Released November 23, 2022
Shop Local This Bank Holiday Weekend!
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), highlighted the importance of shopping local 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 joined commissioner Deputy Director John Krickus and Commissioner Stephen Shaw today in providing a $15,000 grant Rajeev Chopra at Chopra Car Care in Parsippany. They were joined Parsippany Mayor Jamie Barberio, Council President Michael dePierro, EDC Director of Business Resources and Professional Development Ed Ramirez, 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 reach the world – 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’s helped a lot of our local businesses, and I hope everyone gets out this weekend to shop locally on Small Business Saturday,” Mayor Barberio said.
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.
“Small businesses are the heartbeat of our inner cities and an essential part of our economy,” said Craig Schlosser, managing director of the Morris County Economic Development Society. “We are 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 are excited to support all of the ‘Shop Local’ initiatives that 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.
Above right: Director Selen presents a check for $15,000 to Rajeev Chopra of Chopra Auto Care, who is surrounded by his family. Also present are Deputy Director Krickus (far left) and (far right) Ed Ramirez of EDC, Commissioner Shaw, Council President dePierro and Mayor Barberio
Center Left: Director Selen with Rajeev Chopra. Both men immigrated to the United States and began pumping gasoline as their first jobs. Both men became successful businessmen.
Bottom right: Director Selen, surrounded by the Chopra family, spoke about the United States offering opportunities for people to succeed in business.