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A business walk with the EOCC and the mayor of East Orange NJ.
Mayor Lester E. Taylor (second from the left), EOCC president Patrick Reid (second from the right) with chamber members and local business owner (center back). Photo curtesy of Mark Cheatam

East Orange, NJ. – On Saturday June 17, 2017, the East Orange Chamber of Commerce (EOCC) is holding a business breakfast at the East Orange Senior Citizen Center. The breakfast reintroduces the chamber to the business community after being inactive for three years.  

In January 2017, East Orange resident, Patrick Reid of Skies The Limit Real Estate & Investment LLC, and Exit Platinum Realty in Montclair, was inaugurated as the EOCC’s new president. As a chamber member for over five years, he served on the board of trustees, as well as the programs committee. In the near future, Reid plans to make the EOCC the jewel of the East Orange business community by offering business advocacy, finance opportunities exclusively for chamber members and an internship program for young entrepreneurs. 

“My own personal marching orders are to bring resources to the chamber,” said Reid. “Ideas that should have resources in place have not been there.”

The Business Breakfast kicks off these new plans. Featuring keynote speaker Jill Johnson of the Institute For Entrepreneurial Leadership, and special guests George Williams of the Nishuane Group, and East Orange’s Chief of Staff, Kellie Drakeford Ledet. The breakfast is bound to satisfy its attendees not only with cuisine for the body, but nourishment for financial plans and food for thought as well. 

A Traditional Resource For A New Era

Established in 1926, the EOCC is kicking things into high gear to keep with the development pace of East Orange City. In recent months, under Mayor Lester E. Taylor III, East Orange has had a significant increase in proposed business developments. By partnering with the Mayor’s Office, the EOCC is looking to help new and established business align themselves with the mayor’s plans to make East Orange a destination city. By bringing fresh new ideas, resources and opportunity to local and surrounding business communities, Mayor Taylor believes the chamber’s role is important.

“The East Orange Chamber of Commerce is a vital community partner that connects our local businesses to one another and aligns them with common goals on how to be successful and help grow the city’s economy,” said Mayor Taylor. “When I talk about making East Orange a destination city, I recognize the substantial impact that small businesses have in making that vision a reality.”

EOCC’s Vice President, Mrs. Goldie T. Burbage has lived in East Orange since 1956. Over the years she has served in many capacities in and around the city of East Orange. Burbage is also the current president of the East Orange Historical Society. Reminiscing on a rich past where East Orange was the destination city that Mayor Taylor plans to bring back to the present, Burbage has faith in Reid’s ability to renew the chamber to the effecting organization it was back in her day.

 “I remember when East Orange used to have a free shuttle bus between Main Street and Central Avenue,” said Burbage. “Central Ave was known as the 5th Ave of New Jersey. Every Easter there was someone dressed in a bunny costume that passed out candy to the children…I think Mr. Reid shows great promise in getting the business community back to how it used to be.”

Where Business Meets Opportunity

As a sample of the benefits to becoming a member of the EOCC, door prizes for breakfast attendees range from a 50 percent discount on chamber membership, to air time on Reid’s local radio show. Reid stresses that the relationship between member and chamber is mutually beneficial  and believes that businesses have a social responsibility to contribute to the community. 

“A large insurance company may have clientele in East Orange but no physical presence in East Orange,” explains Reid. “They can become a member and contribute in many ways such as providing employment to East Orange residents…in return they have access to 65,000 residents who they will be marketed to through the chamber’s website and social media.”

The EOCC invites individuals and corporations from all over to attend the breakfast, become members, and benefit from everything that the chamber has to offer.

Tickets to the business breakfast can be purchased at EOCCBizBreakfast.Eventbrite.com.

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