Division of Economic Development works with hundreds of businesses

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Division of Economic Development had a standout year in 2014 from the creation of the Grow Monmouth Business Roundtables to the expansion of the Façade Improvement Program and Made in Monmouth.

“Economic Development had a very busy year in 2014,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone. “The Grow Monmouth program continues to expand and I look forward to working with our business and municipal partners in 2015.”

The Grow Monmouth Roundtables mark the first time that the Board of Chosen Freeholders has partnered with the municipal governing bodies to encourage direct conversation with business owners and managers. 

“The roundtables offer a forum for business owners and managers to discuss zoning and regulations that impact business success,” said Arnone. “Issues that support and foster business growth, as well as issues that make it difficult for businesses to thrive and expand, are also part of the discussions. Attendees are invited to make suggestions to officials on how to best resolve issues.”

There were 11 roundtables held in 2014, which were attended by more than 230 business owners and managers. The Division is currently scheduling roundtables for 2015 and will post the information to the County website at www.visitmonmouth.com.

The Façade Improvement Program that kicked-off in late 2013 was re-funded with grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2014.

“The Façade Improvement Program has been a very successful Grow Monmouth component,” said Arnone. “The program uses HUD Community Development Block Grant funds that were de-obligated by grantees to help privately held commercial buildings, located in HUD eligible areas, improve their business façades.”

The County will award up to $1,850 for a project upgrades such as a new awning, paint, door or sign.  There are no matching funds required from the business. In 2014, 49 grants were approved and 34 projects were completed, which translates into more than $50,000 to businesses for upgrades to their buildings.

Made in Monmouth began in 2012 to help small MonmouthCounty businesses expand their customer base and find new partnerships. In addition to the annual event held at MonmouthUniversity, Made in Monmouth expanded this year and was a part of the Monmouth County Fair in July and held two “Mini Made in Monmouth” events in Manalapan and Cream Ridge in December.

“Made in Monmouth events provide opportunity for the small businesses in MonmouthCounty and for customers,” said Arnone. “The quality and variety of products made right here in the County never cease to amaze and these events offer a one-stop-shop for everyone to see, sample and purchase these great products.”

Made in Monmouth, the Façade Improvement Program and the Grow Monmouth Business Roundtables are organized by the Grow Monmouth team within the County’s Division of Economic Development.

The Grow Monmouth team has met with hundreds of business, civic and government leaders in recent months to provide state-of-the-art information services that can help local businesses grow and prosper.  This initiative has become a significant public-private project to create and preserve jobs in MonmouthCounty.

If you would like more information on how to get involved with Grow Monmouth programs, contact the Division of Economic Development at 732-431-7470.