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February 5, 2011 / J. Shaw

Gov. Christie travels to Chicago to lure businesses to N.J.

Gov. Chris Christie traveled to Chicago Friday to lure businesses away, an endeavor that could produce some returns for New Jersey.

The trip came as Democratic governors in two states responded to Christie’s criticisms and analysts weighed the likelihood of his success in bringing businesses home.

“I don’t think he’s going to get any company to move from Illinois to New Jersey,” said James Kean, a committee member with the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. “But he might get companies to make investments in New Jersey.”

Even after Illinois raised their personal and corporate income taxes last month, it still outranks New Jersey in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index.

“There definitely is inertia in business markets,” said Kail Padgitt, a foundation researcher. “It is costly to move, but a lot of other factors go into making a business decision.”

Many companies are sitting on cash waiting out the economic storm. If New Jersey seems like a business-friendly environment, it could lure new investments, Padgitt said.

Christie paid for his travel himself, spokeswoman Maria Comella said, because he combined it with personal business. He will return late tonight, she confirmed



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