0:00:00.0 ANNOUNCER: So you wanna know the ins and outs of managing your money. Well Lucky for you. You are just in time for another episode of Master Your Finances with certified financial Planner professional Kurt Baker. Kurt and his panel of experts are here for you, and will cover topics from a legal and personal standpoint. They’ll discuss tax efficiency, liability, owning, managing, and saving your money and more. Master Your Finances is underwritten in part by Certified Wealth Management and Investment and Rider University. Rider offers continuing studies programmes for adults who need flexibility. Want to add new skills to your resume? Take a continuing studies course at Rider University. Now let’s learn how we can better change our habits with Kurt Baker.
0:00:46.4 Kurt Baker: Are you up to date on the latest business developments in Mercer County? Do you know about the various changes that occurred in the workplace? Over 1400 businesses are represented by Hal English, CEO and president of the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce, and President of the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Hal English, will share ideas on how to connect and grow your business as well as knowledge of what the new norm is. Based on his years of experience dealing with various businesses he’ll make you feel more prepared to return to normalcy. Normalcy, [laughter], that’s a word that we didn’t used to have to talk about. Now we have to talk about it. Normal is normal, but I guess normal’s not normal anymore. So what is normal? So to speak.
0:01:29.3 Hal English: Yeah. No, I think normal, the new norm is there is no norm and for probably for the rest of our lives. The world has changed so much, especially the business world and the networking world, it’s just changing and it’s continuing to change. So we’re trying to get a grasp on what is the new norm. But I think that the real key is that there’s never gonna be another normal.
0:01:53.5 Kurt Baker: Right. So we have to be I think flexibility is the key here. Like a tree in a storm so to speak, you might be too rigid. You’re gonna break, you better be able to bend a little bit because… So I think we’ve lost a few leaves during the last few years, but I think they might be budding back up and I think we’re starting to come back again. So Hal, I know you have a long history, so I know we’re gonna talk… Definitely talk about the Chamber a lot and everything it’s doing. ‘Cause I’m… As you know, I’m pretty well involved in that. And so obviously you are and running it, but how did you get up to this? I know becoming the leader of the Chamber is really no small feat. I remember when our previous CEO was retiring, there was this huge net cast and there was a lot of people looked for.
0:02:28.9 Kurt Baker: So obviously your background has a lot to play. So if you’re gonna help other businesses grow and lead, literally in my view, in fact, I was at the new member orientation meeting this morning. And sudden one of the members Andy goes, “Hey look this is the best chamber in New Jersey.” And then the other new member said, “Hey, look, I have to disagree with you.” He says, “I go all over the country and this is the best chamber in the country I’ve ever seen”
0:02:54.3 Hal English: Wow.
0:02:54.6 Kurt Baker: So I was like… So we were like, “Oh, I guess… We guess it is.” And it… And I think that that could actually be true because of how well businesses really do try to help other businesses, whether you’re just starting off or whether you’re a Fortune 50 company. We all somehow work together and we’re helping each other and mentoring, depending on whatever level you’re at. Now you have the honour of being running this thing now, which is for the last several years through a lot of interesting things, let’s say. So why don’t you give us a little bit of your background to how you got to this point where somebody says, “Hey, Hal I think you’d be the guy to run this thing for us.”
0:03:29.1 Hal English: Well, okay, so very, very, that’s fair. Very interesting. And I guess one time I had applied for a job and the guy sitting across from me, he said… He started laughing when he is looking at my resume. And I said, “What’s so funny?” And he said, “Well, you have an eclectic resume.” And I went, “Okay, what is, what does that mean?” And he said, “Every five years in your career, in your life, you very reinvented yourself. Why is that?” And I said, “Well, it’s ’cause I get bored.” So I wanna get in, do a job. I’m excited when I first take a job. I wanna do the best that I can. I wanna be the best. I wanna make that organisation the best. And then when you reach a certain plateau and can’t go anywhere else, I need a new challenge.
0:04:10.2 Hal English: And so my whole life, it is absolutely true. I did… The one place that I was steady was when I was young, first got married, I spent 13 years in General Motors in Ewing Township. And I had hired in on the assembly line, and worked, because I had no seniority as a kid, every shift around the clock, midnight shift, whatever in each area. And just met a lot of people and fell in love with the community and with the people. And that’s what makes the Chamber strong, we’ll get to it, is the people. Not necessarily even just the businesses, but the people of Mercer County are phenomenal. And so the the UAW actually was the union that represented that group. And they really got me mad one day and said, “If you don’t like how we run things, run for office.” And…
0:04:54.7 Kurt Baker: Oh.
0:04:55.7 Hal English: So I ran for president of the UAW and won.
0:04:58.3 Kurt Baker: Okay, there you go. That’ll show ’em. Right.
0:05:00.3 Hal English: So I was the youngest president ever elected. And that was a… An organisation very similar to the Chamber. We had 6,700 people in it. We had a union hall with our liquor licence and a banquet hall and over a million dollars a year in union dues. So it was a quite an undertaking. And then I left there and went into government. And we had a new governor that called me and said, “Listen, you’re doing a lot of good joint labour management stuff, making people get along with each other and talking to each other. And can you come into the Department of Labour and do the same thing?” And so I went in…
0:05:33.8 Kurt Baker: Wow.
0:05:34.6 Hal English: As assistant to the commissioner and did that for a little while. And then I guess just because of my networking, I had several banks that had said… Five years later that had said, “Hey, why don’t you come work for us?” And I said, “Doing what?” And they said, “Well we help a lot of businesses. We… Giving loans and those kinds of things.”
0:05:51.9 Kurt Baker: So you sound like a commercial loan every five years. You have to renegotiate the terms basically.
0:05:57.0 Hal English: Exactly. So I did that.
0:05:58.3 Kurt Baker: Okay awesome.
0:05:58.6 Hal English: I think they hired me for my Rolodex at the time.
0:06:01.9 Kurt Baker: Oh, that’s what a bank does for sure. [laughter],
0:06:03.3 Hal English: Yeah, it was my Rolodex and did very well and really fell in love with it. And worked for several banks, both corporate and then local. We had a bunch of local people who you all knew who started a bank, local business people, and they were just an incredible people. That bank with the goal was 10 years, we’ll hit a billion dollars, we’ll sell to a big bank. And they did that was wonderful.
