Sweeney Kicks Off New Jersey Small Business Listening Tour

Stops At Engineering Firm In Wall, Café in Atlantic City

TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney today kicked off his “Small Business Listening Tour” of New Jersey with stops at an engineering firm in Wall and a café in Atlantic City. The tour is designed to better understand the needs of New Jersey’s small businesses during these difficult economic times. As he travels across the state, the Senate President will hear from local business owners, workers and constituents about what they feel can help best get New Jersey’s economy, currently one of the worst performing in the nation, moving again.

The first stop was at KMB Design Group, an engineering and management services company located in Wall. The firm employs 52 people. The Senate President, led by the company’s President and COO Steve A. Bray, Chairman and CEO Bruce W. Bowe and Senior Vice President Stephen Banks, toured the facility, spoke to employees, and discussed ways the state could help businesses like KMB grow.

Afterwards, Senate President Sweeney headed to Kelsey and Kim’s Southern Café, located in Atlantic City. There, the Senate President met with owners Kelsey and Kim Jackson, spoke to diners, and discussed what would help the Jacksons with the expansion of their restaurant business. Kelsey and Kim recently opened up a second location in Atlantic City.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we are going to need them to succeed if we want New Jersey’s economy to succeed,” said Sweeney. “I appreciate KMB Design and Kelsey and Kim sharing their time with me and expressing their needs and concerns. Often in Trenton we are so busy debating we fail to take the time to listen to those who our decisions are going to impact. That is what this tour is about: listening to those we represent so we can shape policies that will help them.”

Additional stops will be announced in the coming days and weeks.

In addition to hearing the concerns of small business owners, the Senate President is promoting and highlighting the ‘Jersey Shore Is Open for Business’ campaign, an initiative to help New Jersey residents find which stores and businesses are open in the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy. The project is being done in conjunction with the New Jersey Restaurant and New Jersey Retail Merchants Associations, as well as the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Businesses currently open in the state’s shore region can be seen by going to the website http://www.visitthejerseyshore.com. Business owners looking to add their name to the site should contact the Jersey Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau at 732-244-9283.

"This meeting is entirely off the record. Until somebody leaks it."
—Michael Kempner, addressing a roomful of Democratic powerbrokers organizng for Hillary Clinton