South Plainfield, NJ - Since taking office in 2011, Mayor Matt Anesh has made growing South Plainfield’s economy a priority for his administration.  And the results show it.

“Creating a business-friendly climate is one of the most important things we can do to keep moving forward,” said Anesh.  “It helps hold taxes down, and it creates jobs.”

According to Anesh, there were several recent business projects that he was happy to help usher in.  “The Progressive Insurance headquarters is a big plus for the town, but we’re also seeing growth in biotech, retail, and technology.  The 11,000 square foot expansion of biotech firm Genewiz is a prime example.  It was good news for residents.”

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Anesh also pointed to dozens of smaller businesses that have come to town in the last year or two, and he said these are just as important.  “Small business growth is the engine that drives job growth.”

“We’re seeing some nice results,” added Councilman Derryck White, who heads the economic development team.  “When I ran for council three years ago, I never imagined I’d be attending so many grand openings.”

But it’s not just new businesses that are a priority.  Retaining businesses and helping them expand are also important, according to Council President Alex Barletta.

“Employers prefer to hire locally,” Barletta explained, “so in addition to working to attract new businesses, we’re also encouraging current businesses to stay here when it’s time to expand.  The bottom line is that smart growth creates a vibrant local economy.” 

All three candidates said they think the new direction the town is heading is a marked improvement from the past. 

“The Democrats thought growing the town meant adding apartments and condos,” said Anesh.  “In fact, they are responsible for every apartment in South Plainfield.  They approved every single multi-family housing project, yet now they are complaining about traffic.”

Barletta agreed.  “We met with the developers who want to put up apartments and told them we could not support their plans to add more of these giant complexes.  Apartments just mean more cars and more students in our schools.”

“We see smart business growth as the key to a revitalized South Plainfleld,” added White.  “Businesses and the good jobs they bring with them are the key to a growing South Plainfield.”