0:06:24.3 Hal English: And I became executive director of Hamilton Township, the of economic development. The mayor there called me and said, “Can you come in and do that kinda stuff for us and attract business into the town?” And we did. We… In a four year stint I did there, we attracted out over a billion dollars in rateables, new businesses coming in, that kind of thing. So that was a lot of fun in banking. And I did the same thing in Robbinsville for the mayor of Robbinsville. And then lo and behold, the Chamber started looking at Peter Crowley, God bless him. I think he spent… No, I don’t know, maybe 15 years running the Chamber of Commerce. And I was heavily involved in the Chamber of Commerce, loved the Chamber, attended all the events, so really understood the value of a Chamber. And so I was knee-deep in it. And as this search went out, I think they weren’t really thrilled with the applications they got. And some of the board members called me and said, “You got to apply this job as it is like a glove.”
0:07:17.8 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:07:18.4 Hal English: And they were right.
0:07:19.4 Kurt Baker: Yeah definitely.
0:07:21.1 Hal English: So I did, I was shocked with some of the competition for the job that I knew had put their applications in. And I’m like, “Well, there’s no way. They’re obviously gonna get it.”
0:07:31.3 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:07:32.0 Hal English: And it didn’t quite work out that way. And I think because of COVID and we were just ready to come out of COVID, they needed somebody local who was really known in the community. So I didn’t have to have a brand new start. I could hit the ground running.
0:07:43.6 Kurt Baker: You came right at the time, this was all like, just…
0:07:45.9 Hal English: COVID.
0:07:47.1 Kurt Baker: I don’t think we planned it that way necessarily. [chuckle]
0:07:49.6 Hal English: Right.
0:07:49.9 Kurt Baker: Because you came, what… 19 or 20 when you came in? 20.
0:07:52.6 Hal English: 20. And I came in January 20.
0:07:53.0 Kurt Baker: I know. It was like right when things were happening. If I remember correctly.
0:07:56.6 Hal English: Yeah. The Chamber was shut down virtually. We’re doing virtual.
0:08:00.4 Kurt Baker: Yeah.
0:08:00.5 Hal English: But virtually it was technically shut down. No live events. And so it was how do we keep Chambers relevant? How do we restart the engine? And it was sort of like you try to start your car and you ro ro ro. That doesn’t turn over. We went through a little bit of that, but it’s back and strong.
0:08:18.4 Kurt Baker: And I remember vaguely about that. I mean, I was still in… I mean, I’ve been involved for a while, but I do remember, and I was very impressed at how fast it… The pivot happened where we started doing things virtually. I mean, some of the capabilities the Chamber had, I wasn’t even like aware they had them. I mean, it was kinda like… And I don’t know how fast… But it was… But my recollection is it was one of the first entities to say, “Hey, look, we’re gonna keep meeting somehow, we’re gonna do something.” And they like, almost like they flipped a switch. Like they were like ready to go.
0:08:42.9 Hal English: Yeah, they did.
0:08:43.5 Kurt Baker: And it was very impressive, frankly. ‘Cause back then people forget. Like somebody said, “We are going outta a Zoom.” I’m like, “What are you talking about Zoom? I’m not a Mazda commercial. Am I? What’s the deal here?” [chuckle]
0:08:51.9 Hal English: That’s true.
0:08:52.4 Kurt Baker: I dont know what you’re talking about. [laughter]
0:08:54.1 Hal English: Yeah. Zoom is the new word in the dictionary. No, you’re absolutely right. Peter Crowley did an incredible job.
0:08:58.5 Kurt Baker: Yeah.
0:08:58.9 Hal English: That way. He turned it on a dime. He had good staff. The Chamber’s been known for great staff. And so they went and took tutorials and learned every bit of technology out there. They tried webinars, they tried Zoom, they tried you know, just, you name it, they tried it. And Zoom seemed to be the best fit at the time.
0:09:17.8 Kurt Baker: Yeah. So you inherit this thing, right? So you’re like, okay, you got… The car is caught in the ditch a little bit.
0:09:25.1 Hal English: Yes.
0:09:25.2 Kurt Baker: Although it’s got four wheel drive, it’s doing all right compared to most cars.
0:09:27.5 Hal English: Exactly.
0:09:28.0 Kurt Baker: But we’re all kinda driving around. And so what were your thoughts when you’re like, “Okay, I’m taking over this now.” It sounds like you’ve had a lot of challenges. This probably wasn’t like too nuts…
0:09:36.0 Hal English: Oh no.
0:09:36.8 Kurt Baker: For you. I mean, you’ve had other challenges, but so what were your kinda your thoughts that first went through your mind as this stuff’s starting to unroll? You know, and we’re seeing, Hey, we have… This is gonna be a little different than probably what you were expecting when you first took the job, right?
0:09:47.1 Hal English: Yeah. Well, the biggest challenge was to stay relevant and to stay relevant to our incredible sponsors our sustaining sponsors and our members. And stay relevant to them and get ’em back out of their houses. So we had a lot of small businesses that were basically either shut down or dying your local pizza place or deli, because no one’s in the office, so nobody’s running… Nobody’s running out the lunch. So there was a lot of that. So I was… And I’m a people person, so I was dying to get people back. And, but we’re fighting COVID and we have all three of our hospitals are obviously very, very involved in the Chamber. And so there’s… I’m talking to the presidents of the hospital, “What do you think?” And, “Well, it’s really not the time to go in-person.”
0:10:29.9 Hal English: And so we started a couple… We were gonna do a couple of in-person events almost right away in 2020, and had to cancel them last minute because it ticked up. So we created an ask the expert show that was virtual. And we had the college presidents and attorneys and just all kinds of healthcare folks on where people could call in and ask, what’s going on with COVID and what’s the deal? And so there was a lot of that disseminating good information out there. Where can I get a vaccine? Are there any coming? And those types of things. So we kept our real fast working with the county and working with the hospitals to what was going on and just disseminate the information was the best thing…
0:11:11.1 Kurt Baker: And I do remember that you were very quick to get… Gather and disseminate information that was actually of use, because again, most of us forget all this, but we had no idea what was happening.
0:11:20.5 Hal English: Right.
0:11:20.9 Kurt Baker: And everybody was kinda like, “Okay, give me at least what you know so far, give me some kind of guidance on what I should be doing.” Does mean… Is the world ending, or are we like gonna survive this thing or what?
0:11:29.5 Hal English: Yeah. Very true.
