RARITAN, NJ - Raritan Mayor Charles McMullin took state and local leaders on a walk-through of the borough Aug. 16 to visit local businesses.

On the walk-through were Assemblyman John DiMaio, Sen. Mike Doherty, Assemblyman Erik Peterson, Raritan Council President Denise Carra, Raritan Councilman Nicolas Carra, former Mayor Anthony DeCicco, Raritan Valley Community College Trustee Tim Howes and legislative aide Dan Hirshberg.

Officials visited a number of different businesses, including Frame Me, on Anderson Street; Accounting Alternatives, on Somerset Street; the Italian Bakery, on Somerset Street; Trinity Church Goods, on Somerset Street; and more.

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According to McMullin, state officials, several of whom own their own businesses, find the downtown business district economically important and in the midst of revitalization as an economic force. In other words, he said, borough are becoming more competitively attractive in the business world.

The mission of the walk-through, McMullin said, was to visit and understand the needs of Raritan's business community. He said the constructions of larger shopping malls and more in the area once diverted sales away from downtowns, like Raritan.

"This is changing and our legislators as small business owners themselves recognize the need to compete," he said. "Our store owners may control their own property, but it is clear that they are looking to the borough, Somerset County and New Jersey to improve the infrastructure beyond the four walls of their business."

"This is precise input that was given to our legislators and they listened very attentively," he added.