Contact: Kelly Vence
Public Information Office
ELIZABETH, NJ - March 27, 2015 - Mayor J. Christian Bollwage, joined by Senator Raymond Lesniak, U.S. Conference of Mayors - Partner America, State and Local Officials and over one hundred guests, hosted a Small Business Day Seminar on Thursday, March 26, 2015 in City Hall’s Council Chambers.
“Small businesses contribute immensely to the success of municipalities and support the growth of local economies,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “I am proud to work with Partner America, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and our business community as we continue to make our future even brighter.”
Mayor Bollwage was honored with the Small Business Advocate Award, which was presented  by Dennis Ballas, Regional Director of  Partner America.  In recognition of this achievement, the Mayor also  received a resolution from Senator Lesniak of the 20th Legislative District as well as congratulations from the Office of Senator Cory Booker. 
The US Conference of Mayors Small Business Advocate of the Year Award was established five years ago to acknowledge the work of Mayors, who have demonstrated leadership and partnership with small businesses in their communities. This free event attracted more than one hundred guests and featured informational tables as well as light refreshments.
“I would like to thank all who joined us at this event,” said Eduardo Rodriguez, Director of Planning and Community Development. “Through networking, program and resource availability, the government can act as a valuable component in starting and maintaining a successful business. I hope everyone, who attended today, was able to walk away with helpful information.”
The forum focused on the promotion of small business growth and development in the City of Elizabeth. Speakers at this event included: Mayor Bollwage; Senator Lesniak; Shante Palmer, a representative from Senator Cory Booker’s office; William O’Dea, Executive Director of the Elizabeth Development Company; Yasmin Fisher, Greater Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce; Donald Newman, Director of Small Business Advocacy for the New Jersey Business Action Center; Monika Athwal, Business Development Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority; Alfred Titone, District Director of the New Jersey U.S. Small Business Administration; Lisa Perri of Colonial Life; Lou Mosca, Executive Vice President and COO of American Management Services and Eduardo Rodriguez, Director of the City of Elizabeth’s Planning and Community Development.
About the Partners
Partner America™
Partner America™ is a public-private partnership created by the United States Conference of Mayors and American Management Services to help small and mid-sized businesses improve profits and sales through management technical assistance in hundreds of cities, and every state across the nation.  Partner America™ is the first initiative focused specifically on combining the resources and programs offered by local and federal government agencies, with the management expertise provided by private enterprise, to implement profit-improvement programs for U.S. businesses.  Find us at
U.S. Conference of Mayors
The United States Conference of Mayors, “the Conference”, is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more, and focuses on the development and implementation of national urban policies impacting the sustainable development and growth of cities across the United States.  Find us at