By Laurie Perrone
It is a refreshing course of events when a businessman like William J. Abbott takes a stand against the harsh economy by founding a strong business network that encourages small businesses to support one another. His stance comes from years of experience in insurance beginning when he took the helm of his family’s insurance business 28 years ago in Lyndhurst, and then seven years ago moving on to purchasing a Bloomfield agency with Spanish-speaking clientele.
Abbott, owner of both Abbott Insurance Agency in Lyndhurst and Abbott/ Milano Insurance Agency in Harrison, watched in recent years how purchasing insurance policies has become more about potential customers dialing 800 numbers discrediting solid business relationships and customer service. Abbott recognizes how people are people and not simply numbers. So, he kept that healthy business thinking while inspecting a Harrison apartment building in March 2012. It was with this attitude of quality customer care that Abbott recognized Harrison’s need for an insurance agency that can deliver. Abbott/Milano promptly opened their doors to consumers in May of that same year.
It was not long after the opening of Abbott/Milano’s doors that Abbott had another vision while scoping various re-developing properties near The Red Bull Center and the Harrison PATH Train area. He noticed that with so much re-development happening, why not start a business network similar to the Chamber of Commerce catering to every type of businessperson from novice to expert? Hence, Harrison Business Connections (HBC) was born. HBC members gather to exchange leads and support each other for healthy business competition.
Abbott’s philosophy on business networking:
“Some business people are not happy with other business people’s success, but I feel it is important to surround oneself with other successful business people and help them. What it basically comes down to, is that I want everyone to be successful.”
Abbott’s philosophy merged well with HBC’s mission statement:
“The HBC is a business organization of Harrison businesses and those that do business in Harrison. Participants will engage in building relationships and exchanging qualified leads. Our interests include the mutual success of our businesses and the Town of Harrison. We shall meet the third Tuesday of every month at the different locations of our members. Two members will be featured at each meeting to give a five- minute informative talk. The meeting will end promptly after one hour, so as to to get back to our busy day. HBC is a participation organization. That means if you participate then you will have an opportunity to build a relationship with a fellow member.”
The HBC has been meeting regularly since July 2012 hosting events as simple as business card exchanges to more elaborate meetings with high profile guest speakers discussing topics such as what businesses should know about ObamaCare.
The next HBC meeting will be a business card exchange at Euro located at 185 River Road in North Arlington at 5 p.m. For further information, call William J. Abbott directly at Abbott/ Milano Insurance Agency at 973-350-9999.