Southern Ocean County Chamber Celebrates Small Business Week Starting May 2

The Barnegat Lighthouse (Photo by Micromedia Publications)

SHIP BOTTOM – The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating National Small Business Week with a flurry of special events for small business owners, starting with an Open House on May 2 and 3.

The regional chamber has partnered with a variety of organizations to make National Small Business Week a local resource in the Long Beach Island Region. All are invited to participate in events, which include a business breakfast, pop up meeting, open houses and classes.

The Open House will take place at the Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce offices, 265 West Ninth Street, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., where small business owners and entrepreneurs will have access to representatives from Ocean County SCORE for one-on-one mini business strategy sessions, SBA lenders for financial assistance for new and expanding business plans, Atlantic City Electric for business basics and Southern Ocean Chamber members for a discussion on doing business locally.

During the May 2 session, bi-lingual services will be provided so that Hispanic business owners can familiarize themselves with some of these offerings. Santander Bank and Atlantic City Electric provide translators and Spanish speaking representatives.

  “The Southern Ocean County Chamber has been serving local small businesses since its establishment in 1914,” said Lori Pepenella of the Southern Ocean County Chamber. “Our members have always been the heart of the economy providing services and creating jobs, and now more than ever resources need to be available to generate business growth, professional development and peer to peer networking. For 54 years, National Small Business week has recognized the contributions of entrepreneurs and small business owners. Not only will the Southern Ocean Chamber celebrate the week, but we will go into mid-May by offering multiple opportunities to celebrate.”

Additional Small Business Week events include:

May 4 and 5 – Food Safety Manager Certification course and exam. The Southern Ocean Chamber is partnering with the LBI Health Department to co-sponsor this event on the second floor of the Chamber building. Pre-registration is required and a discounted fee for Chamber members is $60, including course books. The event is also open to public and costs $95, or $30 for the exam only. Contact the Chamber office to reserve your space.

May 10 – Innovate & Caffeinate Small Business Breakfast at the Holiday Inn at 8:15 a.m. Includes breakfast, networking and keynote speaker Joseph Simonetta, Executive Director of NJ Travel Industry Association, who will discuss minimum wage and other legislation, as well as a program from SBA and SCORE, focusing on a Small Business Week wrap-up with a 2017 overview of SBA programs and free business counseling available to business owners. There is a $20 fee, please RSVP to the Chamber.

May 10 – Small Business Pop-Up in partnership with Ocean County Board of Realtors at 3:30 p.m. at a vacant commercial location for touring, 912 West Bay Ave Unit 6 in Barnegat’s Acme Plaza. Refreshments will be served and a $10 donation is suggested to benefit the Maximillian Foundation and Hope Sheds Light. There will be a brief keynote from Ocean County SCORE/SBA. Please RSVP to the Chamber.

May 17 –The Chamber’s Annual Get Acquainted Summer Kick-Off Party at Panzone’s Restaurant in Beach Haven from 5 to 8 p.m. Food, light conversation, networking, live music and a cash bar is the perfect way to reconnect with those met throughout the weeks leading up to the party. There is a $25 fee, please RSVP to the Chamber.

Events are open to all area business people. To contact the Southern Ocean County Chamber or to reserve a spot for any of the events that require an RSVP, please call 609 494 7211 or stop in at 265 West Ninth Street. Visit the Chamber online at