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Camden County Freeholders Put $20M of Small Business Grants on Street; Program Launches July 23

(Camden, NJ) – Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr., was recently joined today by Camden County’s business advocates, Congressman Donald Norcross and clergy to announce a forthcoming grant funding program for small businesses launching on July 23.

The county has received federal funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist struggling businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we navigate through this public health crisis, we know that merchants on Main Street are hurting and it is imperative to make every effort to get them additional financial assistance.

“We know the business community, especially the foundation of our economy, small businesses, have been hurting and are in dire need of relief,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. “We need to ensure that every proprietor and principal of a small business has access to these grant funds in order to help maintain and stabilize their operations. Moving forward the grants have the potential to provide a business owner with up to $10,000 for COVID caused or related expenses.”

In order to qualify for a Camden County CARES Small Business Grant, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Business revenue has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The business has been located in Camden County since January 1, 2019 or earlier
  • The business employed 25 or fewer employees as of March 1, 2020
  • The business earned $5 million or less in total revenue during 2019

The business must not operate in any of the following categories:

  • Banks or other financial institutions
  • E-Commerce
  • Businesses where the primary products or services are oriented to specific ages (vaping, liquor stores, etc.)
  • Franchises, except for those franchises which are completely locally owned and operated

Congressman Donald Norcross has been working in partnership with the county governing body to get federal funds back into the community as quickly as possible.

“The CARES Act has delivered critical federal resources to local governments, and I applaud Camden County’s innovation in creating this grant program to help small businesses who need it most,” Norcross said. “These grants will provide vital funding to the small businesses that power our local economy and that need our support during the ongoing public health crisis.”

Application Process Begins July 23

The application process will start on July 23, at 8 a.m. and applicants can apply directly on or call (833) 487-0462. The Board will be working with other nonprofits and business advocates to ensure everyone in the community is aware of this opportunity.

These groups include the South Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the Latin American Economic Development Association (LAEDA), the Camden Business Association, the South Jersey Development Council, the Camden County Regional Chamber of Commerce and several others.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of the South Jersey Chamber of Commerce, Christina Renna said this funding will be critical for the small businesses in the region.

“We know that our members are going through one of the toughest times in modern era when it comes to running and operating a small business,” Renna said. “That said, we are proud to partner with Camden County as they get much needed federal grant funds out to the business community during this time of significant need.”

Vice president of the Camden Business Association, Nichelle Pace, talked about the importance of federal funds getting into the hands of principals representing minority and women-owned businesses.

“I want to thank Camden County for getting this money out to main street and ensuring that minority owned businesses will benefit from the funding during these tough times,” Pace said. “Small businesses are facing some of their largest challenges since the great depression, including a large disparity gap within the minority and women-owned business community. The Camden Business Association is proud to partner with the Board to get the word out to the Camden business community, so they can access these funds.”

Another partner with the county, Latin American Economic Development Association (LAEDA), focuses its resources and tools on continuing to build Camden City’s economic corridors throughout the city. Chief Executive Officer and president, Raymond Lamboy, continued to speak about the importance of getting grant funding out to business owners who have not benefited directly from other stimulus programs.

“There is no question that this money will be well utilized in several of the city’s commercial corridors with owners and proprietors who have not had access to federal funds throughout the pandemic,” Lamboy said. “We want to ensure the principals of these businesses can understand the process and we are looking forward to work with the county to bridge any gaps in communication and logistics when these funds hit the street.”

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Bellmawr, Brooklawn, Mt. Ephraim, Runnemede Among Recreation Facility Enhancement Grant Recipients

DJI Mavic Pro Drone Image of the Bellmawr Hockey Complex by SJO

The Camden County Freeholder has approved the recommendations of the Open Space Preservation Trust Fund Advisory Committee to award $25,000 grants to 35 projects across Camden County.

The 2018 Recreation Facility Enhancement Project Grants, totaling $875,000 this year, are funded through the Camden County Open Space Preservation Trust Fund and are presented to existing publicly owned recreation facilities planning to expand their utilization for recreational purposes.

