PARSIPPANY — Another $15,000 Morris County Small Business Grant was presented today by the Morris County Commissioners, who, along with the Mayor and Council President of Parsippany Township and the Morris County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), are promoting the importance of shopping locally highlighted when the nation recognizes Small Business Saturday.
“Small businesses are the backbone of Morris County. They are the backbone of the entire New Jersey economy, which is why my fellow commissioners developed the Morris County Small Business Grant Program earlier this year. We need to support our local entrepreneurs, and this weekend everyone can get involved by shopping locally during the annual Small Business Saturday,” said Commissioner Director Tayfun Selen.
He, along with Commissioner Deputy Director John Krickus and Commissioner Stephen Shaw, presented a $15,000 grant to Rajeev Chopra at Chopra Auto Care in Parsippany today. They were joined by Parsippany Mayor Jamie Barberio, Council President Michael dePierro, Ed Ramirez, EDC’s Director of Business Resources and Professional Development, and businessman Mickey Chopra, the shopkeeper’s brother.
“During the pandemic, I had no business at all. People didn’t drive, so they didn’t bring their cars in. That will help me a lot. I have some machines to update. My tire machine is very old and my wheel balancer will cost a lot. So I am very grateful,” said Rajeev Chopra, who was surrounded by his family when he received the scholarship.
Morris County launched its Small Business Grant Program on Valentine’s Day with $10 million in American Rescue Act Plan funding, and the commissioners have approved 782 applications so far.
“I know the Mayor of Parsippany, the Council President, myself and other commissioners, we’ve been putting out application forms for this grant program all over the place and we’ve held events here in Parsippany and Dover and Morristown and elsewhere to get the word out – and we’ve been like that successful in that we not only put $10 million into the program, but had to add another $1.3 million,” said Commissioner Deputy Director John Krickus.
The additional funds were approved last month on the back of a spate of applications submitted just before the program closes on September 30. Commissioners wanted to ensure that those companies that applied late and ultimately qualify are covered. Morris County is still processing approximately 85 additional applications.
“Parsippany is full of small businesses. They make up a large part of our economy and we are very grateful to the Commissioner for this grant scheme. It has helped many of our local businesses and I hope everyone gets out to shop locally for Small Business Saturday this weekend,” said James Arberio, Mayor of Parsippany-Troy Hills.
The Morris County Commissioners passed a resolution Monday night designating this Saturday, November 26, as Morris County’s Small Business Saturday. Since 2010, the Saturday after Thanksgiving has been nationally recognized as “Small Business Saturday” after it was created by American Express. The national campaign encourages holiday shoppers to patronize local businesses.
The Morris County Chamber of Commerce and EDC helped Morris County sponsor the Morris County Small Business Grant Program this year.
Frank Cahill, Chair of the Parsippany Economic Development Advisory Committee and creator of the Morris Now APP, developed the app to support the small business economy in Morris County. Many small businesses had a tough time during COVID-19, and the APP is helping Morris County residents find local businesses in their community. The APP currently has over 15,000 small mom and pop businesses listed absolutely free. If your company is not listed, submit it by clicking here. Morris Now received a similar grant from the Morris County Small Business Grant Program in August.
The APP is completely FREE for any consumer to download and is available on Google Play and the Apple Store by searching “MORRIS NOW”.
Through December 31, each newly registered user will automatically receive a $10.00 gift card to IHOP locations in Parsippany, Kenvil, or Cedar Knolls. Additionally, you have the opportunity to win a $50.00 gift certificate from a Morris. county retailers.
“Small businesses are the heartbeat of our inner cities and an essential part of our economy,” said Craig Schlosser, executive director of the Morris County Economic Development Corporation. “We’re proud that New Jersey ranks 11th in the United States with over 861,000 small businesses.” Meghan Hunscher, President of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce in Florham Park, added, “We’re excited to thank everyone for ‘Shop Local’ initiatives that will benefit business owners in Morris County.”
According to the United States Small Business Administration, there are 32.5 million small businesses in the United States, accounting for 99.9 percent of all businesses in the United States, and they are responsible for creating 1.5 million jobs annually and representing 64 percent of new jobs created in the US
Despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, US consumers said they spent a record $23.3 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday 2021.