Burlington County Commissioners encourage support of women-owned businesses

Burlington County Commissioner Felicia Hopson, second from left, met with several scholarship winners during the Burlington County Women’s Advisory Council’s Outstanding Women of Burlington County Awards Dinner in 2019.

Since March is Women’s History Month, the Burlington County Commissioners are encouraging residents to support women-owned businesses and learn more about the contributions and achievements of local women from Burlington County.

“The history of women trailblazers and heroes from Burlington County is extraordinary and include Alice Paul, Elizabeth White, Mary Roebling, Clara Barton and Ethel Lawrence who all charged through barriers and overcame discrimination and exclusion to help change our state, nation and world for the better,” Burlington County Commissioner Felicia Hopson said in a statement released by the commissioners. “Throughout this month, our board will highlight the incredible accomplishments of women pioneers and achievers who called Burlington County their home. We will also spotlight fantastic women-owned businesses in our county and encourage our residents to support them and their employees. By showcasing these amazing individuals and businesses, we hope to inspire and empower more women and girls to follow their dreams.”

Profiles of Burlington County women and businesses will be posted on Burlington County’s social media pages throughout March, and the commissioners will also promote women-owned businesses on the county website within the Burlington County Business Resources Hub (under the Burlington County Business tab).

map of women-owned businesses was posted within the Business Hub last October as part of National Women’s Small Business Month and has been updated. More than 40 businesses throughout Burlington County are now listed.

Women-owned businesses that would like to be listed on the map and promoted on the county’s social media sites should email information to [email protected]. Information requested includes the business name, address, phone number and a brief history or summary of goods for sale or services. Photographs and links to websites and social media sites are also welcome.

“The women who operate these enterprises are some of the brightest, most resilient, and dedicated business owners around. They contribute jobs, goods and services our residents and communities need and rely on,” Hopson said in the statement. “We want these businesses to succeed and grow and provide inspiration for more women to take the leap to start and operate their own company.”

In addition to highlighting women achievers and businesses, Burlington County continues to be a leader in promoting equality and inclusiveness.

The county was one of the first in New Jersey to create a Women’s Advisory Council to identify and develop ways to address issues impacting women, and it was also one of the first to adopt a policy banning its departments from asking job applicants for their past wage history or salaries because asking for that information can perpetuate the gender-pay gap, according to the statement.

Women also hold some of the highest positions in Burlington County government, including County Administrator Eve Cullinan, Solicitor Ashley Buono, Chief Financial Officer Carolyn Havlick, County Clerk Joanne Schwartz, Superintendent of Elections Dawn Addiego, Director of Human Services Shirla Simpson, Director of Resource Conservation Mary Pat Robbie, Health Officer Holly Funkhouser Cucuzzella, Clerk of the Board Erin Kelly and Election Board Administrators Claudia Castro and Linda Hughes.

“Burlington County has been at the forefront in the fight for equality for all people, and our Board is proud to carry on that struggle,” Hopson said in the statement. “I’m proud to be a woman leader in my community and I know it was only possible because of the perseverance and sacrifices of women leaders and advocates who came before me. It’s the responsibility of all of us to honor their achievements and their legacy. We must not rest until the dream of real and lasting equality is achieved.”