LAKE HOPATCONG, NJ (Morris County) – Canine Country Club of the Lake was the latest to receive a $15,000 Morris County Small Business Grant Program check, delivered Monday by the Morris County Board of County Commissioners.
Commissioner Director Tayfun Selen and Commissioner Stephen Shaw presented the check to Jodi Brooks, owner of the canine day care and boarding business off Tierney Road in Jefferson Township. Mayor Eric Wilsusen and Business Administrator Debra Millikin joined the presentation and tour of Canine Country Club.
“When COVID hit, people stayed home. They didn’t go on vacation. They didn’t even go into work. So their dogs stayed home with them. The boarding side of my business almost completely shut down, and I focused on keeping my employees here and working,” said Brooks, noting the challenges her business faced.
Canine Country Club has been in business since 2012, and Brooks had expanded into other animal-related services, enabling her to keep on some employees while meeting mounting expenses after 2020 and through last year. The day-care and kennel, which currently has a capacity for 89 dogs, has been able to regain many of its loyal patrons.
Some of the facility’s canine tenants were at the center today, audibly greeting the public officials who visited and toured the facility.
About $2 million remains in the Morris County Small Business Program, which the Commissioners created and launched on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, with $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds. Most successful applicants have received the full $15,000 permitted in the grant program, and the Commissioners continue to personally deliver some of the checks to let small business owners know the programs remains active.
“Small business owners and nonprofits need to go to the website, read the qualifications and apply. There is nothing to lose aside from an investment of time to gather the appropriate business documents and fill out the application. It is well worth the effort,” Selen said.