0:11:29.7 Kurt Baker: And we really didn’t have any idea. And so it was very important to get information. I think the Chamber played a key role in that. And then as far as the businesses go, I mean, helping them do whatever they could do and getting that information out as well was also pretty critical. I mean, there’s a lot to talk about here, but I know we have to take a quick break. So you’re listening to Master Your Finances, and we’ll be right back.
0:11:52.3 ANNOUNCER: This is Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker, certified financial Planner professional. Learn about tax efficiency, liability, owning, managing, and saving your money. And more from Kurt and his experienced panel of guests. Master Your Finances is underwritten in part by Certified Wealth Management and Investment and Rider University. Rider University offers flexible education for adult learners. For more information, it’s rider.edu/nextstep.
0:12:22.3 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Your Finance. I’m here with Hal English, the CEO and President of the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce. And okay. Well, we left the… Before the break, we kinda pivoted for you know, for COVID like everybody else did. And the Chamber became kind of a really great resource for businesses to ask questions because a lot of us didn’t really know what was happening as small business owners. And there was a lot of stress regardless of where you stood on the ladder. I mean, restaurants and places like that got hurt a lot where they were… Where they really relied on people to come in-person. Other businesses…
0:12:55.6 Kurt Baker: Frankly, the financial world really didn’t suffer that much because we could work remotely. We were all set up electronically. If you’re an attorney or a CPA or an advisor, most of us just had to pivot with how we communicate with clients. We still did our work without too much trouble. So you would disseminate the information. Right. So now we’re kinda getting through the COVID period. And that was really valuable as far as how the Chamber really helped businesses on a practical level. Like, how do you get the things that you need to get to keep operating however you can operate? If I’m a restaurant, what do I do? How do I get the materials to put the plastic? All these things were going on behind the scenes, I know, with the Chamber. So now we kinda get that. Now we’re coming back out again a little bit, which was a little bit out in the back, and we didn’t really just open up again. Right? So how did that process happen? How did the Chamber kind of adjust to all that?
0:13:43.3 Hal English: Well, so we had to go through a learning process with, where are we, and what businesses pivoted into what other businesses? There was an awful lot of that. Which businesses closed? We had a donation from Princeton University, bless them, for $250,000, and they said, “Can you help Princeton companies to stay alive in the… In COVID?” And we then raised another $120,000 and actually gave out $5000 grants to the small businesses to keep them running in Princeton. The money was Princeton-centric. In fact, that’s the model that the county of Mercer now uses. They have a $10,000 grant for small businesses out right now. Pretty easy to apply for. They’ve done a good job there, and they use us for the model. So we’re very proud of that. So we’re out there talking to ’em, what are you doing? How are you pivoting? Some are doing different things. The restaurants did a great job of switching to take out, and some have not gone back.
0:14:41.5 Hal English: They loved that model, and that’s what they’re doing. And then our large businesses, what were they doing? It created, obviously, a whole mess of problems for remote work, people not wanting to come back to work, people wanting to change their jobs. So there was a labor shortage right away, and then those that really were refusing to go back to work. “Well, I can do it remote and it works, so why not do that?” And it does. And it works in some cases, and in some cases it doesn’t.
0:15:10.6 Hal English: So we had to do a big learning curve on who’s doing what where, when, and how? And disseminate that information. And that was good. And then along with that, came the supply chain issue. So we were instrumental in helping some members find supplies from other members who they normally would not have done business with, but that had the supplies and shared. There was a lot of sharing going on, which was just phenomenal. It’s just… That’s the thing about Mercer County, it has the greatest people and when there’s a need, they stand up. And we had large businesses sharing with small businesses, vice versa. We had government, even local government, were sharing gloves and face masks and those kinds of things with everybody. Whoever had the supplies was willing to share and so there was a lot of that.
0:16:01.9 Hal English: And then people being hesitant to come back out, not hesitant anymore. It obviously appears that we have a handle on the pandemic and what that means. And people are back. So the last, I would say six months for us, our events have been jammed and everybody’s back. It was like a… I acquaint it to a high school reunion.
0:16:22.7 Hal English: We were all in our houses for two years and all of a sudden it’s like, “Hey, how are you doing? What are you doing?” And then they’re sharing what they did during COVID and those kinds of things. So it’s wonderful really. And it still is like that. Even six months later, it’s still like that so this…
0:16:35.7 Kurt Baker: Yeah, I just saw a member, I hadn’t seen him for five years and he came back, he had a couple of job changes, but still, even he being out. Now he’s back and he’s like, “Oh wow, where have you been?”
0:16:43.9 Hal English: Yeah.
0:16:44.4 Kurt Baker: But yeah, there’s still a lot of that going. So, it’s great when people are getting back out. And that’s good because the last six months I think we’re finally to that… I think we’ve finally hit that turning point where more and more and I think we’re getting close to that 80, 90, 100. We’re getting back close to that point where it’s almost back to normal. So now as we get back to, “normal,” do you see any changes in how people are doing businesses, what things are happening out there that maybe after pre-COVID… I know we have a… We’re going to a hotel, at Double Tree here in a couple of months. They’ve renovated the whole crown and it’s like a brand new facility and they’re…
0:17:23.1 Hal English: Yes. Yeah.
0:17:23.4 Kurt Baker: So there’s a lot of positive things that I’m seeing happening as far as businesses are really growing right now, it seems.
0:17:29.5 Hal English: That’s absolutely true. And a lot of the ones that left… And they were… That had to close because of COVID, when you think about it, they’re entrepreneurs. They’re not going back to work for someone else. They’re going to start something else. Even if it’s a different business, they’re going to start back up. If you look at downtown Princeton and all of a sudden the empty stores are filling up and filling up and filling up and you see all kinds of new stuff going on. There’s a brand new hotel being built on Nassau Street. There is a lot of commerce going on. So people are like, “Okay, we got it. We’re steady, let’s go.” And it’s doing business in a different way, but our members are sharing more than they ever shared before.
0:18:04.9 Hal English: And as I look around a room and have done a lot of networking with them, they understand that the more people I talk to, the bigger my network, the easier my job is gonna be. When I need something, I have a network to reach out to. And we’re seeing more and more using our website and using our… The benefits of a chamber that they not necessarily didn’t use before, but really took for granted. And there are a lot of benefits to joining a chamber, mainly connecting to do business with each other.
