Summer Beautiful Campaign Asks All To Be Part Of the Community By Helping to Take Care of It

The region’s chamber and The Sandpaper are working to engage visitors, residents and businesses to pitching in to keeping LBI Beautiful this summer with anti litter campaign launch the first week of July

The Covid19 pandemic had driven many to shore points before the season officially started. Now that Summer is here,  the Long Beach Island Region has been witnessing even heavier volumes of beach goers and sun seekers including many who have not visited the area previously. While families from the tri state area have cancelled trips that were further away, Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce has seen a dramatic increase in handing inquiries from last minute plans to rescheduled holiday recommendations. With extra requirements including Personal Protective Equipment, to go services and longer stays at vacation homes; there has been a call to action to remind everyone to do their part to help businesses and environmental organizations keep curb site trash cans covered, disposal of trash in proper containers and of course pack up and take away what was brought into public areas.

We are proud to join with The Sandpaper in helping to reach thousands through print and digital messaging, inviting everyone to be part of the solution, The first week of July launches Keep Summer Beautiful LBI Campaign in Sandpaper media and Southern Ocean Chamber messaging. This campaign was initiated by members who wanted to alert the community and visitors that we all have the responsibility of keeping the island and surrounding waters clean. The campaign will feature print Public Service Announcements, as well as social media, broadcast and digital reminders. As the campaign rolls out, there will be options for parents, businesses and patrons to learn and do more to make Summer Beautiful for everyone.

Celebrate Summer with Music and More!

Heading to the outdoors to socially distance and take in great entertainment is everyone’s new favorite past time. With new scheduling and rearranging this summer is shaping up to offer plenty of talent and ways to safely enjoy it. The Long Beach Island Region redefines beach culture through art and music; it is only fitting that the first things to fill the calendar back up is concerts, live performances and some classic films.

Keep in mind all events are weather

Welcome to the Drive in, this style of movie screening is bringing families back to the big screen and Barnegat Township has free movies beginning at 830pm at the Barnegat Public Dock on 427 E Bay Avenue. July 10 Grease, July 26 Frozen II and July 31 Lion King will help add to a great weekend.

Lacey Township Recreation will host a 730pm movie at Jones Field July 31

Live Concerts will have you singing the hits as Stafford Historical Society plan for great local artists to perform under the Gazebo every Monday now through August 31 at 7pm . Covid 19 Guidelines will be in place, so please bring your chairs and blanket. See the concert line up here.

Concerts featuring great acts such as the Impulsives, Facedown and Shorty Long are happening Monday night in Barnegat Light’s Bay Breeze Park 7th and Bayview from 7 to 9pm running now through August 24. For everyone’s safety the Borough reserves the right to limit the amount of people for each show. Wednesdays bring Concerts on the Green back to Beach Haven Veterans Memorial Park. Starting at 7pm, attendees are invited to bring a chair or spread a blanket and enjoy a free concert now through August 26. While on the island look for Sundays @ 68th Beach Concerts from 1 to 3pm

Surflight Theatre also presents a concert line up in their big tent this summer , enjoy a variety of performances by checking out their website and purchasing tickets in advance.

Redefining Beach Culture Safely with our Museums, Art and Performances

Everyone is invited to spend the summer rediscovering the tremendous cultural assets that our region holds. For families coming to visit, the Passport to LBI is a customized itinerary of a collection of heritage and educational non profits located throughout the island. As museums reopen, plan a trip to the NJ Maritime Museum & Gift Shop which is open daily 10am to 4pm . Located in Beach Haven, the open space features exhibits preserving the state’s maritime history including shipwrecks, historic artifacts and memorabilia. Across town you will find the LBI Historical Museum and Whale Shop welcoming visitors Monday through Saturday from 11 to 2pm. Take their Historic District Walking Tour  on Tuesdays or Fridays at 10:00 am, for $10 per person which includes museum admission.

Explore the island through Reclam the Bay’s Clam Trail, with over 30 giant decorated clams, follow the fact plaques around the estuary and at local businesses and upload a clam selfie. While exploring do not miss a chance to take a nature walk on the grounds of the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences located in Loveladies. Drop into their galleries and find out about classes or private lessons for all ages. In addition to the Passport, check out the big top as Surflight Theatre will be performing  Frozen 2 July 8-12 and Aug 5-9 as well as the Show Place Ice Cream parlor complete with singing waitri open 7 Days a week with select seating times. Take off for a quick ferry ride to the Tuckerton Seaport, by the Beach Haven Taylor Avenue dock, the LBI ferry runs a 45 minute  one way or round trip on Sat, Sun and Mondays. The Seaport also offers mid week Creek Tours and outdoor exploration at their site.

For information on Passport to LBI, the LBI Ferry and other spots that are inspired by our natural resources and local talent, click here.

