August 12, 2016 at 8:03 PM
DENVILLE, NJ– Over the past several years, The Denville Economic Development Committee has researched the most effective and proven methods to keep downtown Denville thriving and healthy. From that research they have ascertained that a Business Improvement District (BID) may be the route to consider.
A BID provides a mechanism for the businesses of a community to organize as a single entity and to manage themselves to become an effective destination for professional services as well as retail shopping and dining; it is funded by the businesses and landlords in the BID District.
The BID would implement programs recommended for economic revitalization, which might include recruitment of new businesses, storefront façade and sign improvement, marketing programs and events to stimulate foot traffic, shopper parking assistance initiatives, wayfinding signage development, public relations for the district, and more.
A smaller group from that committee started meeting weekly in February to explore this option. This spinoff created the Downtown Denville Business Improvement Group. They have looked to successful neighboring towns that have thrived by putting BIDs in place and this is proven model. These include Westfield, Montclair, Summit and Morristown. This model is so successful that NYC alone has over 70 BIDs.
Seth A. Grossman, PhD. Director of Institute of Business District Management at Rutgers University has been working with the Downtown Denville Business Improvement Group as an advisor. Seth A. Grossman participated in the creation of over 67 BIDs and special district authorities in the State of New Jersey. Mr. Grossman was quoted saying “The most important person in any business is your Manager. My question to the businesses in downtown Denville – who is managing your downtown?”
Most residents and potential homeowners choose a town based on its downtown’s merit and offerings. Yet, more and more, competition from internet shopping, satellite strip malls and big box stores has threatened downtowns’ livelihoods; small downtown retailers have to work harder for the same retail dollar. Unlike their competitors, these local businesses pay local taxes that help pay for the schools and other key services as well as supporting local recreation and events. Keeping Downtown Denville thriving is the key to keeping that investment sound.
We know that taxes have gone up this year which is why we feel this to be even more important. As we all work harder we need someone to help us in managing our downtown area.
Kristin Pamperin co-owner of The Urban Muse summed it up this way, “We are looking to the future and the long range health of the downtown. We feel a BID is the solution that we would like to propose to our fellow stakeholders.”
The meeting will be held at Denville Town Hall on September 12th at 7pm and is open to the public. We encourage everyone to attend this presentation to see and hear this exciting opportunity for downtown Denville. Subsequent meetings, along with ordinance introduction will be held later, dates and times to follow.