0:18:36.0 Kurt Baker: And you keep saying a certain thing in different ways, but I think it’s really important that we bring this up, ’cause to me, that’s what the chamber is about is like, the connections and networking. So you want to give us some tips on… Because you’ve been doing this well. I heard that with every single job that you talked about, is your best feature appears, is your ability to connect and get people to row in the same direction, so to speak. So you want to give us some maybe tips about how do you approach networking or what are some things people can learn from you from your years of experience on how to network and how to gain and maintain those relationships?
0:19:11.0 Hal English: Okay. Great. Sure. Well, when I first came into the Chamber, realizing that the bigger the network, the better. Well, let’s go back with a new member comes in. So you were at orientation this morning when a new member comes in, we urge them to come to the orientation, and we tell them everything about the chamber. There’s just so much data. It’s an hour-and-a-half program just to tell them the benefits that they’re going to get. But basically, I say to them, when they come… When they’re interested in joining the chamber, I’ll talk to them and say, “Listen, if you’re looking to sell a widget, and you wanna come in and make a sale, yes, you can buy a chamber membership for a year, and you can get that sale, and you can walk out the door.”
0:19:51.7 Hal English: “And it’s beneficial, you made a sale if that’s what you want to do. But honestly, that’s really would not what you should be doing. And I’d rather you’re not, don’t join the chamber to do that. If you’re in the chamber to build lifelong relationships and friendships, and I’m talking personal friendships, this is the place in Mercer County to do it. That’s the key to why our chamber is the best chamber.” In addition to the staff and our programs, but it is the people and it’s so… Get to know people. No hard sell. Tell them who you are. He’d be honestly interested, if you’re interested, look him in the eye, talk to him, how’s your kids remember it the next time. And then I offer them at each and every event a new member. I say you get one at each event. Find me, and tell me who do you want to meet. And I will give you that one at every event. But then I gotta go do it for someone else.
0:20:39.1 Hal English: So I can’t give you too much time. But I’ll walk you over and introduce it to that person. Because obviously, as a CEO, I know everybody that comes to an event.
0:20:46.8 Kurt Baker: Right. Right.
0:20:47.8 Hal English: I’ll make the introduction talk and then you two get to know each other. But I said think of it as you’re building a friendship and the business will come, it will. It came from me in banking, and it came from me in government, it came from me anywhere that just build the relationship, long-term. Think long-term. It’s not a short-term deal.
0:21:08.7 Kurt Baker: No, I agree. 100%. And you point out a couple of things here, which I mean, you’re really going out and helping them to create more business because the more… Because then I’m seeing if they be create more business, they’re gonna then bring in other people into the network, so to speak, right? So by you assisting that person you’re talking to, as opposed to trying to figure out how to assist yourself. To me, that’s like, okay, well, if he helps me, or she helps me, that’s one person helped. But if I help the other person or somebody in their network, I may have helped 2, 3 or 4 people…
0:21:36.4 Hal English: Bingo.
0:21:37.4 Kurt Baker: And eventually, if that keeps going, just your straight math will say, “Okay, well, that’s 4, that’s 16. That’s 64.” Before you know it, of all those people, 128, 256, or whatever it is, somebody in there will probably have some business that may flow back to my side of that equation at some point. But if you’re not really focused on well, how do I get that widget sold that I brought with me today? Because the chances of you selling a widget, to somebody in that room that day is almost zero.
0:22:06.1 Hal English: Yeah.
0:22:06.6 Kurt Baker: Because one, do they need the widget? Yes or no? That’s the first question. Probably not. And two, do they even know who I am? And do I have the right widget for them? Because they may not know me well enough to say, Well, that’s… I see what you have. But I may not really want yours, I may want somebody else’s. So but they don’t know anything about you. So without knowing about you and what you’re all about. They’re gonna be hesitant just to do that ’cause they don’t know your motivation.
0:22:27.4 Hal English: Absolutely true. That’s spot on. That’s exactly what the Chamber is and what it does.
0:22:32.0 Kurt Baker: Yeah, no, so it’s about building those relationships. And the networks, I think what we’re gonna do in the next segment, we’re gonna get into some of the things the Chamber actually does, some of the actually on-the-ground maneuvers that we do that get the different groups ’cause as I said, we have these… Everyone from a startup, somebody, I’m gonna go, plant my flag, and this is what I’m going to do for a living leaving maybe corporate America, or maybe they’re young, and they just decided they’re going to start on their own.
0:22:55.2 Hal English: Right.
0:22:55.6 Kurt Baker: Or somebody that has a much larger company, they’re trying to expand it or maybe make additional connections, so they can make their business grow or do different dynamics, but it all fits together at the Chamber. So let’s talk a little bit about all the different ways that the Chamber addresses each of those concerns. And we’ll throw the nonprofits in there as well. Yeah, I know you do a lots of them.
0:23:13.8 Hal English: I do. Yes.
0:23:14.3 Kurt Baker: All right. You’re listening to Master Your Finances, and we’ll be right back.
0:23:17.9 ANNOUNCER: This is Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker, a certified financial Planner professional. Learn about tax efficiency, liability, owning, managing, and saving your money, and more from Kurt and his experienced panel of guests. Master Your Finances is underwritten in part by Certified Wealth Management and Investment and Rider University. Rider University offers flexible education for adult learners. For more information it’s rider.edu/nextstep.
0:23:49.6 Kurt Baker: Welcome back. You’re listening to Master Your Finances, me here with Hal English. And we’re talking about the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber, and all of Hal’s experience and how to network and how to really build those long-term relationships and friendships, Frankly, because you do business with people you like, and the people you trust. And so if they don’t like you, they’re just not going to do business with you. And if they don’t trust you, highly unlikely that they’re gonna do business with you. So if you don’t get those two pieces together, and the way to do that is what you build a relationship with someone so they understand you and understand your motivation, and why you do what you do, and what you’re all about. So once they understand that, and they have the right opportunity, they’ll be glad to connect with you, ’cause it makes them look good too, right? If they make a good match, then they’re going to benefit the person they know or the entity they know. And they’re also benefit you and that helps them raise their credibility, so to speak because they connected to people that work well together, boom.
0:24:41.8 Hal English: Yeah. That’s true.
0:24:41.9 Kurt Baker: And then just keep that. And that’s what this… Honestly, that’s really what it’s all about. You pointed out that many times, it’s the people and the connections that really make this happen.
