Business & Finance

Bloomfield Mayor and B.C.A. Director participate on Governor panel

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From left; Mary Murdoch, owner of Murdoch Shoes, Governor Phil Murphy, Mayor Michael Venezia, Lt. Governor Shiela Oliver and Ollyn Lettman
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Montclair, N.J-- Governor Phil Murphy and Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver today announced plans to restore funding for two of the Department of Community Affairs’(DCA) innovative neighborhood improvement programs – Main Street New Jersey (MSNJ) and the Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) – to strengthen the economic vigor of New Jersey’s downtown areas and to encourage private investment in some of the state’s hard-pressed communities. Governor Murphy’s proposed budget provides $3 million for these programs – $500,000 for MSNJ and $2.5 million for NPP.

The restoration of funding for MSNJ will once again support the renewal of historic downtowns, village centers, and neighborhood commercial districts by utilizing a comprehensive stakeholder-driven approach based on public-private partnerships.  MSNJ, which is part of the National Main Street Program, was established in 1989 and operated until 2017.

Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia and Bloomfield Center Alliance Executive Director Ollyn Lettman were among those asked to participate in the roundtable discussion.  Mayor Venezia was excited about the program being funded.  "I'm very happy that the Governor is funding this program again.  Bloomfield has definitely benefited from it in the past'" said the Mayor.  Lettman, always looking to improve the town center, was appreciative;  "Given the challenges facing historic downtowns and the small businesses that operate within them, the timing of this announcement heralding the return of the Main Street New Jersey program couldn't be better.  The advent of the internet and availability of online shopping has changed the face of retail.  The BCA welcomes the support of the state as we continue to search for ways to help our businesses adapt, survive, and eventually thrive in this environment.   While there are many exciting developments and signs of progress in Bloomfield Center, we know more must be done.  The BCA very much appreciates the commitment of Governor Murphy and Lt. Governor Oliver in bringing back this critical resource that will help move our downtown to the
next level." 

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