Welcome to two leading Voices of the Business Community in Essex County:
2020 Graduate of Tyson High School, East Orange, NJ

BPAO $1000.00
The Second Annual "Favorite Businesses Awards Dinner" was held October 29, 2020, at Bella Italia Restaurant by the two sponsoring organizations, the Business and Professional Association of the Oranges (BPAO) and the Orange Chamber of Commerce (OCC). The following 14 local businesses, chosen by 184 customers as their “2020 Favorite Businesses” earlier this year, were recognized at the dinner, which was conducted under pandemic precautions:
AUTO SERVICE: Friendly Auto Service, 528 Main Street, Orange
BANK: PNC Bank, 565 Main Street, East Orange, and 410 Main Street, Orange
CHILD CARE: Zadie’s Early Childcare Center, 280 S. Harrison Street, East Orange
CLOTHING STORE: Pure Charisma Boutique, 560 Main Street, East Orange
CONVENIENCE STORE: 7-Eleven, 247 Freeway Drive, East Orange
DELI: Sandwiches Unlimited, 405 Central Avenue, East Orange and 23 N. Center Street, Orange
ELECTRONICS/CELL PHONES: RK Wireless, 229 Main Street, Orange
FURNITURE: HD Furniture, 623 Central Avenue, East Orange
MEDIA: East Orange Record/Orange Transcript
PHARMACY: E&M Pharmacy, 205 S. Essex Avenue, Orange
RESTAURANT-FULL SERVICE: Dominy Restaurant, 432 Central Avenue, East Orange
RESTAURANT-QUICK SERVICE: Papa John’s, 466 Central Avenue, East Orange
SNEAKERS/SHOES: Snipes, 548 Central Avenue, East Orange
SUPERMARKET: Shop Rite Supermarket, 533 Main Street, East Orange
City of Orange Township Business Administrator Chris Hartwyk and Councilwoman Adrienne Wooten updated the businesses in attendance on economic developments in the City of Orange.
For more information about the BPAO and the OCC, call (973) 666-8072.
City of Orange Township officials offered remarks
during the 2020 Favorite Businesses Awards Dinner:
Councilwoman Adrienne Wooten (left) and Business Administrator Chris Hartwyk.
Meanwhile, David Biagini of FirsTEAManagement,
the BPAO/OCC management firm, presented the awards to the honorees.

OCC President Robert Masoud welcomes audience

Favorite Shoes/Sneaker Store-SNIPES


Favorite Pharmacy-E&M PHARMACY

Favorite Electronics/Cell Phones-RK WIRELESS

Favorite Clothing Store-PURE CHARISMA BOUTIQUE

Favorite Full-Service Restaurant-Dominy Restaurant

Favorite Media-Worrall Media
NJEDA to Bring Back Nearly 70% Discounts on PPE Beginning February 16, 2021

TRENTON, N.J. (February 10, 2020) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced plans to bring back discounts of nearly 70 percent off the price of personal protective equipment (PPE) purchased through the Authority’s New Jersey Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program. The expanded discounts will be available to New Jersey-based businesses with 100 or fewer employees beginning Tuesday, February 16th at 9:00 a.m. Small businesses and organizations interested in receiving these discounts must apply at https://ppe.covid19.nj.gov. Businesses that were approved prior to December 17, 2020 do not need to reapply.

“Ensuring businesses have access to the personal protective equipment they need to operate while keeping their employees and customers safe is crucial to mitigating the ongoing economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and setting the stage for a strong recovery,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “The PPE Access Program’s success in 2020 played an important role in helping New Jersey businesses stay safe during the winter and we are glad to continue providing this resource for small businesses in the new year.”

The NJEDA launched the NJ Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program in late 2020 in response to consistent concerns emerging from the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission, the nine sector-based committees of the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Advisory Council, and input from numerous small businesses indicating the need for readily available, fairly priced PPE.

During Phase 1 of the program, the NJEDA identified and vetted “Designated Vendors,” including Boxed, Office Depot, and Staples, who have partnered with the Authority to create “microsites” where New Jersey-based businesses can purchase a curated selection of PPE products at a 10 percent discount. The NJEDA also collaborated with the New Jersey Department of Health to create an online PPE Planning Tool that helps businesses understand PPE product requirements and estimate their organizational PPE needs. Links to the Designated Vendor microsites and the PPE Planning Tool are available at https://covid19.nj.gov/ppeaccess.

In addition to the 10 percent discounts available to all businesses, the NJEDA also made additional discounts of 65 percent available to businesses and nonprofits with 100 or fewer employees that make purchases from Staples or Office Depot. These discounts were available until December 17, 2020. During this time, the NJEDA approved nearly 9,000 small businesses for discounts totaling more than $7.6 million.

In light of the program’s success, the NJEDA has devoted another $2.5 million to expanded discounts for small businesses. These discounts will be available in addition to the 10 percent discounts available to all businesses, so businesses will be able to receive nearly 70 percent off PPE purchases. The expanded discounts will only be available to businesses with 100 or fewer employees and will be subject to the same caps that were placed on the program in 2020: $800 for all eligible businesses or $1,000 for businesses located in one of New Jersey’s 715 census tracts that were eligible to be designated as Opportunity Zones.

Small businesses and organizations interested in receiving these additional discounts must apply at https://ppe.covid19.nj.gov. Once the NJEDA has confirmed a business’s eligibility, the business owner will receive vouchers for purchases from a Designated Vendor of their choice. Businesses that have previously applied and been approved to receive discounts through the program are eligible and do not need to reapply. However, any discounts they have redeemed previously will be counted toward the program cap (i.e. a business outside an Opportunity Zone that used $200 in discounts in December 2020 will only have access to discounts up to $600 now). Vouchers will expire at 11:59 PM on March 24, 2021. Businesses and nonprofits will still be able to receive 10 percent discounts on PPE purchases after this date.
Helpful COVID-19 Website Links: 

#COVID19 is impacting all of us, but #SmallBiz are the hardest hit. The NJEDA is helping with a suite of seven (7) new #SmallBizRelief initiatives. Learn more about how these programs can help your business by clicking the NJEDA link above.
We are creating a list of "OPEN FOR BUSINESS" establishments for our readers. Please call Caitlin at (973) 666-8072 and leave a voicemail with your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, and any restrictions so shoppers/clients will have your information. You can also email the information to: firsteamgt@aol.com. Stay safe, and thank you!
Orange Mayor Dwayne Warren (left) offered an overview of new projects and programs in his city during the Holiday Reception, which was sponsored by the BPAO and OCC on December 12, 2019, at Sandwiches Unlimited in Orange. At right, OCC President Robert Masoud enjoys the buffet.
Exhibitors at the Holiday Reception included HANDS (left), Investors Bank (right) and E&M Pharmacy.
 Business & Professional Association of the Oranges (Click here to enter website) 
 Orange Chamber of Commerce