Trenton, NJ – Reaffirming the Christie Administration’s support for New Jersey’s small business community, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno today visited River Road Books, Fair Haven Hardware and Tavolo Pronto in downtown Fair Haven to further the Administration’s ongoing dialogue with small business job creators, while also highlighting proactive measures being taking to foster entrepreneurship and investment in Monmouth County and statewide.

“Small businesses and the entrepreneurs whose hard work and dedication make them successful remain the driving force behind New Jersey’s economy,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “Today’s ‘Main Street Walk’ through Fair Haven is about celebrating that entrepreneurial spirit and reaffirming our support for doing whatever we can to see these small businesses continue their growth in our state’s communities. Such discussions have shaped the work of the New Jersey Partnership for Action, and this trend will surely continue.”

Purchased by former employees in 2007, Fair Haven Books offers visitors a wide selection of bestsellers and local literature amid a backdrop featuring considerable maritime influences. Its eclectic appeal includes an array of young adult and school-required summer reading titles, local author book signing nights and more that adds to its family-friendly atmosphere.

“Fair Haven is a close knit community. This is so very exciting to have Lt. Governor Guadagno visit our business and show her how we are striving to make our community a thriving and successful town,” said Laurie Potter co-owner of River Road Books. “As a small independent business, we are fortunate to be able to succeed in this tough economic climate and provide a service that helps keep people shopping locally. We appreciate the support of this Administration as we can continue to improve our business.”

Founded in 1953, Fair Haven Hardware has been a family-run business and leading retailer of Benjamin Moore and True Value Hardware products. It prides itself on the family friendly atmosphere that customers can’t enjoy at larger box stores and offers a wide collection of tools and supplies for everything from home repairs to arts and crafts and more.

“It is an honor to have Lt. Governor Guadagno visit a few small businesses in Fair Haven, including our hardware store,” said Harvey Shooman, president of Fair Haven Hardware Inc. “In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the devastation that the hurricane inflicted on our area, it is nice to see members of our state government following up on the business community to see how they are doing in the recovery process.”

Located in the heart of downtown Fair Haven, Tavolo Pronto is an Italian bistro, bakery and market serving daily specials and specializing in made-to-order take home meals and school lunch menus. Offering fresh baked goods and custom cakes for any occasion, the venue is also open early for breakfast specials and offers an extensive lunchtime selection that includes pizza, paninis, salads and homemade soups.

“I’m very honored that the Lt. Governor Guadagno decided to stop by the Tavalo Pronto,” said Patti Balderas, owner of Tavolo Pronto. “Fair Haven is a wonderful community and I’m happy to contribute to our local economy. We are one of many small businesses in Fair Haven and we are thrilled that the Lt. Governor has chosen to highlight our business community.”

Data from the U.S. Small Business Administration illustrates the incredible importance of small businesses to New Jersey’s overall economic vibrancy. Businesses with under 500 employees represent 98.4 percent of all statewide employers and employ 50.2 percent of New Jersey’s private-sector labor force.

Any aspiring entrepreneur or small business owner who requires assistance in starting a business or growing their existing enterprise is encouraged to contact the New Jersey Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789 or visit the state’s Online Business Portal at www.newjerseybusiness.gov