By Monmouth County Freeholder Tom Arnone
I am proud to announce the sixth annual Made in Monmouth event on April 8th was an absolute success!
More people than ever came out to support our small business owners thanks in large part to the local community and fantastic staff and volunteers who helped coordinate this day-long shopping event at Monmouth University.
This year, more than 5,000 shoppers supported the event, which showcased more than 260 vendors who displayed and sold their locally-made products. From furniture and jewelry to pet products and gourmet specialty foods, there were truly a wide variety of items for attendees to choose from.
Serving as liaison to the Monmouth County Division of Economic Development, I take great pride in hosting events like Made in Monmouth. When I created this program shortly after I joined the Board of Chosen Freeholders, my goal was to focus my attention on small consumer product manufacturers located within Monmouth County to help them grow their businesses. As such, I’m happy to say the County has amassed a list of nearly 600 Made in Monmouth companies and counting!
Such an undertaking could not be done without the hard work of staff and volunteers who have helped grow this event year after year. I would like to thank them and let them know I look forward to their help and support during Made in Monmouth 2018!
I would also like to commend the hardworking students from Asbury Park and surrounding towns who participated in the Asbury Park Junior Entrepreneur Training [JET] Program. These students learned business and networking skills in the weeks leading up to Made in Monmouth by creating their own merchandise to sell the day of the event.
Overall, I am proud of the turnout at this year’s event and I look forward to expanding Made in Monmouth in 2018.
On another note, I’m keeping busy by preparing for my Shared Services Summit on May 5th, open to representatives from all 53 municipalities in Monmouth County.
As liaison to the Monmouth County Shared Services program, I’m proud to say that Monmouth County has developed one of the most successful cooperative resource initiatives in New Jersey.
During the Summit, guests will learn about current and new services that are available through our program. Guests will hear from County personnel representing our 9-1-1 communications center and other emergency services, our Department of Public Works and Engineering, our County Clerk’s office, our cooperative Purchasing Shared Services department and our tax board.
I look forward to meeting with municipal representatives and hope they will take advantage of the programs and shared services the County has to offer. Simply put, it’s our goal to make cost saving measures available to localities and this Summit will highlight the ways on how they can do just that.
As always, I look forward to continuing to serve the residents of Monmouth County. Thank you for your continued support.