Increasing access to resources and building strategic partnerships within Camden businesses is the mission at the newly overhauled Camden Business Association, the new moniker for the old Camden Business and Contractor’s Association.
The organization — an amalgamation of 160 regional business in industries like manufacturing, engineering and marketing — will launch tonight at a sold-out event sponsored by AT&T, featuring local officials such as Camden Mayor Frank Moran, Congressman Donald Norcross and Derrick Green, senior advisor for urban affairs to Governor Phil Murphy.
“The CBA has plans to partner with local, city, state officials and business organizations to create training, education and engagement programs for the small businesses here in the city to foster growth, innovation and collaboration,” said CBA President Ray Jones.
Jones, president of security company We See You, LLC, said in an email that even though the CBA currently does not have any strictly tech companies as members, he expects they will play “a huge role in fostering the Camden Business Association’s (CBA) growth,” particularly those that can get involved in smart city initiatives.
“We, as an organization, are very excited about possible smart city initiatives that Camden small businesses can participate in,” Jones said. “Part of our goal is to champion and introduce smart city initiatives right here in the city of Camden.
So where does the CBA sit in the landscape of organizations? It’s not about competing with institutions like the Camden County Chamber of Commerce, but rather working alongside them.
“Our approach is to work alongside all other organizations,” said Nichelle Pace, a member of the board of directors. “[The Chamber] is for networking, they have great wine tastings and golf outings. We’re more on the education and training side of things and getting Camden businesses business-ready. No organization can do everything so we can be the catalysts for all organizations to partner with and serve Camden businesses.”
“AT&T is proud to support the new Camden Business Association in its efforts to grow neighborhood businesses and commercial corridors, attract new employers and create jobs,” said AT&T AVP Joe Divis.