BELMAR, NJ — Belmar Business Partnership has made its move to Main Street — right in the middle of this seashore town’s bustling central shopping district.

The all-volunteer group’s new headquarters at 923 Main Street — between Ninth and 10th Avenues — is easily recognizable by its distinctive blue-and-white logo on the storefront window.

BBP celebrated its office’s grand opening on Tuesday, July 2 with a ribbon-cutting attended by Mayor Mark Walisfer, Borough Council President Thomas Brennan and council members James McCracken, Patricia Wann and Thomas Carvelli, as well as Belmar business owners and residents.

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The move from a second-floor location at 708 10th Avenue is aimed at increasing the BBP’s visible presence in the business community. Created by Belmar to manage its Special Improvement District, the nonprofit group is dedicated to supporting commerce, business and tourism in this seashore community.

“We are excited to move to Main Street as the prime season begins,” said BBP President Sal Marchese. “While there are many Belmar events and activities planned for the summer, Belmar certainly is a great place for business — and to visit— all year round.”

BBP’s new location is designed to offer a welcoming environment for business owners and visitors to Belmar alike — a remodeling effort led by BBP Trustee Thomas Burke. In addition to housing administrative offices, it includes meeting space and an area that will features displays of brochures and other written materials on BBP programs and events, as well as information supplied by Belmar businesses.

BBP is already off to a running start this summer. It has also taken over sponsorship of Belmar’s Friday Night Concerts, which are held every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. through August 30 in Pyanoe Plaza, featuring the area’s most talented musicians.

And this past Monday, it kicked off Country Line Dancing — presented by Double D Productions Mobile DJ and Line Dance Instruction — which will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. every Monday through August 5.

Although the first Cruise Night in June was canceled due to rainy weather, it will roll into Belmar Plaza — the parking lot behind Pyanoe Plaza — on Wednesday, July 17, beginning at 6 p.m. The final Cruise Night is planned for Thursday, August 22.

And two days later on Saturday, August 24,  the townwide Belmar Sidewalk Sale will feature shopping specials and discounts at most Belmar businesses.

For details on upcoming events, visit its Facebook page or visit its new offices to pick up a schedule.

A major focus of the BBP is to assist businesses in starting, promoting and improving the various aspects of their operations, “We give local merchants and property owners a greater voice in things that matter when you do business here in Belmar,” said BBP Treasurer Gail O’Reilly. “We work together to create a vibrant business district.”

It 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.

Over the past several years, BBP has invested significant time and resources to attract visitors, residents and new businesses to Belmar, according to its 2019 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, 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 Vintage Clothing; and Thomas Carvelli, Belmar Borough Council liaison.

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 sponsorships and other additional income sources.

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

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