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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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Atlantic Cape Awarded Grant for Small Business Resource Center

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By Press Release

MOUNT LAUREL – The Trump administration announced Sept. 2 that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $40,000 to create a small business support center at the Cape May County Campus of Atlantic Cape Community College, in Court House.
“Small businesses and educational institutes are vital to our economy. This grant, along with the matching funds from Cape May County and Crest Savings Bank, will pay dividends for years with business growth in this rural community,” stated New Jersey State Director Michael Thulen Jr. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural New Jersey in building stronger and healthier communities, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
“Thanks to the USDA, Atlantic Cape Community College will help lead the way to connecting our businesses and emerging businesses with the tools they will need to be successful,” stated U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2nd). “This is a great program, and I look forward to seeing the positive work they will be producing for our community.”
“Establishing this support center for small business will help unlock the entrepreneurial hopes and dreams of a new generation of job creators,” stated Sen. Michael Testa (R-1st). “I commend the president and his administration for investing in the future of so many South Jersey residents who aspire to improve themselves and their communities as small employers. This announcement demonstrates confidence in Atlantic and Cape May counties, and its impact will be visible through economic expansion and development in the years to come.”
According to a release, Atlantic Cape Community College, in Mays Landing, will create a small business support center that will identify, train and provide technical assistance to existing and prospective entrepreneurs and business managers. This project will deliver new economic development capacity to Cape May County by serving small businesses, with special outreach to women, minority and veteran-owned businesses.
The total budget for this small business support center is currently $100,000. No one source needed to fund this alone because several great partners came together to invest in the local economy. The college is providing an in-kind match, which includes staff, rooms on site at the college, and equipment, such as computers, for entrepreneurs to learn marketing on.
The Cape May County Freeholder Board approved funds of $20,000 to go towards this budget, which will go right back in the county’s economy with new stronger businesses. Also, non-government funding came from Crest Savings Bank, with $10,000 going to this budget on top of the $10,000 they gave towards the initial planning of this small business support center.
“We are grateful that Atlantic Cape has received the $40,000 from the USDA to support the bizHub in Cape May County,” stated Dr. Gaba, president of Atlantic Cape Community College. “The Rural Business Development Grant is important to the work we have begun and will help us continue our economic development efforts. Our partnerships with the Cape May County freeholders and Crest Savings Bank are unwavering, especially now, when current and future entrepreneurs need our support more than ever before.”
“The NJEDA congratulates Cape May County and the many stakeholders who have been involved in the project on securing the funding to turn the bizHub plan into reality. Entrepreneurship and creative new businesses will be a crucial element of New Jersey’s recovery from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “We are excited to see this project, which was planned with support from our Innovation Challenge, receive the funding needed to succeed.”
“Our region has needed to find new ways to support our business community during these times of rapid change that existed even before the challenges of COVID-19,” stated Nancy Cleaver, working group member and chief lending officer for Crest Savings Bank. “It is gratifying that the solution we developed over the last few years is about to become a reality when we need it most.”
“The Cape May County Chamber is excited to partner with Atlantic Cape in creating this business resource center for the local business community,” stated Vicki Clark, president, Cape May County Chamber of Commerce and bizHub working group member. “Cape May County offers many opportunities for the aspiring entrepreneur, but the challenges can often seem overwhelming, and new business owners are often frustrated with uncertainty of who to turn to for help. This new business resource center will provide aspiring business owners and those looking for assistance with the tools necessary to succeed in today’s marketplace.”
This program provides grants for rural projects that finance and facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses, help fund distance learning networks, and help fund employment-related adult education programs. To assist with business development, RBDGs may fund a broad array of activities.

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