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Hertz
Hertz Corp. headquarters in Park Ridge, N.J. / Peter Carr/The Journal News

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Go to http://news-press.com/hertz for full coverage: Photos, videos, history, documents and more.

New Jersey’s loss is Southwest Florida’s gain.

Garden State and Bergen County officials’ reactions to the formal announcement that Hertz was leaving Park Ridge, N.J., for the warmer climes of Lee County ranged from regret to the equivalent of a shrug.

Maggie Peters, director of the Bergen County Economic Development Corp., a partnership of business and government that works for economic growth, said the loss of the Hertz headquarters “will have an impact, but we have a healthy economy here.”

Hertz ranks roughly 30th in size among the county’s employers. Bergen County occupies the northeastern corner of the the state and is across the Hudson River from New York City.

By the time her group heard Hertz was looking to leave, Peters said, it was too late. “By the time we knew about it, they’d already made the final decision to relocate.”

Now, she said, “We’re going to make sure the people have the opportunity to find new jobs for the people who don’t want to relocate.”

Hertz will move about 700 jobs here over the next two years, and about 150 employees will remain, according to a Hertz statement.

Hertz is leaving more than $40 million on the table in state incentives by leaving New Jersey, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said Tuesday, according to a story on NJ.com.

The website reported Guadagno said she had only heard the week before the company planned leave its headquarters in Park Ridge for Estero. Guadagno said she could have offered the company $40 to $70 million in state incentives if she had found out sooner. Florida offered a little more than $87.4 million in incentives.

"I'm disappointed that Hertz didn't allow us to fight for those jobs," Guadagno said.

The announcement on the Hertz Facebook page had 113 “likes” and 26 comments, including this one by Hertz employee Blake Tilburyy : “Can we have an idea of when, so I know how long I have a job for? THANKS!”

Others included proactive pitches from Southwest Florida businesses, such as:

• Pagliccia Group Real Estate in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero and Southwest Florida: “ Welcome to Southwest Florida! If we can assist, please let us know. We don't just sell real estate, we sell a lifestyle! Take the Naples tour on our website http://buyanapleshome.com.”

• South Bay Realty Rentals: “We are very EXCITED about this news and look forward to your arrival. Should anyone have any housing needs, buying or renting in Southwest Florida, encompassing Ft. Myers, Estero, Bonita Springs or Naples, we are here to help! www.SouthBayRealty.com.”

Another commenter wrote: “Estero? Never heard of it. Must be a pretty small town. Unusual place to put up a world headquarters.”

— Mary Wozniak and Dick Hogan

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