0:24:50.9 Hal English: People helping people and I build a pretty good banking career, and how I did that nobody’s gonna give you money. Nobody’s gonna give you their money unless they trust you and know you, but it was being able to help people. So if I couldn’t, if my bank couldn’t give a loan to a small business person, I would find a bank that did and connect them. And sooner or later they came back, they would always come back because they were grateful that I did the work for them and pointed them in the right direction, and got them the help they need. And that’s what Chamber members do with each other. You see it in any one of our events. People are helping me, “Oh, well, you need that. I know this person, so let me make this introduction.” It works. It just works, especially here.
0:25:27.6 Kurt Baker: No, yeah, I agree 100%. So let’s dig just a little deeper only because I know there’s so many programs that you have at the chamber. We have things for young professionals. We have for women in business, we have the real estate thing. So maybe we’ll just… We can’t go through every program. It’s not an hour and a half program ’cause I just did that this morning and it took Christine and Hillary. [laughter]..
0:25:47.6 Hal English: Yes.
0:25:48.0 Kurt Baker: An hour and a half to go through it all. And they did it fairly quickly because it’s so much. But maybe just some of the high level things that I think are out there.
0:25:55.2 Hal English: Sure.
0:25:55.4 Kurt Baker: And types of things, let’s say if I… Let’s start off with a small guy. So if I’m a small business, I wanna start to get kind of acclimated to the chamber and figure out. Well, okay, well what’s this all about? I’m joining. It feels a little overwhelming. You have what? Over a hundred events a year? Now you have to start deciding, okay, what kinds of things maybe should I try first? And just to kind of meet some people and then go from there. Of course you have the membership committee, which I’m on as well as the ambassadors who are the networkers out there. I know you do it as well.
0:26:21.1 Hal English: Yeah.
0:26:21.4 Kurt Baker: But everybody… We can’t have 1300, 1400 people coming to you directly. [laughter] I think it’s 8,000 individual people or something, right?
0:26:28.0 Hal English: Yes it is.
0:26:28.0 Kurt Baker: It’s a lot more that.
0:26:28.9 Hal English: It is.
0:26:30.5 Kurt Baker: So it’s… They can’t all come through one person. So you do have other people there that help you. So what would be some of your ideas about how somebody should just start approaching the Chamber from day one?
0:26:39.8 Hal English: Well, I tell them to jump in, first of all, come to a pure network event. And just even if you just sit back and watch the dynamics of what goes on in that room for that couple of hours. So there are normally cocktail parties from 5:00 to 7:00 and, but jump in. Everybody in the chamber wants to do business. That’s why they’re there. There’s nobody shy in our Chamber of commerce.
0:27:03.2 Kurt Baker: No.
0:27:03.5 Hal English: And if you’re shy, maybe you should rethink being in business. But, I just have them jump in and… But I really wanna know who are you and what’s your target? And what are you interested in? What helps you, what helps your business? And see how I can fit you better in right away so that you’re really seeing results right away, which you will at pretty much any one of our events. And it just depends on what your type of business is and what you’re looking to do. Now we’ve had… I had one, what I would call… Well, there’s only learning experiences. I wouldn’t call it a failure. But we did have one member in my little more than two years here that came over and joined and didn’t listen to my speech about, don’t try and sell a widget.
0:27:47.0 Kurt Baker: Oh.
0:27:47.2 Hal English: And actually joined the chamber and thought that we were gonna sell for them. That I was gonna…
0:27:53.7 Kurt Baker: Sell for them?
0:27:54.1 Hal English: I was gonna sell his product for him.
0:27:55.0 Kurt Baker: Oh my word. Really? Oh, my goodness.
0:27:56.1 Hal English: Even after sitting with them. So I… After a few months of noticing and hearing some grumblings, I called them and said, “Listen, why don’t I just refund your chamber… “
0:28:05.9 Kurt Baker: Oh my goodness.
0:28:06.8 Hal English: “Fee. And why don’t you just… ‘Cause this is not what a chamber of commerce is all about.” You have to do it yourself. I can help you, I can lead you. In fact, I have introduced you to several people, but from what they’re telling me, you did a hard sell and you’re… It’s not what we’re doing here. And…
0:28:21.5 Kurt Baker: Oh no.
0:28:22.1 Hal English: It isn’t gonna work. So one out of a year and a half and hundreds of new members.
0:28:27.0 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:28:27.1 Hal English: Over 200 new members in the last two years. So it’s pretty good. I think. Pretty good track record, but…
0:28:32.9 Kurt Baker: No, that’s awesome.
0:28:33.7 Hal English: They did it wrong. But it’s so easy. Jump in and be yourself. Just be yourself.
0:28:39.8 Kurt Baker: Yeah. That’s a key. Be yourself. And the other part there that every once in a while, I ask those questions too. I of course I say, “Well, who would you like to be connected? Who would you like to meet today?” And sometimes people have to think about that they don’t know. And so that’s one of the things I would tell anybody coming to the chamber is really think about who would you meet in a group full of business owners and representatives. Which ones of those could help you with your business? And just know who those people potentially are, whether it’s a CPA, an attorney, whatever the case may be. Right? Whatever your business is. Kind of think about who do you really want to meet. And there’s a pretty good chance that somebody in that room will either know the person, they may sit… Be sitting in the room, or there may be somebody they can take offline and meet later. Right?
0:29:21.0 Hal English: Yes.
0:29:21.3 Kurt Baker: So there’s a high probability that that person is in that room, or close to that room somewhere.
0:29:25.9 Hal English: That’s absolutely true. Good example, we just started this year a military committee. There’s never been a military committee in the Chamber. And I was… I’m… I have the honor of being an honorary joint base commander. It’s a great program down there. If you didn’t serve in the military, and if you’re active in your committee and you can help the base, you have a chance of being an honorary commander. And so we started this committee and all of a sudden, everybody who knows everybody who’s a veteran and all of our events are going crazy. And they’re going, “Oh, and what are you doing?” Well, are you helping to connect veterans coming out with jobs.” Our members especially our larger companies need workers. And nobody better trained than somebody coming under the military. All they do 24/7 is, if they’re not sleeping, they’re training.
0:30:07.3 Kurt Baker: Absolutely.
0:30:08.0 Hal English: They’re just tremendous workers. So, and I’m watching. It’s like a fire. We had a meeting this morning, it’s going on fire. Now we have the base colonel coming to speak at our membership luncheon in May. It’s military month. And we’re doing a… We’re gonna do a tour of Lakehurst. We’ve already done a tour of the Fort Dix base and a bus tour of what’s going on. Fascinating. And second largest employer in the State. And they’re in Burlington, but I’m dragging them up into Mercer because it’s billions of dollars in the economy, in business.
