Press Release
November 24, 2015
3 minute read

EDA CEO Visits Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County to Highlight State Financing Resources

Supports State’s Small Business Awareness Initiative


From left to right are Lori Leonard, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County; Melissa Orsen, CEO, New Jersey Economic Development Authority; John Garton, Controller, and Annie Fox, Resource Development Director, Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County

TRENTON, N.J. (November 24, 2015) – As part of the State’s ongoing efforts to make small business and non-profit leaders aware of financing resources available through the State, New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) Chief Executive Officer Melissa Orsen visited Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County on Monday. The non-profit affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, whose mission is to bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope, recently received a direct loan through the EDA’s Small Business Fund, which provides financial assistance to qualified businesses through direct loans, participations or guarantees. 
“Organizations like Habitat for Humanity serve a dual purpose in our State’s economy,” said Orsen. “They not only create jobs, but they contribute to the community in invaluable, immeasurable ways through the resources they provide to families in need.”
Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County received a loan through the Small Business Fund to purchase the building it had been leasing in Maple Shade since 2014. Prior to that, the entity’s corporate offices and ReStore operations had been located in Cinnaminson. The move to Maple Shade was driven by the goal of expanding, and attracting more customers to the ReStore, which sells donated, secondhand items to raise money for the organization.
“The visibility of our new location in Maple Shade is helping to increase ReStore traffic,” said John Garton, Controller, Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County. “The financing the EDA provided has helped us to settle into a more permanent home and build lasting relationships with volunteers and other stakeholders.”
Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County has built 50 homes since its inception in 1987, including houses in Burlington City, Mt. Holly, Medford, Cinnaminson, Beverly, Pemberton, Palmyra, Florence, Moorestown, Burlington Township, Bordentown, and Mt. Laurel.

Habitat serves thousands of people each year with opportunities to volunteer and give back to their communities, as well as hundreds of individuals and families who now have a place to call home.
Prior to Monday’s visit, a groundbreaking was held in Willingboro where a house will be built for a couple with three children. Construction will be completed in approximately 12 months.
The EDA’s Small Business Fund requires that a business be in operation for at least one full year.  Not-for-profit corporations that have been operating for at least three full years may also be eligible. Over $12 million has been provided to 50 businesses through the Fund since 2010, with an average loan size of more than $240,000.
The visit follows the recent launch of EDA’s new small and mid-sized business-focused print and digital marketing campaign, which was created in collaboration with Princeton Partners, Inc. Featuring the theme “EDA Was Here,” the campaign anecdotally showcases how businesses like Tri-Power Consulting have used the EDA’s financing programs to overcome challenges, meet their needs and grow. The campaign includes print ads in various New Jersey business publications, as well as digital display ads on various business websites and search engine marketing.   
“The State offers a range of resources, from low interest loans either directly or through one of EDA’s more than 30 lending partners to training and technical assistance services to support the expansion and long-term growth of small businesses and not-for-profit organizations,” said Orsen. “We encourage business owners to contact us to learn more about how the State can support their growth.”

Other programs offered by the EDA for small business include the Premier Lender Program, through which the EDA partners with over 30 banks to provide new, low-cost financing opportunities with faster turnaround; and the New Jersey Business Growth Fund, a joint program of the EDA and PNC Bank offering creditworthy small and mid-sized companies financing for real estate or equipment.
In 2015 alone, through its small business programs, the EDA has advanced 65 projects totaling $35 million in assistance. These projects are associated with $126 million in private investment.
The EDA is part of the state’s results-driven Partnership for Action. Created by Governor Christie and led by Lt. Governor Guadagno, the Partnership is the hub for all economic development activity in New Jersey and is comprised of four interconnected and highly focused organizational elements: Choose New Jersey, the Business Action Center, the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the EDA. 
To learn more about opportunities for business growth throughout New Jersey, visit the state’s business portal at or call the Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789.