Writer: Max Crampton-Thomas
2 min read September 2021 — Opportunity, solid economic fundamentals and a shared optimism about the future have created a strong foundation on which the South Jersey market can capitalize as the region looks to move past the pandemic landscape, local civic and business leaders said at the official Invest: South Jersey launch conference.
“South Jersey has it all, way more than folks even realize,” said Choose New Jersey President and CEO Jose Lozano. “It’s a bit quieter and offers you more affordable space and room to grow. We have seen a really steady interest and growth in South Jersey, especially during the pandemic.”
The conference, held on Thursday, Sept. 23, featured three robust panel discussions that spotlighted the future of South Jersey from the perspective of both public and private leaders, who also focused on what this future means for the region’s industries.
Lozano kicked off the event with the keynote address. He discussed his thoughts on how the South Jersey region is ripe for growth thanks to the unique advantages due to its location and his organization’s role in promoting and furthering that economic growth. “With the support of the state agencies and private partners, we provide a full range of complementary services to companies looking to call New Jersey home. Since 2010, we have assisted over 300 companies resulting in about 19,000 jobs, and generated almost $6 billion in capital investments,” he said.
The Invest: South Jersey report, now in its second edition, is the culmination of in-depth research resulting in a comprehensive analysis of the region’s main economic sectors. Published by media platform Capital Analytics, the 2021 report showcases the strength and overall resilience of the local economy through C-level insider insights and key business intelligence. The launch conference took place via Zoom and garnered over 400 registrations.
“While there’s still a great deal of uncertainty in South Jersey around the pandemic that now seems to be a regular part of our daily life, there’s also a great deal of optimism for the region,” Capital Analytics CEO Abby Melone said in her opening remarks. “That’s not only evident across the nearly 200 interviews we did for this report, it’s also evident in the projects being planned and the sheer number of tourists who flocked to the Jersey Shore this summer.”
Known for its highly educated workforce, rapidly expanding life sciences and biomedicine sectors, quality of life, and a burgeoning offshore wind-power industry, South Jersey is poised for a strong economic rebound in 2021 despite the challenges caused by the pandemic.
The first panel, “Clear vision: How South Jersey’s counties are working toward building a stronger economy,” dove into municipal strategies for economic diversification and growth. Moderated by Flaster Greenberg Co-Managing Shareholder Steve Poulathas, the panelists included Gerard Velazquez III, the president and CEO of The Authority – Cumberland County, alongside Atlantic County Economic Alliance Executive Director Lauren Moore, Cape May County Commissioner Vice-Director Leonard Desiderio, and Salem County Director of County Commissioners Ben Laury.
The second panel, “Opportunity on the horizon: Exploring the future of real estate in South Jersey,” explored the current state and future of the real estate sector in the region. Moderated by Fulton Bank Senior Vice President and Regional Commercial Executive Louis Lombardi, the panelists included Title America’s President and CEO Joseph Maressa, Gateway Mortgage Regional Vice President Chris Wilhelm, and Faropoint Investment Director Itay Ron.
The third panel, “Financial future: What does the new landscape mean for South Jersey’s financial institutions?,” began with a panel presentation by OceanFirst Bank Regional President and First Senior Vice President Vincent D’Alessandro. The following panel was moderated by M&T Bank Group Vice President Denise Monahan, and the panelists included Fox, Penberthy & Dehn at Morgan Stanley Senior Vice President and Executive Director Albert Fox, TD Bank South Jersey Market President Rob Curley, and First National Bank of Elmer President and CEO Brian Jones.
For more information, visit: https://www.capitalanalyticsassociates.com/
To watch the Invest: South Jersey Event please visit our Youtube channel.