BELMAR, NJ — As the prime season quickly approaches, the Belmar Business Partnership stands ready to remain the driving force behind making this seashore community a great place for business any time of the year.

Taking the pulse of Belmar’s business community, the nonprofit group reports that there is “a renewed spirit of enthusiasm and commitment, with high hopes for a positive and productive year.”

During its annual budget hearing before the Belmar Council on April 16, BBP President Sal Marchese presented the governing body and members of the public with a report outlining its recent accomplishments and giving an overview of what’s ahead in the new year.

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“We, in the BBP, are excited about the potential that lies ahead, and we hope that the governing body and Belmar residents will share our enthusiasm by supporting our continued and expanding efforts to advance commerce, tourism and economic development in our beautiful community by the sea,” said Marchese in his letter.

Under its $133,800 budget approved by the borough council, BBP plans to continue with many of its current initiatives that focus on visual improvements, activities and community events, and business promotion and marketing.

For example, the colorful banners and decorative planters in Belmar’s downtown district are funded and maintained by the BBP, with assistance from Belmar’ Department of Public Works.  

It also sponsors events, such as the ever-popular Cruise Nights in the summer, as well as the Belmar Kite Festival, which has been expanded to twice annually along the beachfront, and the Pirate Walk, which is now in its third year. In 2018, it also added the Belmar Sidewalk Sale and Small Business Saturday to its fall itinerary, with plans to expand activities for Halloween and Christmas.

In addition, BBP provides façade improvements grants to assist Belmar businesses to improve the appearance of their businesses and fit-out grant to help new retail and food businesses offset the interior modeling costs, including the purchase of fixtures and lighting.

New for this year is BBP’s “Belmar Shines” program, designed to encourage businesses to create an inviting look — inside and outside their establishments — that welcomes visitors.

READ MORE: Does Your Business Have What it Takes to Make ‘Belmar Shine’?

Over the past several years, BBP has invested significant time and resources to attract visitors, residents and new businesses to Belmar, according to its annual report. “The emphasis has been on promoting family fun and distinguishing Belmar as a great place to visit at any time of the year.”

BBP also offers the opportunity to serve on several committees, including promotions and marketing, economic development, visual improvement and organization.

Its executive committee is directed by a volunteer board of trustees which consists of a cross-section of commercial property owners and business owners. Its members include president Sal Marchese, owner of Salon Marsal; treasurer Gail O’Reilly, property owner, and the following trustees: Tom Burke, civic member; Christine Cardellino, owner of the Blue Hydrangea Beach Cottage and author of the Belmar Beachcomber blog; Norman Einhorn, director of the Center for Visual Rehabilitation; Anthony “Sonny” Nardone, owner of Go Play! Retro Arcade; Pat Tecza, owner of Nostalgic Nonsense; and Thomas Carvelli, Belmar Borough Council liaison.

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, including becoming a member, visit its website or call 732-894-9022.

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