Welcome to two leading Voices of the Business Community in Essex County:
The 2nd Annual Tri-Community Holiday Mixer was hosted by CareWell Health in East Orange on Thursday, December 8. More than 45 business colleagues and municipal officials from East Orange, Orange, and Irvington attended the event, along with Santa Claus. Door prizes were donated by the Irvington Chamber of Commerce and cold hors d'oeuvres were donated by the Irvington Neighborhood Improvement Corporation. Orange Mayor Dwayne Warren offered holiday greetings. The event was co-sponsored by the Orange and Irvington Chambers of Commerce, the Irvington Springfield Avenue BID, and the Business & Professional Association of the Oranges.
A great evening of holiday cheer was enjoyed by all.
 Business & Professional Association of the Oranges (Click here to enter website) 
 Orange Chamber of Commerce (Click here to enter website) 
More than 50 area businesspeople - realtors, lenders, property managers, developers, retailers - listen to presentations by government officials of Orange,
East Orange, and Irvington.
(Left) City of Orange Township speakers were Laquana Best, Director of Economic Development, and Mayor Dwayne Warren.
(Right) Township of Irvington speakers were Jadette Williams and Osner Charles of the Department of Economic Development & Grants Oversight.
Essex County Commissioner (District 3) Tyshammie Cooper, an East Orange resident,
presented development information on behalf of
the City of East Orange, which she represents on the county level.

NJEDA to Open Small Business Improvement Grant Application on February 10th
Trenton, N.J. (February 8, 2022) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced plans to open applications for its Small Business Improvement Grant on Thursday, February 10 at 10:00 a.m. The Small Business Improvement Grant is the second of several products the NJEDA is launching under the Main Street Recovery Program, to help small businesses become more resilient and position themselves for growth.

Funded with $15 million, this product will reimburse eligible small businesses and nonprofits for up to 50 percent of eligible project costs associated with building improvements or the purchase and/or installation of new furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FFE) made on or after March 9, 2020, but no more than two years prior to application. The maximum grant award will be $50,000 per business entity for the life of this program.

“Small businesses are the backbone of New Jersey,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “This program will allow small businesses and non-profits throughout our state to make the investments necessary for their success and for improvements to their spaces. Since the beginning of our administration, the NJEDA has been focused on making New Jersey stronger and fairer for all New Jerseyans, and the Small Business Improvement Grant is just one of many examples of what we are doing to ensure that small businesses share in the benefits of the Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA).”

Created under the ERA, the Main Street Recovery Program is a $100 million small business support program that will fund multiple financial assistance products aimed at supporting the growth and success of small businesses in New Jersey. More information is available at https://www.njeda.com/main-street-recovery-fund/.

“The Main Street Recovery Program embodies Governor Phil Murphy’s commitment to providing small businesses and nonprofits with the resources they need to build greater resilience against economic challenges and succeed in the long run,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Products created by the ERA include provisions to ensure equity and inclusiveness, and the Small Business Improvement Grant, combined with the other components of the Main Street Recovery Program, provides a comprehensive approach to fostering more vibrant downtowns.”

In line with Governor Murphy’s commitment to equity, 40 percent of the Small Business Improvement Grant funding will be set aside for businesses and nonprofits in Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts.

“The pandemic hit small businesses hard and the Small Business Improvement Grant will help to offset the costs they had to incur to adapt to new and challenging circumstances,” said Christina Fuentes, NJEDA’s Managing Director of Community Development. “We encourage small business owners that have invested in their facilities and operations to adapt to new ways of doing business during these stressful times to apply for this grant to help them recover their costs and build their reserves for whatever the future may hold.”

To be eligible, work must be completed on or after March 9, 2020, but no more than two years prior to application date. Applicants must provide documentation proving payment was made for completed work (e.g. invoices, statements, payments, and/or cancelled checks.)

Applicants must also commit to remaining in the facility and meeting wage requirements for up to four years following the execution of the grant agreement and depending upon award amount. Awards greater than $25,000 will have a compliance period of four years and grant awards less than $25,000 will have a compliance period of two years.

The first offering created under the Main Street Recovery Program is the Small Business Lease Grant. That grant provides an award of 20 percent of annual lease payment for each of the first two years of a lease to small businesses and nonprofits that have entered into a new lease no earlier than 12 months prior to their date of application and the new lease is for at least 250 square feet of street-level space and has a term of at least a five years. Businesses that have amended or extended their lease and have added at least 250 square feet of space are eligible as well. Applications for the grant were launched on October 20, 2021. Details about that grant, including complete eligibility criteria, and additional information are available at https://www.njeda.com/small-business-lease-grant-program/

Businesses and nonprofits that receive funding through the Small Business Lease Grant or Small Business Improvement Grant are required to agree to pay employees going forward for the grant term the greater of $15 per hour or 120 percent of the minimum wage. Tipped employees must be paid at least 120 percent of the minimum wage. For more information on wage compliance for the Main Street products please visit https://www.njeda.com/main-street-recovery-fund/.

