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Attract & Retain Downtown Retail

Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 3:45PM
Atlantic City Convention Center, Rm 318

Retail businesses are essential to the life and vibrancy of downtown, but attracting and retaining local, small businesses can be challenging in uncertain and turbulent economic times. In recent years, many communities have taken creative approaches in adapting to rapidly changing retail trends to ensure retail spaces are filled and stay open. Panelists shared regional best practices on how to attract and retain local businesses, maximize the use of ground-floor commercial space, better connect shoppers to local retail through wayfinding, and create unique community events in an effort to revitalize downtowns.


  • Chris Colley, Principal, Topology
  • Abbie Galie, Founder, Destination Medford
  • Marta Person Villa, Senior Vice President of Retail Services, CBRE
  • Tashilee Vazquez, Director of Economic & Community Development, City of Perth Amboy


  • Courtenay Mercer, Executive Director, Downtown New Jersey

This panel was coordinated by Downtown New Jersey as part of the NJ League of Municipalities Conference.

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