NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Jimmy Vardas, owner of the Prestige Diner and incoming President of the New Providence Downtown Improvement District, told The Alternative Press that the New Providence business community has not only survived the recession but is beginning to thrive once again. 

“During the last year, we have seen many new businesses come into town alongside many longstanding merchants who are expanding and upgrading their businesses thereby reinvigorating our downtown,” Vardas said. “The great downtown we have is the result of a successful partnership between the local government, residents, and the business community.  It is on this already successful partnership that we will build upon and maintain our thriving downtown,” he added.

Vardas said that the New Providence Downtown Improvement District provides a great opportunity to help shape the business environment.  “We have a common goal to expand current success by constructing new businesses and retaining existing businesses,” he told The Alternative Press. “The NPDID is a group of local, longstanding businesses that try with the assistance of local government, to bring life into downtown. It is open to all existing and prospective businesses to assist them in any way with the common goal of making the downtown the best it can be.”

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As for shopping locally in New Providence, Vardas said, “As a consumer, I prefer to visit a downtown that is alive and full of choices like we have here in New Providence – restaurants, clothing stores, jewelers, attorneys, insurance agents, architects, graphic designers and many other professionals of various industries.“

He continued, “The money I spend downtown stays in the community. One can go to the mall and spend money but at the same time, one can visit downtown New Providence, pay the same amount to a local merchant who in turn supports our schools and volunteer groups in the community.”

Vardas added that New Providence is a great place to do business for a variety of reasons including a low vacancy rate, a helpful government, ample parking, great schools and library, amazing community volunteers, and supportive business organizations like the NPDID which support businesses in their application processes, facilitate interaction with local officials, and offer networking opportunities. 

“The future liquor licenses will help our downtown,” Vardas said, “The focus of such future restaurants will be on quality.”  Vardas reiterated that ample free parking in downtown sets New Providence apart from many downtowns in the area and added that a recent parking study showed that there is an abundance of parking to accommodate all current and future businesses.

“A vibrant downtown is the backbone of every successful small town like New Providence,” Vardas said. “We want to maintain the virtuous circle of a booming downtown and happy residents who visit it.”