Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

Camden's Small Business Week Celebrated at the Camden Kroc Center

Posted on 5/24/2022 by Ray Lamboy in LAEDA News

Camden, NJ- On May 4, 2022, LAEDA joined local organizations and small businesses at the Kroc Center in Camden to celebrate National Small Business Week. Jamila Powell, MBA, the Program Manager for the LAEDA Women's Business Center was one of the panelists Wells Fargo hosted to provide information on how to build capacity and elevate small businesses to the next level. The small business leaders in Camden were highlighted as well as the network of local organizations who support them every single day and on each and every step of their journey.

 “Let’s clap our hands and welcome the small businesses here in the room,” emphasizes Paralee Knight, Wells Fargo Social Impact and Sustainability VP New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. “Small businesses are the cornerstones of our neighborhoods and each one makes a change and impacts in the city to make the neighborhood for residents and visitors to thrive.”

Numerous nonprofit partners, including the Enterprise Center, Camden Business Association, Camden Community Partnership, Latin American Economic Development Association and Parkside Business & Community in Partnership Inc. came together to the Kroc Center to discuss how each one elevates local businesses. By working together, the organizations aim to continuously drive the city of Camden to being a place where businesses, no matter what size, can thrive and keep on being successful.

“Small businesses are the heartbeat of our neighborhoods,” Dr. Edward Williams, City of Camden Director of Planning & Development defined, “We need to emphasize and understand the model of small businesses and build upon Camden strong together.”

When each one of the small businesses plants their seed toward success and development while working together, it makes not just the businesses thrive, but the city and its residents as well.

“One step to seeing that tree become a reality is by all the sponsors for small businesses,” Angel Fuentes, Camden City Council President explained.

In order for the small businesses in Camden to achieve their next level of successes or add onto their already successful ventures, it is important to understand some common barriers that can come across on their path in the following areas: financing, tax planning, accounting, equity, procurement, certifications, and preparedness.

“We always learn and put ourselves in the position to run. Small Businesses are the heartbeat of America, the heartbeat of the City of Camden and we need to understand and help each other out,” Jonathan Young, Sr., Camden County Commissioner disclosed, “Networking with people is your best business source.”

Building relationships creates opportunities and fills in the gaps of all the pieces that may be missing to build a puzzle of success.

As Ben Ovadia, from the Kroc Center spoke, “We want to bring people together and help as much as we can because we are not going to achieve transformation alone- we all need each other."

As the discussion lead on there were many solutions brought upon in the room of the potential barriers small businesses face. Jamila Powell, Program Manager – LAEDA’s Women's Business Center added, “Business education and counseling are vital and we want to see South Jersey succeed in reaching the goals of achieving entrepreneurship. With that being said, collaboration is huge and LAEDA tries to be the gap filler by being that bridge for small businesses especially when it comes to capital.”

This event was a way for everyone to network as well and also to celebrate ten small business owners by giving them a thousand dollars for all their achievements and impacts- each listed below:

(1) Fashion Design Center of South Jersey
(2) Visionary Entertainment (alumni of LAEDA)
(3) Body Designers Fitness Studio
(4) Blowin’ Smoque Restaurant
(5) Essential Blends Hair Studio
(6) All Phazes Furniture
(7) T.I.’s Next Level Barbershop
(8) Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant & Pizzeria (alumni of LAEDA)
(9) Complete Maintenance
(10) Sure Biochem Laboratories

The panel and event ended with the floor being opened to networking and businesses making connections by uplifting each other, the city and its residents while creating an economic comeback each step of the way.

Alima Hawthorne, Wells Fargo Small Business Development Manager expressed a message of essence, “Each person knows 250 people and when you look around you will see that the answers to your questions are already in the room.”

To read more about this event, click here