0:30:39.5 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:30:39.6 Hal English: In business for our restaurants and our real estate folks. There’s a housing shortage down there. There’s a food shortage down there. And so we’re kind of pulling them up and it’s a whole new realm that I’ve yet to see. But I’m watching how everybody says, “Oh, I served, or I know… “
0:30:54.1 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:30:54.7 Hal English: People are just grabbing people at one of our events and saying, “You gotta meet this guy.” And this is an ex captain of… A naval captain. It’s incredible to see something new like that take hold. So it’s good stuff.
0:31:08.3 Kurt Baker: Yeah. I know. People who have served definitely have a strong connection for obvious reasons. They’ve been… Anybody knows that. They’ve been under an interesting system that they have to deal with.
0:31:17.7 Hal English: Yeah.
0:31:18.0 Kurt Baker: And a lot of times outside experiences that are really hard to… For somebody who’s not in the service to really understand, and when they get together, they can definitely understand the way these things are done and how it affects people and how it affects the community in general. So they’re very… Tend to be a very tightly knit group.
0:31:36.4 Hal English: Yes.
0:31:36.5 Kurt Baker: For the rest of their lives, those experiences stay with them forever.
0:31:39.6 Hal English: Yeah.
0:31:40.0 Kurt Baker: And so it’s really important. And that’s interesting because we’re not really known… We’re kind of a university/government town. Not really… And maybe pharma and some finance. Right. But we’re not really known as a military area, but there’s a lot of military people here that are connected to the military in some way, shape, or form. So I think it’s great. I’m grateful that you have identified that and realize that those connections… And they add ray on top of everything else. Just one more way for people to connect and really get to know each other a little bit better. Right? So that’s fantastic.
0:32:15.1 Kurt Baker: I wasn’t even aware of that new program. I guess I better pay more attention to that stuff. [laughter] So that’s… I’m glad you told me that, ’cause that’s cool. So let’s say… So you’re a small business you get in, just jump in and as we said there’s lots of people in the Chamber who will reach out to you. Literally at an event if somebody sees somebody sitting in the corner not really interacting, believe me one of us is gonna go over and probably start talking to you because we’re not gonna let you sit alone in the corner, that’s for sure.
0:32:36.2 Kurt Baker: And we’ll bring you in however way you feel to be brought in. We’ll… We’re gonna be nice to you obviously [laughter], we’re not gonna force you in anything. But we’ll start to connect you with people we think you want to connect with. So what if I’m a little bit bigger business, like a medium size to maybe a larger business. How might they approach the chamber a little differently than a small business owner? I mean they have a different set of things they’re looking for in the chamber. So what do you think they’re looking for?
0:33:00.7 Hal English: That’s absolutely true. Well, a lot of them are philanthropic. So they’re looking for that. They’re… They know the value of a vibrant business community. And so they’re looking to keep it vibrant. So especially our larger ones. And so they major sponsor all events. They’re very interested in diversity, equity, and inclusion. So our program has been growing very nicely in that area. We’ve got some major national speakers that come in and we’ve actually helped a couple of… Even of the large companies create diversity, equity and inclusion programs within their companies, which is very rewarding to see something like that kicked off.
0:33:38.7 Hal English: So as long as we’re staying ahead of the curve and we’re up on the edge and what’s relevant, they’re paying attention because it boils up from the bottom from the small companies. What are the needs? And they obviously need employees. And so there is that as well. They’re constantly posting or sending us information and then they’re doing such wonderful things in the community. We help them market and advertise. The marketing is huge to get the word out. And so there is that issue as well for the large companies.
0:34:09.1 Kurt Baker: Yeah. And they send… They’ve been around a long time and I see a lot of the same sponsors I’ve seen, I’ve been, I guess over 13 years now in the Chamber. And a lot of those same companies keep coming back and keep supporting. So they definitely understand how important it is to keep that business community together. Because, I mean, they find employees, they find suppliers, they find… These big companies, they don’t do everything themselves typically. Right? They actually need these other services that are out there. And the more they know about these owners of these mid-size and smaller companies, they’re gonna feel better about their performance and how they’re gonna actually integrate and really make them look better as far as their profitability and their efficiency and what they’re trying to do.
0:34:47.6 Hal English: Right. And they’re sort of large that they have to look at our small companies to see what’s hot, what’s relevant, what’s new, what’s going on, what’s the new phenomena, and how’s working remotely working for them and getting ideas.
0:35:03.2 Kurt Baker: So they can learn from the smaller companies.
0:35:05.0 Hal English: Absolutely, yes.
0:35:05.0 Kurt Baker: Just like the smaller companies can learn from the big companies. So it’s kind of a win-win situation for all of us. So we’re gonna take another quick break here. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. We’ll be your right back.
0:35:14.0 ANNOUNCER: This is Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker, certified financial Planner professional. Learn about tax efficiency, liability, owning, managing, and saving your money and more from Kurt and his experienced panel of guests. Master Your Finances is underwritten in part by Certified Wealth Management and Investment and Rider University. Rider University offers flexible education for adult learners. For more information, it’s rider.edu/nextstep.
0:35:47.0 Kurt Baker: All right. Welcome back and you’re listening to Master Your Finances. I’m here with Hal English, and we’ve been talking about all the great things that the Chamber does and how really large businesses learn from small business just as much as small businesses learn from large business. So really we learn from each other. And depending on what stage you are in the business community, I mean smaller businesses are like, “How do I grow, how do I grow, how do I grow.” And bigger business is like, “How do I continue to innovate and be better?” Because sometimes they get a little… I don’t know, like GM for example, at one point they got a little slowed down a little, and then they had to reinvigorate, right? So they gotta start over and go, “We better get our act together here.” They get a little too, used to things as they are, the status quo doesn’t always work long term. Somebody else is always working in their garage, getting ready to like take you out.
0:36:27.6 Hal English: Absolutely.
0:36:27.6 Kurt Baker: So you better be aware of that guy in the garage, right. Or girl.
0:36:30.2 Hal English: Especially here in Mercer County, this is the innovative county. We have innovation Einstein, we have everything here.
0:36:36.5 Kurt Baker: Everything. There are lot of smart people here. And we do the pitch stop thing, which we didn’t touch on, which is really, you know like the mini Shark Tank where they come up and they’re literally in front of a few billionaires and they’re like, “Hey, maybe I’ll invest in your… “
0:36:47.8 Hal English: Yeah. Very cool.
