In honor of National Small Business Week, Wells Fargo convened a panel discussion of local leaders in partnership with The Enterprise Center, Camden Business Association, Camden Community Partnership, Latin American Economic Development Association (LAEDA), and Parkside Business & Community In Partnership, Inc. at the Salvation Army Kroc Center to discuss the current small business climate in Camden. The organizations also surprised 10 local small business owners each with grants of $1,000.
Led in discussion by Wells Fargo’s Small Business Development Manager Alima Hawthorne, panelists from each of the nonprofit partner organizations spoke to a diverse audience of entrepreneurs, elected officials, and community partners to discuss how to elevate small businesses in Camden to the next level and help them sustain their operations. Speakers acknowledged the major advances made on business corridors in recent years, yet also noted the challenges that still persist for business owners, especially regarding administrative needs, such as tax preparation, applying for a loan, managing accounting systems, and language barriers. This is one of the reasons that West Philadelphia-based nonprofit The Enterprise Center is bringing its mobile Biz on Wheels to commercial corridors in Camden.
“As we expand our services into Camden, we are really inspired to be joining this network of nonprofit and community organizations that are dedicated to creating a vibrant, inclusive city, where businesses of any size and background can thrive,”
said Colleen Vann, The Enterprise Center’s Camden Cares Business Center Director. “We’re looking forward to working with these partners and commercial corridor managers to understand and address each business’s unique needs.”
The Enterprise Center’s curbside business services specialty vehicle, “Biz on Wheels” launched earlier this year. It is retrofitted to provide services such as onboard scanning, faxing and printing, and free consultation from business expert volunteers on issues like taxes, loans and marketing. On Wednesday, the vehicle was staffed by volunteers from LAEDA and Wells Fargo and made stops along Haddon Avenue and Federal Street in addition to the Kroc Center.