Burlington County released a new map detailing veteran-owned businesses.
“In Burlington County, we strive to honor and support our veterans, not just on Veterans Day but every day, and this new map will help us and our residents not only say thank you for their service but also for operating businesses that make our county a great place to live and work,” Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson said in a prepared statement.
More than 20 veteran-owned businesses are listed so far, and the commissioners are inviting additional businesses to contact their office to be added.
Each business on the map is linked to its respective website and their address and contact information is also included for easy access.
In addition to the new map, the commissioners will use social media to spotlight and promote these businesses throughout the remainder of the month and beyond, according to the statement.
Veteran-owned businesses that would like to be listed on the map and promoted the County’s social media sites should email information to email@example.com. Information requested includes the business name, address, phone number and brief history or summary of its goods for sale and services. Website and social media links and photographs are also welcome.
“Burlington County is home to more than 30,000-plus veterans. It’s because of them and their sacrifices that we have the many freedoms that are the hallmarks of our great democracy,” Commissioner Tom Pullion, who is the board’s liaison for military and veterans’ affairs, said in the statement. “This map is one of several actions we’ve taken to make sure our veterans and active duty and reserve service members feel welcome here. We want to help these veteran-owned businesses to succeed, so we’re letting our residents know where they are and how to support them.”
In addition to the veteran-owned business map, the county has also created maps highlighting Black-owned businesses, Latino and Hispanic-owned businesses and women-owned businesses. All four maps can be found on the Business Portal page.
Veterans and others looking to start a new business in the county can also find important information on the Portal page and links to resources, including the county loan programs administered by the Burlington County Department of Economic Development and Regional Planning and the Workforce Development Institute at Rowan College at Burlington County.
Nearly 6% of all businesses in America are owned by veterans, according to a U.S. Census Bureau Business Survey, and more than 200,000 service members leave the services every year to search for jobs among the civilian work force.
“We know a lot of service members face challenges transitioning into civilian life and our Burlington County Veterans Services unit is ready and happy to assist them,” Pullion said in the statement. “On this Veterans Day we want to make sure we thank every veteran for their contributions to our nation and that they know help and support is a phone call or email away.”
The Veterans Services unit can be reached at 609-265-5008 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
In related news, Burlington County’s record of supporting veterans and their families was recognized by Gov. Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs on Nov. 11 when the county was presented a New Jersey Governor’s “We Value Our Veterans” Community Award.
The award recognizes communities, businesses and academic institutions that honor the “sacrifices, patriotism and bravery of New Jersey’s service members.”
It was presented to the county by Murphy and Brig. Gen. Lisa Hou, Adjutant General of the New Jersey National Guard, during a Veteran’s Day ceremony at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Holmdel, according to a separate statement issued by Burlington County.
Burlington County Commissioner Tom Pullion attended the ceremony and accepted the award on behalf of the county. Elizabeth Verna, chair of the Burlington County Military and Veterans Affairs Committee (BMAC), also attended, along with retired Col. Michael Warner, BMAC’s vice chair; BMAC Trustee Stevie J. Stevenson Jr. and Evelyn Rosado, director of the Burlington County Division of Military and Veterans Services.
To qualify for the We Value Our Veterans Community Award, the Burlington County Military Affairs Committee applied to the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs detailing both programs and actions taken by the County to honor and assist veterans, according to the statement.
Many of the programs are coordinated by the county’s Division of Military and Veterans Affairs, which works closely with local veterans organizations and officials at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to keep veterans and service members informed about initiatives and events that might benefit them. The county unit also advocates for county veterans and assists them with casework related to their benefits.
So far this year, the unit has helped county veterans obtain more than $10 million in compensation and benefits, according to the statement.
“That’s an extraordinary record and these county employees deserve our thanks and appreciation for the jobs they perform every day for our veterans,” Pullion said in the statement.
Other programs detailed in the application included the Burlington County Service Medals presented to veterans who were honorably discharged and now reside in the community, and the county’s cemetery care program, which maintains veterans’ grave sites in over 96 cemeteries throughout the county and places new flags on the graves before Memorial Day.
The Burlington County Sheriff’s Department also provides veterans with free photo ID cards identifying them as having served in the nation’s armed forces, and the County Animal Shelter waives adoption fees for veterans and services members through its Pets for Vets initiative.