New Little Egg Harbor Chamber of Commerce Forms for Area Businesses

Jul 04, 2018
Photo by: Pat Johnson Paula Bell holds the Little Egg Harbor Chamber of Commerce’s first publication promoting the area and its businesses.

Little Egg Harbor Township is the farthest south you can get in Ocean County before entering Burlington County, and according to Little Egg Committeeman David Schlick, the larger business community ignores it. “I’ve tried on a number of occasions to get the Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce to host events down this way or come to Little Egg, but to no avail,” he said.

A former member of the Little Egg Harbor Economic Development Committee, Debra Christensen, said after 20 years working on the EDC for the township, she and it were put aside by Mayor Ray Gormley when he suddenly disbanded the entire group. “The businesses in Little Egg Harbor never had a voice. The township never involved the businesses in the EDC,” said Christensen. But now, thanks to the efforts of herself and a handful of other dedicated people, Little Egg Harbor has its own chamber of commerce.

During an impromptu meeting of the newly formed Little Egg Harbor Chamber of Commerce, President Christensen unveiled the chamber’s first publication, “Little Egg Harbor, It’s a Shore Thing – Your Guide to a Well-Kept Secret.” The 40-page publication, with information on what to do and see and where and how to buy in Little Egg Harbor, will be distributed through the mail to 4,800 homeowners in the township plus Tuckerton Beach. An additional 5,200 will be distributed in real estate offices, banks, the library and town hall.

Another project of the chamber is the videotaping of Little Egg Harbor municipal meetings. These digital recordings can be viewed on the chamber’s website, littleeggharborchamberofcommerce.com. People must register on the site but do not have to join the chamber to do so.

Although the board of officers and members has been up and running only since April, it has already signed up 65 business members; has started videotaping the municipal meetings and broadcasting them to the community as a service; and has created its first publication, something the EDC did not have the support to do, said Christensen. “As much as the group tried, we were never able to have a business appear at our meetings,” she said.

Schlick noted there are 176 registered businesses in Little Egg that could benefit from chamber of commerce membership. And the membership is not limited to Little Egg – it includes the regional area of New Gretna, Tuckerton and Eagleswood.

Membership dues are $100 to join the chamber, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; membership runs from January to December.

The chamber is planning to get involved in creating or co-sponsoring events to bring people into the township to shop and dine.

“We have to promote the area as a boating and shore community,” said one member, who wanted to remain anonymous. “We are a boating community with the best access to the ocean and to Atlantic City. A trip to LBI by boat is 15 minutes. But we have more to offer than just that: We have two championship golf courses, three campgrounds, and a dozen or so restaurants. People don’t realize all that we have here. We’re a hidden gem, and we want people to come here and do business here.”

The chamber will also do what chambers do all over the country, meet regularly to swap business cards, information and good ideas for promoting the township and the area, said Schlick.

“We are already planning a block party, and the Pinelands Regional (School District) student body is hoping to work with us on an event. Events will be fundraisers to keep us up and running,” he added.

“We’re brand new, but we’ll grow,” said Christensen. “We have some very smart people who know how to throw events.”

— Pat Johnson

patjohnson@thesandpaper.net

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