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Surviving Year Two

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

It’s been one year since the word “pandemic” reentered our discourse after decades of relative health and stability. Since then, it’s been a time of crisis like no recent generation has seen. It has altered our health, our business climate, our educational system, our lifestyles, and our outlook for the future. This worldwide situation is the same, when you bring it down to the national, state, and local levels.

As we enter 2021, we have promises in taming the virus and infusing money into the economy, but the end of the tunnel is still far off and great challenges remain.

For The Ave, I cannot overemphasize the importance of maintaining a healthy business climate. After a year of struggle, our businesses need help as much as they ever did and Main Street Vineland is here to help. When times were good, we were able to focus on our downtown events, design initiatives, and other such projects. Now, we must focus on making sure our downtown businesses have a secure economic footing. We can help in several ways.

Our Work on The Ave program is so very important now that many businesses are looking for a smaller working environment, removed from the crowd of the city. We can help you find that alternative workspace. The Ave has spaces available that will not only fit your downsized needs, but also your budget. Looking at it from the other side, we put your available property on our website for prospective buyers or renters to see. Just download the information and let the visibility it gets do the rest.

We’ve rolled out our Work on The Ave initiative digitally and on social media, so don’t miss out. Check out our “Work on The Ave” video at www.theave.biz or facebook.com/mainstreetvineland.

We also constantly get information about grants and loan opportunities for small businesses. We push that information out to our businesses, as soon as we get it. If you find the application process to be daunting, let us know and we can help walk you through the process. We’re also working on some trainings to help our downtown businesses.

We can be proud of the downtown’s resiliency, with very few COVID-related business closures. We even have had a good share of new businesses, which we’ve celebrated with ribbon-cuttings. We’re planning to celebrate eight more businesses with ribbon-cuttings on March 17.

We’ve also brought back “Take Out Thursday” to help our restaurants on The Ave. This week, on February 18, head to Landis Pig Roast, at 623 E. Landis Avenue. Watch for notice of subsequent weeks and go to our Facebook page for the restaurants’ menus, hours, and telephone numbers.

These are just some of the ways that we’re helping to keep our downtown business climate stable, as we enter the second year of these challenging times.

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Just a reminder that we have a COVID vaccination clinic right on The Ave, which will also provide COVID testing. It’s operating through the Vineland Health Department and is located in the former Landis MarketPlace building, at 631 E. Landis Ave. It’s handy, well-organized and there for you. You can get more information by contacting the Health Department at 856-794-4131.

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