“These grants are an opportunity to build and enhance our parks and playgrounds throughout the county. We know these passive and active recreational offerings make Camden County a special place to live and improve our overall quality of life,” said Freeholder Jeffery L. Nash, liaison to the Open Space Preservation Trust Fund Advisory Committee. “This year’s applications represented a wide range of projects throughout the county. We appreciate the hard work and planning that went into each request.”

Each year, municipal organizations are invited to submit an application detailing the enhancements planned for their existing recreation facilities for consideration by the advisory committee.

The requests for funding are limited to $25,000 per project, per year. The projects must be completed within a one year period. The Camden County Open Space Preservation Trust Fund was created by the Freeholder Board in 1999 in response to overwhelming voter support of an open space referendum placed on the ballot in November 1998.

$25,000 Grant Recipients

Community Center Hockey Rink

Audubon Park
Audubon Park Playground

Wish Upon a Star Playground

Bellmawr Hockey Complex
Korosynski Dog Park

Pershing Road Recreation Complex

Cherry Hill Township
Richterman Park

Woodcrest Bowling Green Park
National Little League Ball Fields

Leanna Harris Park

Albertson Avenue Playground Phase II

Gibbsboro Bikeway repairs
Gibbsboro Bikeway amenities

Gloucester City
Proprietors Park

Gloucester Township
Cobblestone Park
Wye Oak Park

Haddon Heights
Hoff’s Park
Haddon Heights Soccer Club McCullough Soccer Complex

Haddon Township
Krupinski Park

Centennial Field

Albertson Park

Merchantville Community Center

Mt. Ephraim
Shining Star Park

Madison Park

Pine Hill
Joey Green Park

Girls Softball Fields

Somerdale Youth Basketball League Perry Complex

Quaker Run Nature Trail
Stratford Athletic Organization Parkview Recreational Complex Baseball Fields

Kirkwood Park
Lion’s Lake Park; Ashland Woods Hale Park
Round Hill Road Park

Calabrese Park
Frank Donio Park

Woodlynne Recreational Facility


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REAL Golf Lessons at Camden County Golf Academy

The Camden County Recovery Encouragement Athletic Leagues (REAL) is offering a series of free golf lessons Tuesday nights beginning at 7:00 p.m. through May 9. No experience? No clubs? No problem.

The golf lessons are being given by a certified golf professional and are sponsored by the Camden County Freeholder Board’s Addiction Awareness Task Force. Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli said: “Golf is a great sport to learn to challenge your body and mind while in recovery. We know that no one is immune to the addiction of opiates and we must focus on prevention and treatment.”

Andrew Pierson is the Director of Instruction at the Camden County Golf Academy and teaches the weekly lessons. He spoke being a part of such a helpful initiative: “Golf is a great sport where you get to enjoy the outdoors and enjoy the scenery. It also gets the blood pumping. You get your competitive juices flowing. You get to enjoy the company of others and really get a good test where you try to get better every time you come out.”

During the lesson, Pierson can be seen engaging the golfers by offering pointers and dispensing friendly advice. After cautioning one student about “swinging the club like Happy Gilmore,” Pierson asked: “Remember what I showed you last week?”

Pierson said that Tuesday’s lesson was the second of five sessions. He also said that the turnout has been great and the response has been positive. “We did it last fall and we will do it again this fall. It’s the same crew. They love it here. At least I hope they do. They sure seem like they do. They definitely like to compete against each other. At first, they wanted to hit it long and far, but then they realized you can have a contest a million different ways playing golf. They started hitting different targets and enjoying that.”

He also said he enjoys sharing his passion for the sport with others: “I get to take part in this helpful initiative. It’s rather easy for me because it’s what I do on a daily basis.”

Steve Smarrito, of Glendora, has been in recovery for four years and has been attending the golf lessons. He spoke about being in recovery: “Perceiving what recovery is like, just going into a room and talking about feelings, there is so much more to it.”

He also spoke of the importance of programs like this one to help recovering addicts: “It’s important because of the age group that opiates are affecting. It’s a younger generation and this appeals to them to get involved in a conversation and keeps them busy.” It may also be worth having a look at some different online golf instruction videos and articles to help you outside of your lessons and to get you ready for the next one!

For questions about the REAL lessons, contact Anthony Bianco at 856-216-2133 or email

Photo Gallery by SJO: