On Monday morning, Facebook launched its Community Boost initiative in Edison with an event/workshop at the Pines Manor with several hundred small businesses owners and community leaders in attendance.
The initiative was debuted in November of 2017 with the goal of helping small businesses and small business owners expand their digital skills and enhance their social media presence. With over 2 billion monthly active users, 93% of marketers use the social media site for advertising and outreach – or roughly 3 million businesses. The program is designed to help small businesses grow and better compete in today’s new tech-based economy (a key priority of Governor Murphy’s) and includes training for job seekers and small businesses looking to strengthen their digital skills.
The Edison event marks the 40th local kickoff of the initiative by the social media giant, and its first foray in the state. Part of the calculation in choosing Edison, according to Facebook’s announcement, is its central location within the state, close proximity to research universities, and its large business community – plus, the township bears the name of one of the most revered innovators, Thomas Edison. Facebook noted that the state as a whole is home to over 800,000 small businesses.
LD18 Senator Patrick Diegnan was on hand to offer opening remarks, lauding Facebook for coming to Edison and launching the initiative. He amused the crowd with an electoral anecdote, saying that his campaign staff one Election Day posted that anyone who told them they voted for Diegnan would get a free pen at the election night party.
‘There must have been 200 people coming up to me asking for their free pen’, Diegnan joked, adding that if it had been on a mailer, only 3 or 4 people would have responded, highlighting the powerful reach of Facebook.
Governor Murphy’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Growth Joe Kelley took to the stage, touting the Governor’s economic plan that he announced last week, noting that the Community Boost initiative ties into Murphy’s emphasis on technological innovation as part of the overall economic growth in the state.
A panel of local small businesses kicked off the conversation, including four local business owners: Bradford and Bryan Manning, the owners of Two Blind Brothers, and Chevalo and Monique Wilsondebriano, owners of the Charleston Gourmet Burger Company.
The Community Boost program continued today in Edison, with courses and workshops for small business owners and entrepreneurs.