Signed in January 2021, the ERA creates a package of programs that includes tax credits to incentivize job creation, new construction, and revitalization of brownfields and historic properties; financial resources for small businesses; support for new supermarkets and healthy food retailers in food desert communities; new funding opportunities for early-stage companies in New Jersey; and support for the growing film and digital media industry.

About the New Jersey Economic Development Authority

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.
To learn more about NJEDA resources for businesses call NJEDA Customer Care at 609-858-6767 or visit https://www.njeda.com and follow @NewJerseyEDA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
December 9, 2021
Our 2021 Tri-Community Holiday Business Mixer was enjoyed by more than 40 businesses on December 9 at Parkway Office Campus, 50 Union Avenue, Irvington. Members of the Business & Professional Association of the Oranges, Orange and Irvington Chambers of Commerce, Irvington Springfield Avenue and Camptown Business Improvement Districts (Irvington) enjoyed comraderie, good food, Santa Claus, and $250 in Visa Gift Card prizes.

2021 Graduate of Cicely Tyson School of Performing Arts, East Orange, NJ

BPAO $1000.00
The Second Annual "Favorite Businesses Awards Dinner" was held October 29, 2020, at Bella Italia Restaurant by the two sponsoring organizations, the Business and Professional Association of the Oranges (BPAO) and the Orange Chamber of Commerce (OCC). The following 14 local businesses, chosen by 184 customers as their “2020 Favorite Businesses” earlier this year, were recognized at the dinner, which was conducted under pandemic precautions:
AUTO SERVICE: Friendly Auto Service, 528 Main Street, Orange
BANK: PNC Bank, 565 Main Street, East Orange, and 410 Main Street, Orange
CHILD CARE: Zadie’s Early Childcare Center, 280 S. Harrison Street, East Orange
CLOTHING STORE: Pure Charisma Boutique, 560 Main Street, East Orange
CONVENIENCE STORE: 7-Eleven, 247 Freeway Drive, East Orange
DELI: Sandwiches Unlimited, 405 Central Avenue, East Orange and 23 N. Center Street, Orange
ELECTRONICS/CELL PHONES: RK Wireless, 229 Main Street, Orange
FURNITURE: HD Furniture, 623 Central Avenue, East Orange
MEDIA: East Orange Record/Orange Transcript
PHARMACY: E&M Pharmacy, 205 S. Essex Avenue, Orange
RESTAURANT-FULL SERVICE: Dominy Restaurant, 432 Central Avenue, East Orange
RESTAURANT-QUICK SERVICE: Papa John’s, 466 Central Avenue, East Orange
SNEAKERS/SHOES: Snipes, 548 Central Avenue, East Orange
SUPERMARKET: Shop Rite Supermarket, 533 Main Street, East Orange
City of Orange Township Business Administrator Chris Hartwyk and Councilwoman Adrienne Wooten updated the businesses in attendance on economic developments in the City of Orange.
For more information about the BPAO and the OCC, call (973) 666-8072.
City of Orange Township officials offered remarks
during the 2020 Favorite Businesses Awards Dinner:
Councilwoman Adrienne Wooten (left) and Business Administrator Chris Hartwyk.
Meanwhile, David Biagini of FirsTEAManagement,
the BPAO/OCC management firm, presented the awards to the honorees.

OCC President Robert Masoud welcomes audience

Favorite Shoes/Sneaker Store-SNIPES


Favorite Pharmacy-E&M PHARMACY

Favorite Electronics/Cell Phones-RK WIRELESS

Favorite Clothing Store-PURE CHARISMA BOUTIQUE

Favorite Full-Service Restaurant-Dominy Restaurant

Favorite Media-Worrall Media
Helpful COVID-19 Website Links: 

Orange Mayor Dwayne Warren (left) offered an overview of new projects and programs in his city during the Holiday Reception, which was sponsored by the BPAO and OCC on December 12, 2019, at Sandwiches Unlimited in Orange. At right, OCC President Robert Masoud enjoys the buffet.
Exhibitors at the Holiday Reception included HANDS (left), Investors Bank (right) and E&M Pharmacy.