Ribbon and Scissors

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

We had five ribboncuttings on The Ave last week—at five businesses as diverse as you could image. We went from LA Hair at 723 E. Landis Avenue to Cloud No. 9 Event Venue at 22 W. Landis Avenue, Suite I, to Taste Buds Soul Food at 22 W. Landis Avenue, Suite A, to Indian Villa Restaurant at 601 E. Landis Avenue and finally to In The Groove Records at 618 E. Landis Avenue.

You’ll be reading more about these businesses at another time, but I want to reflect here about the ribboncutting concept.

It occurred to me, as we were entering each business that we were helping to “unlock the door” to some new businesses that could otherwise be overlooked by the general public. We went inside and saw businesses that the public should know about. These are businesses that contribute much to the retail and cultural fabric of our downtown and our city.

Ribboncuttings are, in this way, more than just “point-and-shoot” or “smile for the camera.” Yes, they’re celebrations. They represent new businesses being born. They’re also, however, one of our ways of helping the business climate of The Ave, which is an important part of our mission.

With each business, we leave information—our event brochure, business cards, and information about upcoming events such as A Taste of Vineland and Weddings on The Ave from which they can benefit and win over new customers. We tell them how we can help them publicize themselves on our Facebook page.

When you see the photo of a ribboncutting in the media, whether here or elsewhere, you get to meet and owners of the businesses—and, trust me, they’ll be as happy to see you come into their businesses and they appear in the photos!

So, when you see the photos appear, take some time and stop by the businesses. Congratulate them, see what they have to offer, and patronize them. Then, the scissors and the ribbon will have done their jobs.

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Get the Yuletide mood with our annual Christmas Parade, to take place this year on Saturday, November 30 (rain date: Sunday, December 1) at 5 p.m. The theme this year will be “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” BB&T is again the major sponsor this year. Vendors, participants, and volunteers are currently being sought to help coordinate on the night of the parade, and parade sponsorship opportunities are available. Applications to be in the parade or to be a vendor can be obtained by going to TheAve.biz—where the rules and regulations can also be reviewed and printed out. To be a participant in the parade, applications must be completed online. Registration for parade participants is free, if received before Friday November 15, with a $20 fee, if received after that date. The deadline for all registrations will be Friday, November 22. Registration is required to participate in the parade and no registrations will be allowed the night of the parade.

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Remember to stop by the mini-park at the southwest corner of Landis Avenue and the Boulevard and check out the progress on the military mural by artist George Perez and his assistants. They continue their hard work and the mural is taken shape more and more.

We’re continuing our donation drive for the mural, since only part of the expense of this initiative is covered by grants and the various donations of goods and services. To help make this a real community effort, we want to raise $7,500. Just go to our website—TheAve.biz—and, on the home page, click on the link for the military mural. You’ll be taken to a page where you can find out more about the project and how to donate—and since we’re a 501(c)3 entity, your donation is tax-deductible. No amount is too large or too small. Dedication of the mural takes place appropriately, on Veterans Day—Monday, November 11—at 9:30 a.m., right before the City’s annual holiday commemoration.

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On The Ave