Gear up for A Grand Fourth

The Fourth of July weekend brings even more to celebrate as the restrictions lift and the LBI Ferry sets sail for the season.

Get into the swing of summer, as the Long Beach Island Region outdoor amusement parks, water parks, playgrounds and arcades open up July 2 to help you beat the heat. Museums are also allowed to reopen at 25 % capacity. Social Distancing is still in effect, so rules to reopening does limit capacity. Pick up Passport to LBI to learn about local heritage at our Visitor Center window.

Fantasy Island Amusement Park outdoor amusements, including rides and Boardwalk Games will open daily beginning Thursday, July 2 from 4pm-11pm.

Thundering Surf Water Park opens its summer season at 930 am on July 2 . Visit their golf courses today, open Mon- Thur 10:30am to 10pm. Fri & Sat 10:30am to 11pm. Sun 10:30am to 10pm.

Escape Room LBI and Show Place Ice Cream Parlour will also add some excitement to your holiday! Outdoor boating and other activities will help you cool off , including a ride from Tuckerton Seaport to the Beach Haven Municipal Dock on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Find ferry reservation information here!

Also available is the region’s Surf & Sip Brew Trail for those over 21 looking for local craft breweries. Outdoor dining options abound under color umbrellas, tents and sun shades, make a reservation or plan a take out order at your favorite eatery.

Plan your stay, day trip or quick trip to celebrate safely!

Grow With Google Livestream: Connect with Customers and Manage Your Business Remotely

Wednesday, July 22, 2020, from 12:00 PM –  1:30 PM

Discover Google tools that can help business owners work and manage their business during this time of uncertainty. Plus, get insights on more online and timely resources for small businesses.

In this workshop we’ll discuss:

  • How to update critical business information online
  • Keep customers informed
  • Conduct virtual meetings 
  • Access important files from anywhere
  • RSVP to Kate@sochamber.com to attend this virtual event

The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a Grow With Google Partner.

OCEAN COUNTY TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES WITH GRANTS UNDER PARTNERSHIP WITH NJEDA

OCEAN COUNTY has partnered with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) to provide $10 million in grants to small businesses in Ocean County affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are pleased to be able to provide this funding to our businesses here in Ocean County,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. “Our small businesses are truly the heart and soul of our communities. I am hopeful these grants can be of some help to the business owners that have been so negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“By working with the NJEDA to administer these grants, the process will be business friendly and we will get this money dispersed in a timely manner so it will help during these very challenging times,” Vicari said. “This $10 million in grants is exclusive for Ocean County businesses, in addition to the $45 million in grant money available to all state businesses from the NJEDA.”

The grants are part of Phase 2 of the Authority’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved a Memorandum of Agreement entering into the partnership on June 16. 

Ocean County is providing the funds from the money received through the federal CARES Act with the intent that the NJEDA distribute them only to businesses located in Ocean County. Business owners can apply for funding at https://forms.business.nj.gov/grant-2/.  

“Maximizing resources is more critical than ever as we work to support the recovery of COVID-19 impacted businesses in a manner that aligns with Governor Phil Murphy’s efforts toward achieving a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan.  “The addition of the Ocean County funds to the NJEDA’s grant program will help us to get much needed funding to vastly more Ocean County COVID-impacted businesses in a timely and efficient manner.”

The county grant program has been established for businesses and non-profits with fewer than 25 employees to apply for the grant, on a first come, first serve basis. The application is live and available at https://forms.business.nj.gov/grant-2/. Applications are due by June 30.

“The Ocean County business community faces some unique challenges related to tourism and hospitality representing such a high percentage of its economic activity,” said Vicari, who is liaison to tourism and business development. “These businesses were hit earliest and hardest by the pandemic and these grants will help to sustain them as we enter the busy summer season.

“Unlike other areas of the state, many of our businesses rely solely on the summer season so instead of 52 weeks our businesses are looking at 12 weeks,” Vicari said. “Summer tourism businesses also help to employ thousands of people from high school students to our seniors.

“This Board of Freeholders thanks President Trump and the Ocean County Congressional delegation for approving the CARES Act funding and as a result for helping these businesses with grants,” he said.

Eligibility for the grant program was recently expanded to include all types of 501(c) non-profit organizations to apply for funding under the second phase of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. This includes veterans organizations and membership-based business and industry groups. Only 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(7) organizations were eligible in Phase 1.

The NJEDA launched the first round of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program on April 3 with $5 million in NJEDA funds.  This phase provided grants up to $5,000 to a precisely targeted subset of businesses that had been hit particularly hard by the Coronavirus outbreak. Phase 2 of the program provides grants up to $10,000 to a significantly expanded variety of businesses and nonprofits with up to 25 full-time employees, including sole proprietorships and home-based businesses, which were excluded from Phase 1. To ensure equitable access for businesses in economically disadvantaged communities, one-third of Phase 2 funding is reserved for businesses in census tracts that were eligible to be designated as Opportunity Zones.

