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Burlington County Commissioner Dan O’Connell announced the County will continue to offer businesses assistance and services even as they emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.
Speaking to business leaders from across the region at the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey’s Regional Economic Perspective Breakfast, O’Connell predicted local businesses would rebound stronger than ever following the pandemic.
“People talk about going back to normal, and I have to agree with them, but only to a point. The pandemic taught us that in certain areas, we needed to improve, and we have,” O’Connell said during his keynote address. “Moving forward we are not looking to go back to normal but to create an even better atmosphere for our businesses and residents to flourish.”
Among the programs, O’Connell highlighted is Burlington County’s Health Emergency Loan Program, also known as HELP, which offers up to $50,000 in zero-interest loans to local businesses impacted by the health crisis. Businesses can use the money to hire back workers, purchase equipment or make renovations or improvements to their facilities.
“These businesses are ones who fell through the cracks and either did not qualify or were unable to get federal or state help,” said O’Connell.
Several local businesses have already received loans, and more are currently going through the application process. O’Connell encouraged other local businesses in need to apply quickly before the program’s scheduled sunset date in June. To apply, go to https://www.bcbridges.org/covid19-resources/
Burlington County is also assisting businesses through its Shop Burlington County First initiative, which promotes local businesses on the County website and social media pages. More than 200 businesses have been spotlighted since the initiative was revived by the Commissioners in 2020.
Businesses interested in being spotlighted should email the Burlington County Commissioners Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
The County has also created a Burlington County Restaurant Week, which is expected to be held in August this year, and a Business Resources Portal on the County website with information about how to start a business, obtain permits and licenses or get a business listed for promotions and special events. There’s also information about workforce development and training programs.
During his address, O’Connell also spoke of the positive business climate in Burlington County and both its affordability and high quality of life. He cited Moody’s Investors Services reports that pointed to the county’s budgeting, cost controls and “strong financial results,” as well as the County’s outstanding parks, trail networks and support for historic preservation and the arts.
“These things not only make Burlington County a great place to live and raise a family but also to work and grow a business,” said O’Connell. “Businesses are part of our foundation and Burlington County offers an excellent atmosphere for businesses to succeed. When businesses do well, all of our residents and communities benefit. That’s why our Board if committed to using every resource at our disposal to help our county’s businesses recover and grow.”