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The Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders Shop Burlington County First campaign continued this week as Freeholder Director Felicia Hopson and Freeholder Dan O’Connell met with shop owners in Burlington City and Medford.
Hopson visited the Chrisie Styles Boutique in Burlington City on Thursday afternoon, and O’Connell visited the Wonder World Toys store in Medford Friday morning with New Jersey Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego.
During both visits the leaders spoke with the owners about their businesses, the challenges of operating during the ongoing pandemic and the importance of residents shopping local this holiday season.
“We know this pandemic has been incredibly challenging for all of us, but especially our small businesses, which are so important to our county’s economy,” Hopson said. “We’ve revived our Shop Burlington County First initiative to try to highlight all the great, stores, restaurants and services in Burlington County. These are more than just businesses; their owners and employees are also our neighbors. By supporting them, we’re supporting our own communities and helping to keep them vital.”
Hopson highlighted Chrisie Styles Boutique. Owner Christine Hooper began the business five years and was selling her apparel from a mobile fashion truck before moving into her Broad Street space in historic Burlington City this past summer.
While Hooper is thankful for her loyal customers, she hopes the County’s initiative can help generate more traffic to her store and other businesses in the city.
“We appreciate everything the County is doing to try to help promote us and other small businesses in the county,” said Hooper. “We have an array of styles and we would love to welcome new customers to come see us.”
At Wonder World Toys, O’Connell and Addiego spoke with co-owners Alex and Jessica Breaux about their four-year-old business and the assistance it has received.
The owners said their store was greatly aided by the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Small Business Emergency grants.
O’Connell said residents can help keep small businesses afloat by shopping or dining locally whenever possible.
“We know small businesses are the backbone not only of New Jersey’s and Burlington County’s economy but our nation’s economy,” O’Connell said. “This year has presented many challenges and that’s why our County brought back the Shop Burlington County First initiative. We want to try to remind people when they are shopping for gifts this holiday to remember local stores like this one.”
Addiego encouraged residents to think of the people on the other side of their purchases and how shopping locally keeps their money invested in their own communities.
“E-commerce may be convenient, but these small businesses are the lifeblood of this community,” Addiego said. “Their owners and employees are our friends and neighbors so it’s extremely important that we support these places.”
The freeholders encouraged businesses interested in having their establishment featured on the County’s Shop Burlington County First page to submit information to the Burlington County Public Information Office at firstname.lastname@example.org and they also encouraged residents to check out the initiative’s Facebook page.
“We want to highlight as many businesses as we possibly can and hopefully build some extra buzz and support for them when they need it the most,” Hopson said.
Freeholder Director Felicia Hopson speaks with Christine Hooper, owner of Chrisie Styles Boutique in Burlington City, Thursday to promote the County’s Shop Burlington County First initiative
Freeholder Dan O’Connell and New Jersey Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego visited Wonder World Toys in Burlington on Friday morning to promote the County’s Shop Burlington County First initiative
Christine Hooper shows Freeholder Director Felicia Hopson around her Burlington City store, Chrisie Styles Boutique
Freeholder Dan O’Connell speaks with Wonder World Toys owners Alex and Jessica Breaux
Freeholder Dan O’Connell makes a purchase at the Wonder World Toys store in Medford