Final Week of ChowderMonth Brings Even More To the Table

With no onsite festival this year, we have worked together to take the popularity of our 32 annual LBI Chowderfest to bring attention to local businesses. Our month long celebration of tasting, chowderfeasting at home, chowdertail gates, dine in and dine outs has kept thousands talking about their favorite choice. When in the Chowder Capital of NJ, there will be still plenty to come before the champion is announced.

Back by overwhelming demand, look for an Official Limited Edition online shop to make a pop up
appearance with a re release of 2020 designs as well as a new special design on sale just for the final week.

In partnership with Jetty, this shop will be available on October 1 located on and
will ship merchandise in time for cooler weather and holiday giving. For those who ordered the Official
Chowderfest 2020 Merchandise that was on sale until Sept 15, all orders have been shipped and should
arriving in time for the final weekend.

The Chowder Run Challenge had runners, walkers and bikers registered throughout the East Coast, the final week will see inaugural medals sent directly to over 100
competitors that have already completed and submitted their times, and others who have until Oct 4 to
finish. This medal will be a prized item for any Chowderfest collector and will be encouraged to be worn
for when the weekend returns in 2021.

Watch Sunday October 4 on LBI Official Chowderfest facebook page and the Southern Ocean Chamber YouTube Channel for a closing ceremony with a message from all 2020 restaurant competitors and merchants to air after online voting closes at 3pm. A real time announcement will also come to reveal the overall champion for 2020 Chowdermonth. Mask up and head out to vote for your favorites, there can be only one in 2020.

Competitors are: Lefty’s Tavern , County Kettle Chowda, Terrace Tavern,
Surf City Hotel, Ott’s Good Earth Garden, Tucker’s Tavern, Daddy O, The WooHoo, The Gateway,
Cluck’N Crabs, Polly’s Dock & Clam House, Daymark, Birdy’s Cafe and Artisan Market , The Arlington,The Old Causeway Steak & Oyster House, Roberto’s Dolce Vita, Dune 18, Kubel’s Too, Panzone’s Pizza,Buckalew’s , ScoJo’s , Howard’s , La Bamba , Chicken or the Egg’s and Living On the Veg.

Listen to the free Chowderfest Play list when en route or at home and use the interactive map to locate
restaurants as well as merchants who are offering Chowder Month specials: Bywatyr Shop, Gifted by the
Sea, Between the Sheets, South End Surf ‘N Paddle, The Mod Hatter, Progressive Dimensions, Yuletide
Christmas Shop, Making Waves, Chick’s LBI Shop and The Good Life Boutique. Find everything you need
by going to or following the official LBI Chowderfest Facebook page. The
Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce thanks all who participated in making this unique situation
so positive including 2020 sponsors The Sandpaper, AtlantiCare, Atlantic States Group, Anderson
Insurance, G Anderson Agency Beasley Media Group and New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism.

Register for Shop Small Business Saturday

Small Business Week is the perfect time to start preparing for doing business this Holiday Season. 

Since 2010, our members have championed Shop Small Business Saturday and expanded it to include creative and exciting ways to drive business for the weekend and the rest of the year. 2020 Shop Small Saturday is another fantastic opportunity to promote what is happening at your location for the weekend of November 28. It is a way to connect with consumers that will help drive business from contracting services, helping with gift lists, subscriptions, future overnight stays, dining and catering. Please fill out form below to be included in our annual celebration.
Contact [email protected] with any questions.

Come Out to Innovate & Caffeinate Nov 11

In time for strategic planning into 2021, join us for an in person business event taking place, The region’s chamber hosts Freeholder Director Joseph Vicari to discuss small business in the Covid-19 recovery as well as announcements for 2021 strategies at The Mainland with breakfast check in beginning at 8am.

The presentation will feature an informative overview from Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph Vicari on small business and moving forward from the Covid-19 crisis. The region’s chamber will also present updates on Shop Small initiatives for the holidays, upcoming programs and announce the 2021 strategic plan. In honor of Veterans Day, there will be information packages available from Ocean County Veteran Service Bureau to distribute to the community.

