Credibility Capital Inc. hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday at its new 8,000-square-foot headquarters space at the Hahne & Co. building in downtown Newark. — Courtesy: Chris Murphy/Murphy Partners LLP
By Joshua Burd
A financial technology firm has opened its new office in downtown Newark, thanks in large part to a $6.5 million state incentive that helped lure the company from Midtown Manhattan.
Credibility Capital Inc. welcomed city and state officials last week to debut the space inside the historic Hahne & Co. building, where it occupies 8,000 square feet. The rehabilitated, mixed-use property will serve as the new home for the five-year-old company, which oversees a technology-enabled lending platform focused on small businesses.
The firm and its guests celebrated that mission and the fact that another company, with some 70 employees, has joined in Newark’s recent wave of economic development.
“You can literally look at the skyline and the streetscape and see all of the wonderful things that are happening here,” said Tim Sullivan, the CEO of the state Economic Development Authority. “It’s hard to think of a better example of what’s gone on in this building in general and what’s going on here inside this space with Credibility.”
Sullivan added that the move “checks so many boxes” under Gov. Phil Murphy’s highly touted economic development plan. And he said the state was committed to using its resources to achieve those goals, which include attracting high-growth industries such as fintech, revitalizing underused historic properties and continuing the growth of New Jersey’s cities
“This is exactly the kind of thing we want to be seeing, which is growing companies in growing industries choosing New Jersey, choosing Newark and choosing to locate in wonderful spaces like this,” Sullivan said, adding that “the EDA is thrilled to have played a small role … both to attract Credibility here, but also to help bring this building back to life.”
Founded by North Jersey natives Brett Baris and Mark Rambler, Credibility Capital uses its platform to match small businesses with institutional investors that fund loans ranging from $10,000 to $350,000, according to its website. The company has provided more than $85 million in funding to small businesses since launching the platform in 2015.
“Our vision was simple: It was really just to provide much-needed capital to small businesses across the country — plain and simple,” said Baris, the firm’s CEO. “These businesses were largely being neglected by banks and other pools of capital. That was our mission from day one.”
The EDA approved the 10-year, $6.48 million tax credit under the Grow New Jersey program last December, in an effort to help incentivize the firm’s move from New York City. The company’s founders on Thursday said they also considered options in Connecticut and elsewhere in New York, but said the tax credit tipped the scales in New Jersey’s favor.
Murphy Partners LLP represented Credibility Capital in its incentives application, while a brokerage team from JLL represented the firm in finding the space in New Jersey’s largest city. The company now occupies the second floor of the Hahne’s building at 609 Broad St., which was restored by a development team led by L+M Development Partners, Prudential Financial, the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group and Citi Community Capital.
“We’re thrilled about being in Newark,” Baris said. “The excitement and energy in this city is palpable.”