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Southern Ocean County Looks To Attract New Businesses [AUDIO]

The push to attract new businesses to Long Beach Island and the surrounding community will take a step forward Tuesday.
The first quarterly report reflecting the work that had taken place in recent months will be released at the Jan. 14 meeting of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce at the Holiday Inn in Manahawkin. The report highlights steps that have been taken to attract new business since the first  meeting of the Regional Business Development Council, which took place Aug. 21.

As part of the 100th anniversary of the business organization, the Southern Ocean Chamber board and members have brought together businesspeople and community leaders to create a council tasked with discussing and setting the tone for economic growth within the region.

Representatives will be in attendance from Barnegat EDC, Barnegat Chamber, Lacey EDC, Lacey Chamber, Beach Haven Borough, borough of Ship Bottom, Tuckerton EDC, Stockton College, SCORE, MODC, Stafford Township, Southern Ocean Medical Center, Ocean County Planning, Ocean County Tourism, NJ Office of Planning, Ship Bottom Merchants Association and liaisons from congressional and legislative districts. Participants will also include representatives from the real estate, insurance and construction industries as well.

The council has been divided into working committees that include Policy, chaired by Ken Nilson Growth Sector, with Virginia Brodsky and Christopher Schwab serving as co-chairs, and Business Incubator/Workforce Development with Jerry Thompson and Robert Goodyear serving as co-chairs.

The goal of the council and its work is to create feasible economic growth and stability for the residents and businesses of Southern Ocean County, which is defined from Forked River to Little Egg Harbor and includes Long Beach Island. The council has identified business districts that have potential for expansion for mixed use businesses, including corporate offices, light manufacturing and distribution. It also takes into consideration the need for residential, mixed transit use and need for larger employers.

Tourism opportunities with potential to keep niche markets moving to a year round model. The final report which will be released in 2015 will represent the area in the overall with Ocean County in the Together New Jersey Plan.

The potential for using vacant property not for retail but for expo centers, waterfront taxi, business incubators and other start up incentives was discussed during the first quarter meetings. With the new Economic Opportunity Act, the council has identified the priority zones that will give up to $3,000 per employee to new businesses employing 25 or more people.

For quarterly findings or information about Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce please contact 609-494-7211 or online at

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