View online edition


Urban Enterprise Zone Assistance Funds Support Vineland Initiatives

The Urban Enterprise Zone Authority (UEZA), an affiliate of New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs, has noted that over the past year, it has awarded approximately $5.5 million in Zone Assistance Fund grants to support initiatives focused on strengthening small businesses located in the Vineland Urban Enterprise Zone.

Vineland UEZ officials have invested the grant awards in innovative projects, including the “Project Beautify” Exterior Improvement Program, as well as programs that support public safety, the beautification of public spaces, and business attraction efforts, which have resulted in a microbrewery and a state-of-the art film and digital media studio that are currently being developed.

DCA Commissioner Jacquelyn A. Suarez said “These grants help to create new jobs, improve the vibrancy and quality of life in Vineland neighborhoods, and make the city more attractive for future investment and opportunities.”

“Vineland has been on the cutting edge of UEZ project ideas for the last couple of years,” said UEZA Deputy Director Joseph Fusco. “A microbrewery, which is supported by a $2 million award from UEZA, will be an exciting attraction for the region. The Vineland UEZ also received $900,000 for the media studio project and we anticipate that initiative will not only be a fantastic job creation tool but will be a boon to local businesses that feed and house production crews coming to town.”

The Vineland UEZ’s “Project Beautify” program, backed by a $1.5 million Zone Assistance Fund grant, is focused on improving items such as facades, awnings, lighting, signage, landscaping, parking, trash enclosures, and security cameras. The initiative offers five-year forgivable loans with a maximum amount of $50,000, and a 10 percent match by the property owner.

“’Project Beautify’ is part of our overall strategy to attract customers and new businesses to Vineland, as well as to support our existing businesses in the city,” said Vineland Mayor Anthony Fanucci. “By improving the physical attractiveness of businesses throughout Vineland’s commercial corridors, we can boost foot traffic locally and market our commercial districts as a destination, bringing in customers from outside the city.”

“The program has been very well received,” said Vineland Economic Development Director Sandy Forosisky. “Since we started accepting applications late in 2023, we have received over 40 requests that are either completed, in process, or out to bid. More than $550,000 in improvements have been completed to date.

“We currently have 526 registered UEZ businesses and we are working hard to spread the word about the advantages the program offers. As the number of registered businesses continues to grow, so does the Vineland UEZ’s ability to help create jobs and improve our community in so many ways.”

For more information about Vineland’s UEZ program, readers can contact Forosisky at 856-794-4100.