In the last column, I aimed to give you a helping of optimism about The Ave in the face of hard times. More than ever, we must face adversity with optimism, so I want to continue with more “silver linings” amid the clouds.
As the weather is beginning to break, we usually look forward to the inauguration of our downtown events. We had planned a Volunteer Appreciation Night for April 22, the Diamond in the Rough Talent Contest on April 25, an Access to Capital workshop on May 21, Cruise Down Memory Lane on June 13, and more.
The coronavirus situation has forced us to take a second look at this schedule of events. As I write this, it was announced that the Cruise Down Memory Lane has been officially postponed to later in the year. Similar adjustments will have to be made to some of the other events. The good news is that every effort will be made to reschedule them to later in the year. You’ll be updated on those developments. We want, as much as everyone else, to bring fun times to The Ave but we want everyone to do it safely.
I’ve mentioned, in past columns, about initiatives we’ve put in place to help our local businesses during these hard economic times. I repeat them in the second part of each column to keep them fresh in your mind. They also can be found with links on the home page of the Main Street Vineland website—The Ave.biz. In addition to the Support Local Businesses pledge, and the Restaurant Gift Card Giveaway initiative, we have another item of interest to local businesses. One of the links on our website allows you to take a simple test to determine for what COVID-19 relief programs your business could be eligible. We’re working hard every day learning about and working on programs to keep our businesses up and running, as well as solvent, during this time when they need the help. We’re looking for as many silver linings as possible so The Ave can continue to serve you.
Don’t forget to take the online pledge through Main Street Vineland and the Greater Vineland Chamber of Commerce to support your local businesses—both on The Ave and throughout the community. We’re urging you to pledge that you’ll give local businesses your patronage and support. This sends the powerful message that the economic health of local businesses is OUR economic health. Taking the online pledge is easy. Just visit Main Street Vineland’s website at TheAve.biz or the Facebook page (facebook.com/mainstreetvineland).
Remember to support our local restaurants on The Ave by participating in the “Dine The Ave” Restaurant Gift Card Giveaway. We at Main Street Vineland have organized the monthlong giveaway in cooperation with New Jersey’s Heartland, and with generous sponsorship by Century Savings Bank. Forty lucky individuals will have the opportunity to each win a $25 gift card to the participating restaurants on The Ave. That’s $1,000 in gift cards! This is a great opportunity to select from the variety of cuisines while helping these restaurants. The participating restaurants are listed on the website and Facebook page. We regularly post updates there as well
In the spirit of social distancing and respecting the safety of our staff, our office is currently closed to walk-in public, but we are still working every day. We regularly post information and updates on our website and Facebook page. We also work closely with the Greater Vineland Chamber of Commerce. They have added information to their website—vinelandchamber.org—and have started a Facebook group—Vineland Chamber Business Bunch—where businesses can post specials, activities, and announcements.