BELMAR, NJ — The Belmar Business Partnership’s annual meeting brought together nearly 50 business owners for an evening of conversation that focused on bringing more business into this popular shore town.

Members of the nonprofit group’s board of trustees also detailed ways it is helping businesses grow and prosper, while Mayor Matthew Doherty presented an update of commercial activity throughout the borough.

“I see a lot of new faces here,” Doherty told the gathering at Anchor Tavern on February 27. “It’s great to get together like this and let you know where the town is in terms of business.”

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While he gave a rundown of “what’s new” in Belmar’s various business sectors — from Main Street and Belmar Plaza to the beachfront and the marina — he also told the business owners that the borough is working on long-term solutions to its chronic parking problem, particularly in the downtown area and at the marina.

In his business update, he said that with the opening last spring of Marina Grille on Route 35, private sector employment is at its highest level ever in Belmar. “We’re trending in the right direction,” he said, adding that the establishment, which serves as the "gateway to Belmar" at the Shark River bridge, employs some 200 persons.

Doherty also reported that in the past eight years that he's been mayor, Belmar has not had a municipal tax hike, as it has found other revenue streams, including deriving income from payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreements from businesses in its redevelopment areas, such as Marina Grille.

“In 2018, the taxes that will be collected will be less than those collected in 2010 — about $1 million less,” he said.

For the Belmar Business Partnership (BBP), it has set these four strategic priorities under a $138,000 budget approved by the Belmar Council on February 6:

  • Promote Belmar’s central business district as a year-round shopping and dining destination.
  • Create a stronger and more creative business presence along Route 71 and Ocean Avenue.
  • Strengthen its working and program relationships between Belmar business owners and the borough.
  • Identify and expand opportunities to assist business owners secure façade and signage grants.

Created by Belmar to manage its Special Improvement District, BBP is the nonprofit district management corporation whose mission is to foster the economic development and revitalization of the Belmar business district through private/public partnerships.

Its operations are primarily funded through an assessment on all commercial properties in Belmar, along with some sponsorship and other additional income sources.

For more information about BBP, visit its website or call 732 894-9022.

In photo at top of page, representing the Belmar Business Partnership at its annual meeting are, from left, trustee Tom Burke, trustee Pat Tecza, administrative director Jackie Gammond, treasurer Gail O’Reilly, trustee Christine Cardellino, president Sal Marchese, trustee Brian Hadden and trustee Kate Walters.

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