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LAEDA and Parkside Business & Community in Partnership (PBCIP) Host 2nd Invest Parkside Event

Posted on 4/28/2023 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News

Camden, NJ- On April 27th LAEDA in collaboration with Parkside Business and Community in Partnership (PBCIP) hosted its 2nd Invest Parkside event at the Camden Historical Society to showcase all the exciting things happening in the Camden neighborhood. This event was hosted as an initiative under the Parkside collaborative. The Parkside collaborative is a group of partners – Camden County Historical Society, NJ Conservation Foundation, LAEDA, HopeWorks, and PBCIP – coming together to transform and revitalize the Parkside neighborhood of Camden, NJ

The Invest Parkside breakfast meeting was designed to bring together various stakeholders including established business owners, real estate brokers, chambers of commerce, etc. to discuss how investing in the neighborhood could be a great opportunity. The meeting began with Camden City Councilman Chris Collins recognizing all of the wonderful happening in Parkside under the leadership of PBCIP's Executive Director Bridget Phifer. He offered his words of encouragement and pledge to support the mission of creating a vibrant neighborhood atmosphere.

After, Councilman Collins welcomed PBCIP's Project Manager to the stage. Asha Anderson began by offering her welcomes to the crowd while giving a presentation about Parkside's past. Ms. Anderson explained that dating back to the 1960's, there were a significant number of Black-owned businesses in the neighborhood, including Eli's Tailor Shop, Lisa's Boutique, and Children's Boutique. She continued by emphasizing how PBCIP is dedicated to have a resurgence of Black and Brown businesses in Parkside. 

Then, R' Laymore Wilkerson (NPP Coordinator and owner of Blowin Smoque) discussed the present economic outlook of the Parkside neighborhood. Mr. Wilkerson highlighted not only the changes in the neighborhood's landscape but also the new businesses that have come to Haddon Avenue. He also emphasized that Parkside is implementing "changes you can believe in" with the building of residential homes and facade improvements of local business owner's stores. "As a business owner on Haddon Avenue, I use to always ask when is the change going to happen... I don't see them. But now, I can begin to see the changes in the neighborhood," Wilkerson stated.

Next, Asha Anderson discussed future residential and commercial properties that will be coming to Parkside while PBCIP's Bridget Phifer highlighted all the plans for the neighborhood. "This was neighborhood plan that included not only us but also the residents and business owners in order to learn what they felt was missing from their communities. The goal was to provide very comprehensive plan that addressed homeownership, great schools, and parks for our families, and a vibrant commercial corridor for businesses so today's meeting is just one part of the overall plan," Phifer explained.

Later, the event participants learned about local and state resources and incentives from Jamila Powell (Program Director, LAEDA Women's Business Center Program Director), Jamaal Jackson (Technical Support Coordinator, Camden City UEZ Program), Warren Birchmore (Senior Business Development Officer, NJEDA), and Raven Smith & Amanda Grassia (Fulton Bank). Each gave an overview of available programs including business training and counseling, Urban Enterprise Zone certifications, Haddon Avenue Business Association membership, and personal and business banking products.

The meeting concluded with networking amongst the 50 attendees as well as a call to action the join the efforts in making the Parkside neighborhood the right place to live, eat, shop, and do business in Camden.