Drives New Small Business Awareness Initiative
Trenton, NJ -- As part of the state’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness of financing programs available to small businesses, New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Lizura visited Carton Brewing in Atlantic Highlands on Friday. The business recently received a line of credit through the EDA’s Premier Lender program, which lowers the cost of borrowing for small businesses through the EDA’s alliance with more than 30 banking partners.
“Businesses like Carton Brewing create jobs, invest in our communities, and contribute to the quality of life of local residents and visitors,” said Lizura. “We want business owners all over the State to know that resources are available to help companies of all sizes grow and prosper in New Jersey.”
Since 2010, through the Premier Lender program, $51.8 million in loans has been provided to 78 small NJ businesses, leveraging more than $201 million in private/public investment.
Carton Brewing was recently approved under the Premier Lender program for a line of credit from Provident Bank, with a 50 percent EDA guarantee. The brewery, which samples beer on-premise and self-distributes to over 350 bars, restaurants and liquor stores in New Jersey, will use its line of credit to expand its business, including the purchase of equipment, working capital, and the acquisition of an adjacent building.
“We at Carton Brewing are thrilled about the reception our products have received in our community and are looking forward to expanding our capacity and reaching new people,” said Augie Carton, co-owner, Carton Brewing. “It's important to us to continue doing what we do in our neighborhood and we appreciate the support of the State, Provident Bank, and our customers as we grow.”
The visit coincides with the launch of EDA’s new small and mid-sized business-focused print and digital marketing campaign, which was created in collaboration with Princeton Partners, Inc. Featuring the theme “EDA Was Here,” the campaign anecdotally showcases how businesses, like Carton Brewery, have used the EDA’s financing programs to overcome challenges, meet their needs and grow. The campaign will also target the banking community to highlight the benefit of EDA’s network of Premier Lenders and the value that EDA’s involvement brings to a commercial lending transaction. The campaign will include print ads in various New Jersey business publications, as well as digital display ads on various business websites and search engine marketing.
“Our new awareness initiative was created to ensure that all New Jersey small business owners take advantage of the valuable resources that are available and accessible to support their growth and prosperity,” said Lizura.
EDA has also internally realigned its business banking staff in an effort to optimize its support of small and mid-sized businesses. This realignment, which was driven by the goal of more adeptly connecting small businesses with appropriate resources, will dedicate business banking officers to specific programs and geographic areas to ensure that staff is best positioned to assist businesses depending on their need and location.
Two recent EDA staff changes were driven by the move to this new model. Paul Ceppi was promoted to Director - Business Banking & Community Development after nearly 20 years in Community Development, including eight years with the EDA. Derrick Benns was promoted to Program Manager – Business Banking after ten years with the EDA and several years with a number of New Jersey banks. Ceppi and Benns both have extensive knowledge of EDA programs and strong relationships with EDA’s banking partners and various other stakeholders.
The EDA is part of the state’s results-driven Partnership for Action. Created by Governor Christie and led by Lt. Governor Guadagno, the Partnership is the hub for all economic development activity in New Jersey and is comprised of four interconnected and highly focused organizational elements: Choose New Jersey, the Business Action Center, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the EDA.
To learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at www.NewJerseyBusiness.gov or call the Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789.