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Hope Renewed

by Russell Swanson, Exec. Dir., VDID, Main Street Vineland

With the start of a new year and glow of the holiday season not far behind us, we look at this time as one of hope. With the headway being made on development and approval of COVID vaccines, we have all the more reason for hope. It’s a literal “shot in the arm” that brings the kind of hope that we haven’t seen in quite a while.

It brings hope that people can recover stability in their health, in their finances, in their jobs, in their businesses, and their peace of mind.

That trickles down to cities and towns everywhere—including here on The Ave, and all of Vineland. We, at Main Street Vineland, have helped our local businesses weather the storm with some necessary adjustments. I alluded to this in the last column. The hope is that, with these positive developments, 2021 will bring significant strikes toward stability and normalcy again.

It brings hope that our businesses, which have had to adjust to hard times, can once again move toward prosperity. We look forward to the time soon when our merchants and other businesses can resume serving their customers and clients at full capacity. We look forward to seeing our restaurants open their doors and have full tables of customers out to enjoy a good meal.

It brings hope that we can once again build a full calendar of events that brings people together, and an aggressive plan of marketing and expansion that can further build our partnerships. With the coming of the New Year, we’ll be working on that.

With the parting of the old year, I want to thank all of you for your perseverance and pulling together to make things work as best as possible, under the circumstances. One thing that we’ve all seen is how resilient our businesses and our community is when we all pull together. We have a lot to be proud of in our downtown, in spite of the many challenges we have faced. Looking ahead, we’re working on some great projects and initiatives for 2021; you’ll be reading more about them in future columns.

And so, as we look ahead with optimism and anticipation to 2021, let’s keep on hoping as we move forward.


Remember that Main Street Vineland is here to help. In the spirit of social distancing and respecting the safety of our staff, our office is currently closed to walk-in public though we are still working every day. We pass this information along to our businesses every Tuesday, in the 9 a.m. hour, on SNJ Today 99.9 POP FM, Channel 22, and on Facebook Live on


This is all the more reason to make The Ave your destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment needs, as well as for fun all year round. Save money on gasoline, avoid the long lines at the big-box stores, malls, and shopping centers, and take in the rich variety of fun things to do—right in your own backyard. n

For more on Main Street Vineland, call our office at 856-794-8653, visit—or check us out on Facebook. You can also e-mail me at

On the Ave