The program includes keynote, staff served breakfast buffet and networking. Hand sanitizer stations will be set up in the private ballroom. The event will require masks unless seated and social distance practices will be in place. The cost is $25 per person, and advance registration and payment required by contacting the Southern Ocean County Chamber directly at 609 494 7211, [email protected] or through the payment portal located online at:

The Mainland Holiday is located at 151 Rt 72 North in Manahawkin, with event check in beginning 8am with program starting approx 830am.

Southern Ocean Chamber Mobile Drives Business Info to the Community

In time for Small Business Week, the region’s chamber added a much needed vehicle to assist with distributing and collecting member information as part of upcoming strategic plan.

The COVID-19 crisis has put a focus on the important role small business plays into a community and support is more crucial then ever. Finishing out their 106th year of service, The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce announces the purchase of a much needed resource. As they continue developing the 2021 strategic plan, the region’s chamber kicks off National Small Business Week by sharing news of the purchase of a 2017 Buick Encore. This addition will mobilize chamber efforts as well as further connect the chamber team to the community and assist members.

Prior to the pandemic, The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce Board members had approved the purchase of a reliable vehicle to relieve staff and volunteers from using their own transportation to haul equipment, boxes of collateral and tow the digital billboard. While restrictions were in place, directors worked remotely with Barlow Buick GMC of Manahawkin to arrange for hitch installation and graphic design to be added by Coastal Sign & Design in time for the summer season. The vehicle hit the road in June, spending the summer following safety protocols while checking in on members, picking up material to stock the Visitor Center, dropping off Land & Sea Guides, Chowder Month collateral and other seasonal items. “The chamber strategy for the upcoming year is Commerce & Community” stated Jerry Thompson of the Van Dyk Group, who serves as a Southern Ocean Chamber officer and heads up the Strategic Planning Committee “We are looking to extend the chamber’s outreach in many new ways.

The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce represents hundreds of local businesses and non profit groups. Founded in 1914, it has continuously served community and is the accredited Destination Marketing Organization and Shop Small Champion. All are invited to take part in virtual Small Business week events, in person meetings, and Chowder Month all happening in September. For more information go to, call 609-494-7211, visit their information center at 265 W Ninth Street or tune into their weekly radio show and podcast, the LBI Region Report, on WBNJ FM. Follow on social as @LBIregion @southernoceanchamber

Celebrate National Small Business Week September 22-24!

 Our chamber joins the US Small Business Administration in celebrating National Small Business online with a series of virtual conferences running from Tuesday September 22 at 1 pm through Thursday September 24. This year’s National Small Business Week activities will include numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as our nation’s small businesses look to pivot and recover, contributing to a stronger economy.

The conference line up includes Pride in America’s Small Businesses, educational presentations, panel discussions that help both new and existing businesses to recover and innovate. Presentations also include Opening ceremony, SBA’s Veteran Resources, networking with other business owners and industry experts.

The 106 year business organization encourages all to find out more details and registration information for this free online conference on . 

September Women In Business Hosted At Sassafras Hill Farm

 We have all been working to assist with a safe reopening and summer season. With the fall approaching, we are taking our popular Women in Business series outdoors to resume in person events. The September 29 meeting is scheduled at Sassafras Hill Farm, located at 184 Rt 72 Barnegat, beginning at 10am.

This event will be hosted by Tina Mueller, owner of Sassafras Hill Farm and Atlantic Structure Movers LLC, who invites Southern Ocean Chamber members to dress for a walking tour of the farm and outdoor tented discussion. They will also have their Farm Shoppe open for those interested in post meeting purchases. The Women in Business series was established as part of the Southern Ocean County Chamber Open for Business program with the goal to provide women who are doing business in the LBI Region community with a supportive network of peers.

There is no fee to participate but pre-registration is required as the event is capped at 25 people and limited to our members.  Attendees can park along the farm road where there will be on site assistance with parking and check in. Masks and social distancing will be practiced according to COVID19 guidelines. To RSVP, contact the Southern Ocean County Chamber office at 609 494 7211 or [email protected]

What Beaches Are Still Open?

The local experts of the Southern Ocean County Chamber have always said that the LBI Region is better in September, and 2020 is the perfect year to find out why! With remote schedules still in play, heading to beach may be just what is needed for some extra summertime. Enjoy guarded beaches, and even take your dog for a walk! Don’t forget to support local restaurants and merchants during Chowdermonth happening all month long!

