Open for Business

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

We have heard a lot of doom and gloom about the present state of affairs because of the COVID situation. Cancellations, closures, restrictions, and warnings have been the order of the day for such a long time, with our downtown being no exception. Despite all that, I can say that life continues on The Ave and business on The Ave goes on.

• Most businesses on The Ave are open—retailers, professional offices, restaurants, and more. Some may be operating with some adjustments—changed hours, social distancing and other COVID safety measures, outdoor dining and takeouts, and so forth, but the businesses are operating.

• Main Street Vineland, the City of Vineland, and the Greater Vineland Chamber of Commerce have been hard at work—individually and collectively—helping our new businesses survive these challenging times. This includes promotional campaigns, locating financial help in the form of loans and grants, and lots more. A lot of information is out there and every effort has been made to pass that information along to our businesses as soon as possible. I’m glad to say that we have businesses that have jumped at the opportunity to get this help.

• One thing that fills me with pride is the resilience of our businesses. Being open for business these days doesn’t necessarily mean business as usual. Many businesses have turned the present crisis into an opportunity to adapt, to work differently. It may mean doing mail-order, learning new sales methods, refreshing old skills, or reinventing themselves and their businesses. All this has allowed these businesses to weather the storm so far and puts them in a better position to continue to do so.

So, more now than ever, do everything you can to support our businesses on The Ave and all our local businesses. We’ll see these challenging times through together.

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Regarding our schedule of upcoming major outdoor events, it was just decided to cancel this year’s Cruise Down Memory Lane. The situation with the events, as you can see, remains fluid because of the changing COVID situation. Decisions to proceed with events or cancel are not easy and depend so much on the individual requirements and characteristics of the particular event. Keep watching this column and other media for further developments or changes.

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Remember these important reminders:

• “Shop Local—Shop Safe” is an initiative in partnership with the Greater Vineland Chamber of Commerce to emphasize shopping our local businesses, whether it’s at the retail or supplier level, and doing so in a safe and responsible way, following the proper social distancing guidelines. We now have yard signs about this campaign, so you can publicize it and show your support. Contact the Main Street office to get yours.

• Take Out Thursdays is Main Street Vineland’s way of helping restaurants on The Ave, many of which are doing takeout and delivery. This week’s restaurant is The Best of Southern Cooking, at 613 E. Landis Avenue. Sample authentic multicultural cuisine; keep our business climate healthy.

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A further reminder to go to the home page of our website— The Ave.biz—for links to initiatives to help our local businesses during these hard economic times.

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On the Ave