SJ Small Business Expo Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary With Largest Event Ever


Photo by Meredith Winner, Mer-Made Photography

By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media

MIZPAH — A rainstorm did not stop the South Jersey Small Business Expo from enjoying its most successful event yet. About 40 people — from business owners to public officials and nonprofit leaders — networked and broke bread during the one-year anniversary of the program on Thursday, Aug. 10.

The event at Rick’s Backyard BBQ at 6931 U.S. 40, presented by AC JosepH Media and Bully Pest Management and co-sponsored by the New Jersey Small Business Development Center and business consultant Arthur Horn, was full of great information, food and laughter.

It was the seventh SJSBX since the bi-monthly events started in August 2022 at Millville’s Soul of the Sea Restaurant. Since then, the events have run faithfully as an avenue for small businesses — from minority and underserved community businesses, mom-and-pop shops, online ventures, and nonprofits — to meet, network, share information and learn how they can help each other.

The attendance was the most ever seen over the first six small business expos despite the rain, with visitors attending from as far away as Voorhees and Marlton.

Mike Rizzo and Robert Palumbo with the New Jersey Small Business Development Center delivered a 20-minute presentation, including a question-and-answer session giving valuable information to the attendees at the Small Business Expo. NJSBDC’s Jazmine Brinkley also made an appearance at the event as well.

There was plenty of networking and sharing information about businesses and resources with attendees. Some included First Harvest Credit Union Board Chair and Gloucester County NAACP President Loretta Winters, Voorhees School Board member and Penns Grove High School Guidance Counselor Jason Brice, Southern Burlington County NAACP President Tyrus Ballard, City of Vineland Special Events Coordinator Sheena Santiago, and Public Relations Council of Atlantic County President William Cradle, among others.

The attendees also enjoyed an outstanding meal by Rick Grays and Rick’s Backyard BBQ, which included chicken, ribs, brisket, fried fish, macaroni and cheese and green beans.

Organizers said they hope the event will be a strong springboard into the second year of the SJ Small Business Expo. The October session is still open and looking for a sponsor.

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