Business Briefs

Business Briefs

A Holiday Open House will be held Dec. 6 and 7 in historic Allentown. Sponsored by the Allentown Business Community Association, the event will offer an old-fashioned shopping experience, with shoppers following the red brick sidewalks to charming shops. Local merchants will be featuring items such as hand-painted furniture, jewelry, pottery, gourmet foods. and other unique fare, and many shops will be offering complimentary refreshments and live entertainment. The open house will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, but hours may vary from shop to shop. For further details, log on to

According to U.S. Small Business Administration New Jersey District Director James A. Kocsi, more than 15,000 jobs in the state have been generated or retained as a result of SBA loan programs.

"Small business owners lead the way when it comes to job creation," Kocsi said in a press release. "SBA’s loan programs allow existing businesses to expand and enable others to start up new enterprises."

During SBA’s fiscal year 2003 (Oct. 1, 2002, through Sept. 30, 2003), the district office approved 2,422 loans for a total of $490.3 million.

According to the SBA press release, loan approvals to New Jersey minority business owners totaled 814 loans for $176.6 million, which created 5,430 jobs. Of those 814 loans, Asian Americans received 511 loans for $136.3 million, African Americans received 115 loans for $11.9 million, and Hispanic Americans received 144 loans for $19.8 million. Women business owners received 463 loans for $75.1 million in FY 2003, generating more than 2,312 jobs, and veteran-owned businesses received 137 loans for $21.9 million, helping to create another 674 jobs in the state.

In Monmouth County, there were 203 loans for $49.8 million. The SBA’s top five lenders, based on the number of SBA loan approvals, are Commerce Bank, Cherry Hill, (529 loans, $116.1 million); Fleet Bank, Princeton (478 loans, $21.8 million); Valley National Bank, Wayne (100 loans, $10.6 million); PNC Band, East Brunswick (96 loans, $23.7 million); and Unity Bank, Clinton (95 loans, $34.5 million).

"We are pleased that more and more New Jersey lenders are utilizing the agency’s SBA Express loan program, which offers a revolving line of credit feature," Kocsi said. "This program allows lenders to expedite the SBA loan process by utilizing their own forms and procedures for loans under $250,000. This year, 51 percent of our loans were approved under this program and I expect it to grow significantly in the coming year."

The average SBA loan in New Jersey was $202,765, and 65 percent of the loans were under $150,000, according to the press release.

Central Jersey Women’s Network will hold its monthly dinner meeting Nov. 18, 6-9 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Princeton, 100 Independence Way (across from the Radisson on Route 1). Carol Kivler, president of Kivler Communications, will be present an interactive program offering advice on how to bounce back from a bad start, deal with tough clients professionally, and stay fresh and cool under pressure.

The cost is $28 if reserved by Nov. 14, and $35 thereafter, and includes dinner, dessert and coffee. For reservations and details, call (908) 281-9234 or e-mail [email protected]. Payment by check may be made at the door.

CJWN is a local network affiliate of the National Association for Female Executives and holds monthly meetings featuring guest speakers presenting timely topics.

Re/Max has announced that three sales associates have joined the national Re/Max Children’s Miracle Network Home Program. Under this program, sales associates donate a specified amount of money to the Children’s Miracle Network per sales transaction. Hospitals associated with the Children’s Miracle Network treat children with all types of afflictions. Locally, funds raised by Re/Max will benefit Robert Wood Johnson Hospital with locations in Mountainside, Fanwood, Toms River Newark, Union and Elizabeth, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University in New Brunswick.

The participating sales associates are Joanna Maietta, who is with the Re/Max Central Manalapan office; Neftali Flores, a sales associate at Re/Max Homeland Realtors in Freehold; and Josephine Suarez-Aborlleile, who works in the Re/Max Homeland Realtors in Freehold and Millstone.

Financial Services Career Night will be held Nov. 20 at 6:59 p.m. at Primerica, Juniper Office Plaza, 3499 Route 9 north, Suite 2A, Freehold Township. Primerica is a member of Citigroup. The event is designed to introduce attendees to ways they can earn additional income part-time, while helping families solve their financial problems. For reservations, call Lynette at (732) 845-0006.

New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners, Monmouth/Ocean Chapter, will hold its sixth annual holiday auction Nov. 20 at 5:30 p.m. at Jumping Brook Country Club, Neptune. The auction raises money for the chapter’s scholarship fund, outreach programs, and educational and legislative activities. Eileen Shrem, president of the chapter, will serve as auctioneer for the evening. Attendees will be able to bid on a variety of items in regular and silent auctions. Walk-ins will not be accepted. The cost is $30 for members and nonmembers, and includes dinner. The reservation deadline is Nov. 14; after that date, reservations will be $35. For reservations, call Chrissy Reinhard at (732) 528-1172.

The ERA Brokers of New Jersey announced the addition of its Real Estate Simulator, a career assessment tool, to its Web site at

Developed by Upward Motion, a Canadian-based company that provides state-of-the-art technologies for assessment and training using simulation technology, the Real Estate Simulator uses video segments and role-playing to re-create actual challenges that a real estate associate could encounter in a typical day.

The tool uses a three-in-one assessment strategy that involves role-play, problem solving and a personality profile to determine whether a visitor is well suited to a career in real estate. During the simulation, the "real estate associate" experiences an entire sales cycle that evaluates his or her ability to "cold call" a new prospect, negotiate contracts, deal with personality issues, understand client needs, and handle objections. After an assessment program is completed, the Real Estate Simulator compares the visitor’s responses with those of the real estate industry’s top performers and provides comprehensive information about the visitor’s strengths and weaknesses.

People Empowering People (PEP), a group of business owners and professionals in the Monmouth County area, meets on the second Monday of each month. There is no cost to become a member, and refreshments are served at the meetings. For more information, call Sandy Franco at (732) 863-9955.