0:36:48.3 Kurt Baker: “In your project.” So it’s pretty exciting. There’s a lot happening here. So the incubator things that are going on around here. So it’s just an exciting place to be. And I know, the Chamber does a couple things I wanna make sure we touch on. One is nonprofits ’cause actually in our case, I actually have two memberships. I have my business one and our non-profit as a membership. And I’ll let you talk about that a little bit. As far as that goes, ’cause nonprofits definitely want to connect with other businesses for all kinds of reasons. Do you wanna touch on why the Chamber feels that’s important as far as the non-profit side goes?
0:37:21.0 Hal English: Well, first it is very, very important to me. I probably sat on the board of almost every non-profit over the years in Mercer County. But they did such great work and COVID taught us how important that they were. During COVID the need went up and volunteers were staying home and pick Meals on Wheels, which is going on right now I’m delivering next week. You couldn’t come out of your house and deliver meals to people. The need in Mercer County was up so high and the donations and the volunteers were down so low. So they really needed help to come back and they’re… I’m not sure that they’re back to the level where they need to be or ever will be at that level, but they need to connect. And especially with the larger companies. Smaller companies for volunteers and they get that. And then the larger companies for grant money and support and help and they get that. So they’re in the chamber to meet and greet probably more than most people and they need to do that. When you think of the myriad of… We have a mental health problem, teenagers. Is it 13 to 15, 76% of them are depressed?
0:38:27.5 Kurt Baker: Yeah. It’s a big city.
0:38:27.6 Hal English: Suicide rates are up. And we have to take a look at that. We all live here. It’s one community, so it’s three legged. You have your business and your government and your nonprofits and all of them in the chamber. They all meet here. And it’s just crucially important to support our nonprofits. They are the community.
0:38:45.5 Kurt Baker: Right. And they do a great job. As an example, they’ll have the non-profit tabling specifically at the luncheon. And the luncheon tends to attract some of the larger corporate because of the subsidy. A lot of this depend on who your speakers are and things like that. But when you put them in front of some of these larger companies, then in many times as you point out they’ll either maybe have grant money available, they’ll learn more about you and maybe they’ll start supporting you. I know we’ve gotten support from the… From Chamber members as well. ‘Cause as you point out, a lot of these nonprofits did have a difficult time. When the businesses are having a rough time, it’s hard for them to continue to contribute. And when the employees are not coming into work as much, it’s harder to get those volunteers because they’re simply just not thinking about it. Not that they don’t care, it’s just, it’s a lot easier when people are coming to work say, “Hey, let’s go do this afternoon to help out.” Or, “Here’s a new entity that… Something that’s going on that we can help with it.” It’s just better when I think people are in the same room talking one-on-one.
0:39:43.5 Hal English: Absolutely.
0:39:44.7 Kurt Baker: As far as that part goes. But it is coming back. And I think the Chamber’s a big part of that, really allowing these nonprofits to really feature what they do and why it’s important to the community and you connect right to some of the people that can actually help them, which is awesome.
0:39:58.1 Hal English: Yeah. And then when they run their fundraisers, we try and allow them to have a table to show their wares around the time that they’re having their annual fundraisers so that they can actually… If it’s a golf tournament or whatever, they can give out flyers and let people or make them aware that they’re raising funds and how and when they’re doing it. It’s… In each one the story it just break your heart. The need is there. It’s not going away. If anything, COVID has increased the need to… Certainly for mental health and suicide prevention, those things, but food as well. Supply chain, the price of eggs, it’s insane.
0:40:33.2 Kurt Baker: Food insecurity is a real thing for sure. Yeah. Absolutely. I agree. No, and we appreciate that as we deal with youth mental, health and suicide prevention. So you’re talking to the… Speaking to my heart. But yeah, no, it’s a big deal. So we… I just wanna thank you for what the chamber does because it’s awesome and continue it. Another thing I wanna make sure we touch on before we leave, we have a few more minutes, but I wanna touch on… Another part of the Chamber that a lot of people aren’t really aware of is the Mercer County Convention Visitors Bureau is really run by the Chamber, which is awesome. I think that just goes to show you how much the county really understands how well the chamber executes on what it does. So you’ve kinda like taken over that ability to really bring people in and explain what the areas. Do you wanna tell us a little bit about what that does and how the Chamber runs that for us?
0:41:15.1 Hal English: Sure. Well, the state of New Jersey designates these DMOs, these destination organizations. And we are one of them. And the state funds through their tourism dollars, through tax on hotel rooms and casino those kinds of things and divvy it out. And so, we get funding every year to be the tourism visitor’s center for the county. We do a visitor’s guide once a year, where we put out, here are the venues, here’s what’s exciting, here’s what’s going on. And we have people from all over. We have a separate website for that. And we have people from all over who are visiting the Trenton, Princeton area that call us or email us or can you send me a map? And we have walking maps of certain areas.
0:42:02.1 Kurt Baker: They still make maps?
0:42:03.1 Hal English: Yes. Yeah. Yeah.
0:42:04.0 Kurt Baker: I’m kidding.
0:42:05.3 Hal English: Well, actually, it’s funny you say that because this year we’re going to where they can have it on their phone.
0:42:09.4 Kurt Baker: There you go.
0:42:10.2 Hal English: And when they’re standing… It’s getting so good that when you’re standing in front of a building, your phone knows you’re there and tells you where you are. Oh, this is the Einstein building and…
0:42:19.7 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:42:19.8 Hal English: Albert Einstein lived here and this is where we were.
0:42:21.8 Kurt Baker: That’s cool.
0:42:22.9 Hal English: Yeah. So it’s getting crazy. But during COVID to get back to that. We lost $11 billion in New Jersey in tourism dollars.
0:42:30.8 Kurt Baker: Wow.
0:42:31.6 Hal English: Just no visitors.
0:42:32.1 Kurt Baker: I do not realize people will come to New Jersey for the tourism.
0:42:34.4 Hal English: They really…
0:42:35.3 Kurt Baker: It’s a big business in New Jersey. Yeah.
0:42:36.1 Hal English: Yeah. It’s a huge business and you know what? It’s gonna get bigger when you think of… Don’t ask me that proper name of it, but our 250th anniversary is coming up in…
0:42:44.8 Kurt Baker: Okay.
0:42:45.5 Hal English: Soon.
0:42:45.7 Kurt Baker: Oh, there you go.