  • Barnegat Light

    Tuesday, September 8 through Sunday, September 13 Guarded Beaches: 
    Ninth Street, 18th Street, 22nd Street, 25th Street.

    Beach Tram: The tram will be running every day from 10:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. except from 1 to 2 p.m. 

    Monday, September 14 through Wednesday, September 30 Guarded Beaches
    Ninth Street (Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays only), 18th Street, 22nd Street, 25th Street

    Beach Tram: The tram will be running Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. except from 12 to 1 p.m.

  • Beach Haven: Centre Street and roving patrols throughout the Borough until September 20. If more staff is available the patrol hopes to have additional beach guarded with stands.  The beaches are guarded until 4 p.m. during the week and 5 p.m. on weekends.
  • Harvey Cedars:

    80th Street: Daily coverage Tuesday, September 8 through Sunday, September 13.  Lifeguards will be on duty weekends

    Middlesex Avenue: Daily coverage until September 30.
  • Long Beach Township:Tract 1067 in North Beach, 68th Street in Brant Beach, 81st Street in Beach Haven Crest, 131st Street in Spray Beach, 25th Street in Spray Beach, and Nelson Ave in Holgate. On the weekends only, 47th street in Brant Beach and 96th Street in Beach Haven Crest . Daily Until September 30th,.10 to 5pm
  • Ship Bottom: Ship Bottom Beach Patrol will guard the beaches until September 30 at the following beaches: 7th Street, 15th Street and 20th Street. 
  • Surf City: 12th St daily until to be decided 10am to 5pm

Barnegat Light, Harvey Cedars,  and Beach Haven  after September 15

Ship Bottom, Surf City and LBT after October 1

Remember to support local businesses all month long with Chowdermonth  now through Oct 4! Register to vote for your favorites among 25 participating restaurants, listen to playlist and do the virtual Chowder Run + Bike Challenge! Information available on 

Google Workshop Selling Online with E-Commerce set for October 14

The Southern Ocean County Chamber presents the latest Grow with Google Webinar Workshop “Sell Online This Holiday Season with E-Commerce Tools” Wednesday, Oct 14 from 12 to 1pm.

Learn how to sell online to customers as they kick off their holiday shopping this season. Walk through the benefits of setting up an online store with Shopify and how to list your products on Google Shopping so that you can sell from anywhere. Plus, learn about more helpful tools to stand out online, such as Local Opportunity Finder and Grow My Store.

There is no cost to attend this members only event but businesses must register in advance by contacting the Southern Ocean County Chamber office by calling 609.494.7211 or emailing [email protected] For more information on the 106 year business organization, go to or follow on social as @SouthernOceanChamber @LBIRegion.

What You Need to Know About Tipped Work

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has announced new regulations that will ensure protections and fair wages for tipped workers. The Department also has created a common-language explainer document to help employers learn their obligations to tipped workers, and tipped workers to know their rights under the law. Read and download the details here.

Labor Day Weekend Resumes Indoor Dining and More

Governor Phil Murphy made an announcement this morning that for the first time since March, New Jersey restaurants can resume indoor dining effective 6 am on Friday, September 4. At his COVID-19 Press Briefing, he further detailed guidelines for restaurants that included 25% capacity and social distancing in place. He reminded the state that if dining at a restaurant that provides table service, you will only be able to order while seated at your table. Only staff can bring food or beverages, if you are seated at a table, you cannot go to the bar to get another drink or place a food order. Restaurants that provide food service at their bars may allow patrons to dine at the bar, provided that all diners are kept at proper distances. Any group seated together at the bar is capped at four individuals. The State is mandating strict ventilation requirements including, windows must be open to ensure a proper flow of fresh air into dining areas, air conditioner units must be turned so they are allowing for the maximum amount of outdoor air to be introduced to the dining area. 

Later in the afternoon, Governor Murphy also announced that indoor gathering capacity limits would increase to the lesser of either 25 percent capacity or 150 individuals. This includes religious services and celebrations, Weddings, Funerals, Memorial services, and Political activities. In addition, another Executive Order was signed today allowing movie theaters and indoor performance venues to reopen on September 4. Face masks will be required, social distancing to be practiced, capacity will be capped at the lesser of 25% or 150 people. Each showing and each theater in a multi plex will be subject to capacity limits.