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I have been a resident of Monmouth County for my entire life as well as being an entrepreneur. I can remember when I was little kid setting up a lemonade stand in front of my house. When I graduated high school I started an ice cream company serving ice cream along the boardwalk from old fashion Good Humor ice cream carts.

As a small business owner in Monmouth County (Fluff & Fold Laundry and Dry Cleaning in Ocean Twp.), I think it is phenomenal we have programs like "Grow Monmouth" thanks to our Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

"Grow Monmouth's" main objective is to attract and maintain Monmouth-based businesses so that we can create Monmouth County jobs and grow our local economy. The program has been championed by Monmouth County Freeholders Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso.

As a resident of Highlands the Grow Monmouth program has helped local businesses in town recuperate after the devastating effects of hurricane Sandy.

Just last month, Grow Monmouth had a showcase of all its business members at Brookdale Community College. What an impressive display! I look forward to similar events in the future.

With all the talk about globalization in the Presidential race, it's easy to lose sight of the local economy and the people who have worked to protect and strenghten it. People like Tom Arnone and Serena DiMaso. Keep up the great work!

Charles Measley
Highlands, NJ