Business Beat

August 16, 2013
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Free Workshops Available for Storm-Impacted Businesses


LINCROFT – The New Jersey Small Business Development Center is providing two, pro bono workshops in Monmouth and Ocean counties that will provide invaluable information to small businesses impacted by Super Storm Sandy.

Sponsored by the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC) at Brookdale Community College and developed by its director, Jackeline Fuertes, the complimentary workshops will provide business owners with invaluable information and vital tools to help them not only recover, but also improve and safeguard their business for the future.

The programs are being presented in conjunction with the Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce, the City of Asbury Park Office of Economic Development, the City of Long Branch Office of Community and Economic Development, and the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce. All small businesses impacted the storm are invited to attend.

The programs are the result of a one-time Small Business Administration (SBA) Sandy grant. The NJSBDC statewide network is providing support for small businesses affected by the disaster.

The first workshop will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, at the Ocean Place Resort, One Ocean Blvd., Long Branch, and the second from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at the Holiday Inn, 2870 Hwy 35 south, Hazlet.

Another workshop will be held in Ocean County Sept. 16 in Toms River. Venue will be announced.

At the workshops, attendees will receive information about the assistance and tools, including:

• Marketing and social media strategies

• Insurance basics for small businesses

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• Finance assistance available to them

• Access to the center’s expert consultants, who are available to meet one-on-one on specific needs

In addition, at the Aug. 19 Long Branch workshop, Lisa Kanda, a social media consultant to the Monmouth-Ocean SBDC and a Long Branch chamber board member, will be one of the featured speakers, presenting “Six Strategies to Boost Your Brand and Business.”

Seating is limited, pre-registration is required and may be completed by calling NJSBDC at Brookdale at 732-842-8685 or visiting


Ama Ristorante Gets Nod From NJ Monthly Critics


SEA BRIGHT – Ama Ristorante at Driftwood, 1485 Ocean Ave., was named as one of 27 “New and Notable” restaurants by NJ Monthly’s editors in the magazine’s annual “Best Restaurants” issue.

“Ama had just relocated from Atlantic Highlands when Sandy battered Sea Bright. The newcomer became the first restaurant in town to reopen. It features ocean views and chef Pat Trama’s Tuscan touches, with a wine list of estate Italian vintages,” the magazine said about the restaurant.

In September 2012, under new ownership by the Stavola family, Ama Ristorante opened in it new location with views of the Atlantic Ocean from its second level perch on the east and sunset views over the Shrewsbury River to the west. Six weeks later it was closed due to the devastation caused by Super Storm Sandy. But, the main part of Driftwood Cabana Club – where Ama is located – remained intact and 30 days later in November Ama Ristorante opened again. It was the first business to reopen in Sea Bright.

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In addition to being named “New and Notable,” Ama Ristorante was voted “Best Italian” restaurant in 2013 by Monmouth Health and Life’s Readers’ Choice Awards and was listed earlier in the year as one of 35 Most Scenic Views by NJ Monthly. It is a winner for the Diners’ Choice Awards for “Special Occasion,” “Hot Spot,” and “Italian” on

Ama features Executive Chef Pat Trama’s menu of seasonally inspired Tuscan specialties, an eclectic wine list featuring estate wines primarily from Italian origin and a specialty cocktail menu. A private dining room is available for up to 60 seated guests.


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