“I want to encourage our small businesses to take advantage of this opportunity,” Vicari said. “We are working to help our small businesses that have been dramatically impacted financially by closures from the coronavirus.

“Their economic health is the county’s economic health,” Vicari said.

Vicari said tourism is a $5 billion business in Ocean County.

“It’s one of our biggest economic engines and our small businesses play an integral role in its success,” Vicari said.

Southern Ocean Chamber presents Guide to SBA Loan Forgiveness Webinar June 25

Paycheck Protection Program provided critical funding to businesses during the uncertainty of COVID19 shut down. Join the region’s chamber and the Small Business Administration in getting best steps towards repayment forgiveness beginning 11am

Our Chamber and the US Small Business Administration are partnering on Thursday June 25 in bringing LBI region businesses closer in learning about extended forgiveness and Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness rules. As businesses begin to return to pre-Covid19 practices, this webinar will allow them to set the right course in receiving loan forgiveness.

The Webinar will be presented by Sheryl Paynter, Lead Lender Relations Specialist & Lead Economic Development Specialist for the New Jersey District Office of the U.S Small Business Administration. This free presentation beginning at 11am is open to Southern Ocean County Chamber members and area businesses who are seeking first hand information to guide them through the PPP loan forgiveness process.

To register for this event, contact the Chamber office by calling 609 494 7211 or emailing Kate@sochamber.com

UPDATED: 6/25 – PPP Webinar with Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce and SBA-NJ representative. Download the Presentation here or watch on YouTube

LBI Region Welcomes Salon and Spa Reopening June 22

Personal Care Services may resume in shop services on Monday June 22. As the region’s chamber, we are thrilled to have our fellow businesses back doing what they do best, putting our self care first.

Please note that services will be by appointment only, and that personal protective equipment are required by clients as well as the professionals. Book your appointment in advance with one of talented members as we all move towards a happy and healthy summer season. Please find our directory of Personal Care service members here.

Southern Ocean Chamber Visitor Center Opens Information Window for Direct Assistance

Our office has several ways to help visitors, businesses and residents by utilizing services at 265 W Ninth Street in Ship Bottom and online

The Visitor & Commerce Center is fully stocked and ready to help all consumers and visitors connect with local experts. With everyone’s safety in mind here there are several ways the region’s chamber can assist.

1. In Person, open Monday – Friday from 10 to 4pm the Welcome Center information window is available for one on one questions and information requests. Customized vacation kits will be assembled and placed on the porch for contact free pick up.  

2. By phone or email, call for direct information assistance or arrange a porch pick up of area materials bagged and ready to go by calling 609 494 7211 or info@sochamber.com

3. Virtual Visitor Center , explore online at visitLBIregion.com with digital Land & Sea guide , Find your Favorite itineraries, easy to search business directory and a host of  other travel tips.

The chamber office building has undergone a Corona Virus Removal cleaning process done by Dependable Environmental Protection during Covid 19 shut down.  Due to the safety of everyone, the chamber office restrooms will no longer be available for use.

Local Farmer Markets 2020

A bumper crop of Jersey Fresh produce, baskets of baked goods, pasta, cheeses, fresh fish and handcrafts will fill your summer table at our local farmer’s markets happening weekly! Find the schedule here:

Surf City Farmer’s Market
Surf City Volunteer Fire Company and EMS. 713 Long Beach Blvd, Surf City
Monday June 29-Monday August 31 from 9AM-12PM

Manna Farmer’s Market in Tuckerton
Anticipated opening in mid-July United Methodist Church
The Tuckerton United Methodist Church, 134 N. Green St. is partnering with local farmers and vendors to develop a new mission project in our community. ” Manna Farmer’s Market” will give the opportunity for the community to find fresh produce and goods.

Beach Haven Farmer’s Market
Starting Wednesday, June 24 – September 2. 9am – 12pm
Corner of Ocean Street & Bay Avenue, Haven Beach

Barnegat & Waretown Farmer’s Market
Thursday’s June 18 until Oct 29 at Gazebo Park Rt 9 & W Bay Ave
-Seniors, Immune Compromised Individuals and pregnant women ONLY  10am-10:30am
-General Public 10:30am-3pm

* NEW  *
Special Night Market will be held on  July 9,  Aug. 6, September 3 * 2 to 7pm
Seniors, Immune Compromised Individuals & pregnant women
  2-2:30pm

General Public 2:30pm-7pm
Look for our members Stillwell Farms & Jersey Charm Coffee

Lacey Farmer’s Market
Friday’s until October 2, 2020. 11am -5pm at Lacey United Methodist Church.
203 Lacey Rd, Forked River NJ