CHATHAM, NJ - Elected officials in Chatham Borough have been looking for ways to support local businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic and Connie Jesse, the owner of Inner Grace Dance, can attest to the results of that effort.

Jesse had been frustrated by her efforts to secure a permit to run an outdoor dance camp until she contacted Carolyn Dempsey, Chatham Borough Council member, who in turn contacted Chatham Borough Mayor Thaddeus Kobylarz.

"After two weeks of not getting a response from the town I called Carolyn Dempsey and within an hour I had my permit and have been doing camp and class there for the last two weeks," Jesse said.  "Apparently Carolyn reached out to the Mayor and she and the Mayor were very eager to help me given that I am a business in town who has been adversely affected by the pandemic.

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“Since I have not been able to hold class in my studio since March it was very important for my students to be able to dance together in person this summer.  Councilwoman Dempsey understood and went out of her way to contact the recreation department in order to get my permit to hold class in Memorial Park in a timely fashion.  I hope that the town continues to help the small businesses in town who have been adversely affected by the pandemic”.  

“As the pandemic continues, it has been a top priority of the Borough to assist our local businesses in getting up and running safely," Dempsey said. "This has forced everyone to get creative. Taking steps such as expanding the permitting on outdoor dining, highlighting local retail shops on our cable TV channel, and allowing businesses such as “Inner Grace” to conduct classes in our parks are just a few of the ways we’re working to help our local establishments during these unprecedented times.”

Info for Inner camps can be found at or by contacting Inner Grace at 201-274-6660.  We can also offer private camps for neighborhoods in backyards.  The camp season is coming to an end, but we can also add camps in August for groups of 6 or more.