NY–NJ MSA; February 2005)
Cost of Living
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Paterson area.
2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported
2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported
State income tax rate: 1.4%–8.97%
State sales tax rate: 6%
Local income tax rate: None
Local sales tax rate: 3%
Property tax rate: $22.97 per $1,000 assessed valuation (2005)
Economic Information: Greater Paterson Chamber of Commerce, 100 Hamilton Plaza, Suite 1201, Paterson, NJ 07505; telephone (973)881-7300
Discuss this city on our active forum.