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Season of Hope

by Russell Swanson, Exec. Dir., VDID, Main Street Vineland
This time of year, when the holidays of the different faiths come together, is looked upon as a time of hope. It brings hope that people can find ways to come together in love, and have stability in good 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, in Main Street Vineland, work to help our local businesses weather the storm with several initiatives, including our Ave Bucks gift card program, Feet On The Ave initiatives, façade improvement grants, trainings and the like. I alluded to these programs in past columns. The hope is that, with these positive developments, 2024 will bring continued success and development in our downtown.
It brings hope that our businesses, which have had to adjust to harder times, can once again move toward prosperity. We remain optimistic that our economy will improve and that our business community will continue to remain resilient and continue to find ways to remain competitive and thrive. The one thing about small businesses is that they are always on the lookout for how to improve and reinvent themselves when necessary.
It brings hope that we can once again build a full calendar of events that can bring 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 and am proud of all of our many accomplishments. We’re working on some great projects and initiatives for the coming year, and you’ll be reading more about them in future columns.
We will continue to work with our grant partners to bring exciting things to The Ave, such as our Sculptures On The Ave that we hosted in 2023. We will be working on our Neighborhood Preservation Grant programs as well as rolling out another art project in 2024 (stay tuned).
As you continue to do your holiday shopping, do not forget to support our Landis Avenue merchants and restaurants. We make this extra affordable with our AVE Bucks Buy-One, Get-One (BOGO) promotion. When you purchase a $25 or $50 gift card, you will get a FREE $25 or $50 gift card for use at participating merchants. To purchase these gift cards, or to get more information, go to
And so, as we wish each other a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, and a Happy New Year, let’s keep on hoping as we move forward.
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Remember 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.

On the Ave