0:42:47.1 Hal English: So that’s gonna be huge for where did this country start? It was the Battle of Trenton and the Battle of Princeton and…
0:42:54.7 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:42:56.1 Hal English: So there’s all kinds of organizations, the old barracks and the battle monument that the state is fixing up now getting ready for a ton of tourism. That should be a party for the year 2026 is the year. 250 years is a big deal and…
0:43:11.7 Kurt Baker: That is. A quarter of a millennia.
0:43:13.1 Hal English: People just don’t know. So you have… Yeah. So you have the Princeton Battlefield Society, for instance is actually doing reenactments and they’ve purchased some of the original battlefield land and donated it to the state, and they’re gonna do virtual but also reality. They have reenactors with authentic uniforms come reenacting the battle where General Mercer, who Mercer County is named after passed away in that battle.
0:43:34.0 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:43:35.1 Hal English: But the battle…
0:43:36.0 Kurt Baker: We’re the original Mercer County. There’s a couple of more out there.
0:43:38.7 Hal English: There are. Yes.
0:43:39.8 Kurt Baker: We’re the the real one.
0:43:40.3 Hal English: Yeah, and we do get confused. We get tourists that wanna go to the other ones call me and…
0:43:46.4 Kurt Baker: I know there are other ones, but we’re like the… We’re the one where he really was generally. [laughter]
0:43:49.2 Hal English: Yeah. Yes. Washington slept here for sure.
0:43:51.7 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:43:52.2 Hal English: So that’s gonna be huge for tourism now. And we have a lot of good venues. We have a new hotel being built, I’d mentioned on Nassau Street. And so they’re looking to… It was funny when they came in and I met with the… With the company first. They didn’t realize that from where their hotel is, you could throw a cannonball and hit the battlefield.
0:44:11.7 Kurt Baker: Really? They didn’t know that.
0:44:13.3 Hal English: They hadn’t even thought of it. So I said, “Well, when are you planning on opening?” And they said, “Oh, 2025.” And I said, “That’s Great.”
0:44:18.4 Kurt Baker: Oh my gosh. That’s perfect.
0:44:19.6 Hal English: I said, “You’ll be open for the anniversary.” And they said, “What anniversary?” And I’m like…
0:44:25.1 Kurt Baker: Good thing they’re talking to you.
0:44:26.4 Hal English: I said, “You are a major hotel chain and you don’t know you’re located at the Princeton battlefield, come on really?”
0:44:31.6 Kurt Baker: That’s really interesting actually.
0:44:33.3 Hal English: So yeah, so that which is gonna fit in nicely with them, but you won’t be able to get a hotel room around here for that, for…
0:44:38.1 Kurt Baker: No.
0:44:38.5 Hal English: 2026. It’s gonna be insane.
0:44:40.4 Kurt Baker: So buy your house now.
0:44:42.6 Hal English: Well, and you know what that they spend money, they bring cash.
0:44:45.4 Kurt Baker: Yeah, absolutely.
0:44:46.1 Hal English: So they’re going to the bagel store and the pizza place…
0:44:48.4 Kurt Baker: Yeah.
0:44:48.6 Hal English: And the restaurants and the hotels. And they’re visiting the parks and doing all that kind of good stuff. So yeah, it’s gonna be an exciting couple of years in tourism here, but it’s coming back.
0:45:00.0 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:45:00.1 Hal English: It is coming back. We are seeing the numbers increasing obviously from almost zero from COVID, but.
0:45:05.9 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:45:06.1 Hal English: And then there is… We get a lot from the corporations who bring in folks for their conventions and their meetings and whatnot. So we coordinate what’s going on and where there’s hotel space, and what’s cool to do in Mercer County.
0:45:21.6 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:45:21.9 Hal English: A lot of cool stuff to do in Mercer County. So we just…
0:45:23.1 Kurt Baker: ‘Cause we have a large… Lot of companies around here that are large, so they bring in people for their conventions here. I don’t really think of this as being a convention town, but it seems to…
0:45:30.6 Hal English: Yeah. Not large conventions, but they’ll bring in a hundred people to come in and talk and have meetings and whatnot. Conferences rather than conventions.
0:45:39.3 Kurt Baker: Right, right.
0:45:39.6 Hal English: Conferences. And we’ve got a few conference centers. If you look at the… I guess the largest one we use it, we just use it for our women’s conference, the Westin.
0:45:47.6 Kurt Baker: Right.
0:45:48.1 Hal English: And we have put over 700 women in the Westin. So that’s… Was a lot of people.
0:45:51.3 Kurt Baker: I was there that day. Was 750, I think that one year. I was like, “Oh my goodness, this is crowded.”
0:45:56.4 Hal English: Yeah, this year, November was over 500.
0:46:00.1 Kurt Baker: Yeah. That’s pretty good. Considering it’s post-COVID. That’s pretty amazing.
0:46:02.1 Hal English: It was probably our first event coming outta COVID real event that showed that it’s over and people were back.
0:46:06.1 Kurt Baker: And when you had it too, we were still… You’re still about the distancing and so… So you still have to be cautious about overbooking a place because…
0:46:13.4 Hal English: Absolutely.
0:46:14.6 Kurt Baker: You don’t want to be too crowded. I mean, just from a comfort standpoint, I think quite yet. But it’s amazing. So, the Chamber’s doing a lot. So Hal and networking is the key that chambers are really the premier place to do it. Definitely in the state. But as our new member this morning said in the country, apparently, so, it’s a great place to come up. It’s the bottom line is networking, getting, and building those relationships. So any final words before we leave, but what your thoughts are?
0:46:41.8 Hal English: Jump in, the water’s fine. Come and do business. This is a great place to do business. And it’s all about the people. That’s the secret of the sauce is the people in Mercer County for some reason they’re just great people here.
0:46:52.9 Kurt Baker: Yeah. That’s amazing. Well, you’re one of those. And thank you, Hal, we appreciate it very much. You’re listening to Master Your Finances. Have a wonderful day.
0:47:00.0 ANNOUNCER: That was this week’s episode of Master Your Finances with Kurt Baker, a certified financial Planner professional. Tune in every Sunday at 9:00 AM, to expand your knowledge in building and managing your wealth. Missed an episode? No worries. You can subscribe to a free weekly episode of Master Your Finances to listen to on your favorite podcasting platform. Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, whatever. Master Your Finances is underwritten in part by Certified Wealth Management and Investment and Rider University. Rider offers continuing studies programs for adults who need flexibility. Want to add new skills to your resume? Take a continuing studies course at Rider University.