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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)April 9, 2020

Ramapo Small Business Development Center Works to Assist Businesses Affected by COVID-9

MAHWAH, N.J. – Thousands of businesses in New Jersey and across the region have been forced to close their doors as a direct result of the Corona Virus COVID-19 emergency orders signed by Governor Murphy. The Bergen/Ramapo Small Business Development Center, housed at Ramapo College, is available to help, and busier than ever.

“Businesses that are even allowed to be open for a few hours a day are seeing a steep drop in customers and are beginning to lay-off employees. They don’t know when it’s going to stop,” said Vince Vicari, Regional Director of the Center at Ramapo College, noting that Bergen County is one of the hardest hit counties in the state. “These businesses need counseling, especially with loan and grant applications. The phones are ringing off the hook.”

After several weeks that showed a record spike in new client registrations, Vicari reached out to Corporate Turnaround, a long-term partner to the New Jersey Small Business Development Center.

Corporate Turnaround (CT), founded in 1998, is helping triage the heavy volume of inquiries for information about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Payroll Protection Program, both of which are designed to help businesses through economic crises.

“We are in daily contact with CT to review and assure that the augmented support is aligned with confidential SBDC programs,” Vicari said. “We had to increase capacity drastically because the recovery programs are being applied on a first come, first serve basis up to the available appropriates. CT worked with us during the Hurricane Sandy recovery and has the immediate capacity to help us during this economic disruption.”

Vicari said the spike in incoming clients includes larger businesses that were coming in as of February with a steep reduction in startup businesses. Most food service businesses have suffered as well as manufacturers who have experienced both up and down stream disruptions in their channels of distribution, and loss of their primary target markets. “This has increased the levels and confidence in their existing accounts receivables, and how to extend credit for current and future contracts in an uncertain future while at the same time they cannot and have not done business on a cash basis,” Vicari said. “The crisis has required that businesses change their business models to become relevant to the current business climate.”

The Ramapo SBDC is taking referrals from the offices of Senator Booker, Senator Menendez, Congressman Pascrell,  District 37 in Bergen County, and the Bergen County Division of Economic Development. “We are here to be part of the solution, and are proud to be hosted at Ramapo College of New Jersey,” Vicari said.

Link to New Jersey Business Magazine article featuring Ramapo SBDC: https://njbmagazine.com/njb-news-now/njsbdcs-assist-diverse-businesses-in-need-due-to-coronavirus-crisis/

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education.

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