Provided by the Office of the Governor
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno took a walking tour of downtown Palmyra Tuesday as part of the governor’s effort to promote entrepreneurship and support New Jersey’s small business community.
Guadagno visited Qualified Women and Minorities in Construction (QWIC) Inc., Schwering Hardware and Anthony Jewels, speaking with store owners in an attempt to shine a light on the importance of small businesses.
“Small businesses and the entrepreneurs who ensure their success are vital to New Jersey’s economy,” said Guadagno. “Today is about not only about celebrating their achievement, but stressing that the Christie Administration stands ready and willing to do whatever is necessary to assist in their continued growth here in Palmyra and statewide.”
Qualified Women and Minorities in Construction (QWIC) Inc. is a full-service construction consulting firm specializing in small and disadvantaged business programs. Launched in 1994, the business provides a bridge among government entities, owners, primes and sub-consultants. Among its many honors, QWIC, Inc. was named one of “New Jersey’s Top 50 Construction Management Firms” by NJ BIZ magazine four times.
“I think it’s important for state government to support small main street businesses,” said Nancy Myers, president and owner of QWIC, Inc. “I’ve been an advocate for women and minority-owned businesses and I’ve worked with the state on their efforts to help improve the business climate.”
Established in 1922, Schwering’s Hardware is a family-owned operation that specializes in cutting special-order glass, selling storm windows, mixing custom paints, and repairing screens and windows.
“We’ve been here for 91 years, and we’re a good old-fashioned hardware store with family values,” said owner Steve Schwering. “My family has owned this store for three generations. It can be overwhelming and very difficult to keep up with the large retail competitors. We’re very excited that the lieutenant governor is visiting the Palmyra area and we appreciate the state’s support.”
Anthony Jewelers is a third-generation family business serving the greater Palmyra community since 1953. In addition to selling jewelry, the owners offer full appraisal services, watch repair, pearl stringing, jewelry repair and jewelry insurance.
“We looked forward to having Lt. Governor Guadagno visit our business,” said owner Nick Fratto. “It’s nice to have an open forum to discuss the needs of small businesses.”
Data from the U.S. Small Business Administration illustrates the importance of small businesses to New Jersey’s overall economic vibrancy. Businesses with less than 500 employees represent 98.4 percent of all statewide employers and employ 50.2 percent of New Jersey’s private-sector labor force.
The New Jersey Business Action Center's Small Business Advocacy Unit serves as the one-stop shop for small business by providing professional and coordinated assistance, in addition to business counseling services for the state’s entrepreneurs. They can also work to identify the specific financial and assistance programs available to an eligible business, as well as help locate the resources that best meet their needs.
Any existing small business owner or aspiring entrepreneur is encouraged to call 866-534-7789 or visit the state’s online business portal at www.newjerseybusiness.gov.