The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce holds their State-Of-The-Chamber breakfast on Wednesday February 8 at the Holiday Inn in Manahawkin at 151 Rt 72 East and your invited.

(Townsquare Media NJ)
(Townsquare Media NJ)

Lori Pepenella with The Chamber of Commerce explains that it's apart of their 2020 vision strategic plan for businesses to thrive in Southern Ocean County.

"Economic development is really the core of keeping destinations vibrant," said Pepenella. "We've been working on that for the past several years and the strategic plan is in line with that."

One way to do so, she explains, is to help attract more tourists to Long Beach Island.

"We're always promoting and changing things to keep our audience," said Pepenella. "We like being family-friendly but we also like being known as a place to get away. That beach culture re-define campaign where you can go and...sort of escape."

Pepenella explains that they'll also dive into how to make businesses thrive and attract more tourists to the LBI region on Wednesday morning.

"We're going to be doing our marketing overview," said Pepenella. "We have a lot of new programs that we've launched...(such as) The Made in Southern Ocean Certification Program to expand businesses outside the area."

The special guest speaker tomorrow will be NJ Division of Travel & Tourism Acting Executive Director Jake Buganski.

"We're very excited to have him speak and meet people in our area, businesses and stakeholders who rely on the promotion that the state runs," said Pepenella.

Ocean County Freeholder Director Joe Vicari will also be speaking at the breakfast.

Running a business inside the LBI region is more than just selling product but working to attract tourists to a vacation destination.

"When people come down they like to see things that are produced or designed," said Pepenella, who adds this includes, "some authentic products that they can take home with them or help represent the area."

She adds that it's important to understand the changing demographics of people living or visiting the area so they can make any necessary changes to a growing number of events.

An overview of newly created programs will additionally be discussed at the breakfast with registration beginning at 8:15 am.

The cost to attend for the breakfast and program is $20.00 with a reservation but $25.00 at the door Wednesday morning.

To RSVP beforehand call the Southern Ocean County Chamber Office at 609 494 7211, stop in at 265 W Ninth St Ship Bottom or go to

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Contact Reporter Vin Ebenau at 848-221-8100 or at

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