LYNDHURST, N.J. – Bergen Community College unveiled centralized space and resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs during an open house attended by more than 250 people June 3 at Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands.

The event, which served as a kickoff celebration showcasing new space for FUSE – the former Bergen Community College Regional Accelerator at the Meadowlands – and the New Jersey Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Bergen Community College, included speakers such as Bergen Dean of Continuing Education, Corporate and Public Sector Training Christine Gillespie, Bergen Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Philip J. Ciarco III, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey Chairman Carlos Medina and keynote speaker Idea Village Products Corporation President and COO Ron Boger. Workshops, networking and tours complemented their remarks.

The open house also featured the announcement of a partnership between FUSE and the Hispanic chamber. The organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding to discuss creating new resources and pathways for Hispanic men and women seeking to create their own businesses – a cohort that represents 22 percent of new entrepreneurs according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The federal government designates the College as a Hispanic-Serving Institution; one quarter of Bergen’s 16,000 undergraduate students identify as Hispanic.

Now operating side-by-side at the Meadowlands location, FUSE and the Bergen SDBC provide centralized resources to promote economic growth for the region’s small businesses. FUSE offers a co-working environment designed to inspire startups with mentoring, workshops, classes, Wi-Fi, meeting rooms and other support services. Memberships start at $99 per month. The SBDC at Bergen operates as part of an 11-center in-state network providing comprehensive services and programs for small businesses such as confidential consultations and training.

Please call (201) 612-5360 for information on the small business resources.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls 16,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip J. Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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