small business

LAEDA Launches Women’s Business Center with Grant from SBA

The Latin American Economic Development Association, Inc. (LAEDA) officially launched the LAEDA Women’s Business Center (LWBC) with a $723,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) today.

It will be the second center that the SBA supports in the state and will serve women entrepreneurs, in seven Southern New Jersey counties that include Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties.

“We are pleased to be teaming up with LAEDA to foster the participation of women entrepreneurs in the economy, especially those who have been historically underserved or excluded in the southern region of New Jersey,” said SBA New Jersey District Director Al Titone. “LAEDA has a rich history of promoting economic development in this area since 1987.  Partnering with LAEDA will only strengthen our footprint in this area and will give women-owned businesses the opportunity to access business counseling, training, capital and contracting programs to support their businesses.”

According to SBA’s Regional Administrator Kellie LeDet, who oversees the agency’s programs and service throughout New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the total grant of $723,270 will be spread over a five year period through September of 2020.  “SBA is committing its resources to the LWBC,” said LeDet. “We’re here for the long-term.  The only way for us to transform neighborhoods and create an environment where women can achieve success as entrepreneurs is to make a commitment to the area.”

LAEDA’s President and CEO Raymond Lamboy said, “This is a great opportunity for us to focus and nurture micro businesses throughout South Jersey.  In Bertha Sarmina, we have a strong Program Manager in place to manage the activities of the center and who has a solid background and good understanding of what it takes to develop micro businesses.”

“For almost 30 years, LAEDA has given small business owners the tools to find success in Camden,” said Lamboy.  “This SBA grant now gives us the ability to provide more tools and programs to women entrepreneurs beyond the city.  It is truly an exciting time for us to be able to help other communities along the southern corridor of the state to develop women-owned businesses who need long-term mentoring.”

“We feel that the new center will only complement our existing SCORE, New Jersey Small Business Development Centers at Rutgers University in Camden and Stockton University in Atlantic City, and the SBA micro lending program that Camden’s Cooperative Business Assistance Corporation already brings to the seven counties we have targeted,” added Titone.  “There is a reason why SBA loan approvals are up 39 percent to women-owned businesses throughout the state; its programs like this that support women entrepreneurship and we are glad to bring the LWBC to South Jersey so that we can accomplish much more.”

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