2019-09-02 13:30:00

Summer is a time of fun and frolic. We take a little time off and call it a vacation. We take advantage of summertime farm markets and maybe do some pick-your-own. We visit with friends and enjoy seasonal events — music, sports, shows.

But summer comes to an end. We return to jobs that demand the hard work of doing our best. School starts with classes and the hard work of learning. Business begins again in earnest with the hard work of planning for the future.

It’s time to get serious, time to reach out for some help.


Got a hot technology idea? Need funding to get your project out of the back room, off the ground, and into the big time? Do you know about the possibilities with the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program? Did you know that they have grant money available to support technological activities headed into the commercial marketplace?

SBIR is a federal research and development supported program that encourages and supports small businesses. Over $3 billion is available each year to fund small businesses in a wide variety of technology areas, including unmanned systems, advanced materials, health, cybersecurity and defense.

“Since 1983, New Jersey small businesses have received a total of 4,571 SBIR grants for $1.2 billion,” says Harry Menta, specialist at the Newark offices of the Small Business Administration (SBA). “In 2018, 101 grants for $50 million went to New Jersey small businesses.”

Surely you could use a piece of this pie. It takes money to move your project along toward eventual commercialization. And SBIR might provide the ticket.

Entrepreneurs can attend and connect with this program in an all-day session coming up Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration is now open for this event, to be held at Rutgers, Cook Student Center, 59 Biel Road in New Brunswick.

Some 11 participating federal agencies will be represented. These include the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Transportation, as well as additional agencies, NASA and the National Science Foundation.

Attendees can expect a full agenda of presentations on subjects ranging from “Surprising Opportunities with DoD and NASA” to “Collaborating with New Jersey’s Research Universities.” Small business owners who pre-register will be invited to participate in one or more 1-on-1 meetings with program managers from the federal agencies. Meetings are 15 minutes apart and they will be scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis.

There is a pre-registration fee of $45 for small technology firms, innovators, scientists or researchers. It’s $65 at the door. Students participate for less. To register online, visit https://njsbdc.com/SBIR/.

For more information on the overall program, visit SBIR.gov.


The Hunterdon Chamber of Commerce is joining with Flemington Community Partnership members and Northfield Bank to hold a September Card Club Networking Event. It’s set for Tuesday, Sept. 10, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Northfield Bank, 56 Main St., Flemington.

Complimentary light fare, beer and wine will be served. Food is by Market Roost. Admission is included for chamber and partnership members, others $25. Pre-registration required; call 908-782-7115 or visit HunterdonChamber.org.


The Women’s Business Forum of Hunterdon is holding a special event “Back To Business” on Thursday, Sept. 12, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Copper Hill Country Club, Ringoes.

The special guest speaker is Diane Lang, therapist, educator and life coach. She will be exploring ways you can retrain your brain for success and happiness using the power of positive thinking.

Tickets are $35. Breakfast is included. For more info and to register, call 908 782-7115 or visit HunterdonChamber.org.


Looking for your next career move?

The Hunterdon County 2019 Job Fair is set for Wednesday, Sept. 25, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Hunterdon County Complex Assembly Room, 314 Route 12, Flemington. Some of the largest employers in the county are slated to take part in this fair.

Employers participating include Hitran, Custom Alloy, Johanna Foods, Lowes, MW Industries/Atlantic Spring, QuVa Pharmaceutical, Readington Farms, Unicom Global, US Postal System, US Census 2020, Wawa, Flemington Granite & Architecture, 3M, Appliance Master, Animal Alliance of Lambertville, Hunterdon YMCA, Hunterdon Central High School, Hunterdon Developmental Center, and Flemington Ford Lincoln Mercury. More might be signing up before the event.

“Building on the successful June event which has resulted in people getting jobs, these partners are collaborating to create a robust event for the residents of Hunterdon County,” says Paul Grzella, interim director of the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board. “Our goal is to create a robust workforce system which provides employers of all sizes access to the highly qualified workforce in our region.”

Prior to the event, a series of workshops for jobseekers will be conducted at the Hunterdon Chamber offices, 119 Main St. in Flemington. Attendance at either of the following workshops gives participants early admission to the Job Fair — you get in at 10 instead of 10:30 a.m.

The workshop “Art of Effective Communication” will be held Thursday, Sept. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. The workshop “Mastering the Interview” will be held Thursday, Sept. 19 from 10 to noon. They are free. To register, call 908-541-5790 and visit TheGrwdb.org/event/HCJobFair.


Promoting your business is an on-going concern. Don’t forget the Business Expo & Food Showcase. The chamber is organizing the 31st annual EXPO set for Thursday, Nov. 7, 2 to 7 p.m. at the Nex Level Arena on Case Boulevard in Flemington.

Over 3,000 people attend this event every year. If you haven’t arranged for a booth promoting your goods and services, now is the time to get moving.

Always popular is the Food Showcase portion of the EXPO. It’s from 5 to 7 p.m. It’s a chance for local restaurants to showcase their culinary skills and provide attendees with a sampling of their signature dishes. Restaurants participate at no cost.

For more information, call the chamber at 908-782-7115 and visit HunterdonChamber.org.

Al Warr can be reached at 610-253-0432 or AlWarr16@gmail.com.

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