2020 Past Events

Downtown Management Forum: Commercial District Recovery

  • Date and time: Friday, June 26, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: ZOOM Online Meeting

Small businesses in communities nationwide are facing the risk of permanent closure. To help address these challenges, Streetsense in partnership with LISC, created the Commercial District Recovery Guide that provides place-based organizations and intermediary partners focused on community economic development with a curated roadmap for action to support COVID-19 recovery efforts in downtowns and commercial districts. This forum was led by Larisa Ortiz, Managing Director of Research & Analysis at Streetsense, who provided an overview of the guide to kick-off an exchange of ideas among forum participants. Forum recap>


Downtown Management Forum: Re-entry for Retailers

  • Date and time: Friday, June 19, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: ZOOM Online Meeting

As our downtown retail establishments are permitted to reopen in the coming weeks, will need to employ design countermeasures to survive the short term and to thrive in the long term.  At this forum, we learned best practices from industry experts, and how NJ business owners are handling the transition. Forum recap>


Downtown Management Forum: Digital Resources for Downtowns

  • Date and time: Friday, June 12, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: ZOOM Online Meeting

Now more than ever, “going digital” is necessary to stay relevant and present in the consumer’s mind. At this forum, we heard about a few of the digital resources that our members have found valuable for both their downtown and their businesses. Forum recap>


Downtown Management Forum: NJEDA Phase 2 Small Business Emergency Assistance Grants

  • Date and time: Friday, May 29, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: ZOOM Online Meeting

On May 22nd, the NJEDA Board approved an additional $45 million in funding to small businesses from the State’s federal CARES Act allocation. At this forum, Christina Fuentes, Director of Small Business Services at NJEDA provided more information about eligibility and applying for Phase 2 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant ProgramForum recap>


Downtown Management Forum: Is Your Downtown Ready to Re-Open for Business?

  • Date and time: Friday, May 22, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: ZOOM Online Meeting

Towns should be looking at their ordinances and permitting processes now to ensure they fully support their businesses’ ability to adapt to social distancing expectations. Some communities are looking at street closures, enabling expansion of restaurant/retail into parking lots, relaxing sign rules, revising on-street parking rules to enable pick-up and delivery, etc. Others are also working to revise use restrictions to provide flexibility in filling anticipated vacancies. The discussion was led by Bob Zuckerman, President of Downtown New Jersey with input from Courtenay Mercer, Executive Director of Downtown New Jersey; Nancy Adams, Councilperson in Maplewood; and Stuart Koperweis, Executive Director of Hoboken Business AllianceForum recap>


Downtown Management Forum: Farmers Markets in the New Normal

  • Date and time: Wednesday, May 13, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: ZOOM Online Meeting

Downtown New Jersey has been invited to provide input into the State’s reopening strategies. In preparation for that discussion, we’d like to hear your concerns, ideas, and needs for reopening safely. In this open exchange, come prepared to discuss both the needs for your businesses and for your own operations within the downtown district. Forum recap>


Downtown Management Forum: Open Exchange – Getting Back to Business Safely

  • Date and time: Friday, May 8, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: ZOOM Online Meeting

Downtown New Jersey has been invited to provide input into the State’s reopening strategies. In preparation for that discussion, we’d like to hear your concerns, ideas, and needs for reopening safely. In this open exchange, come prepared to discuss both the needs for your businesses and for your own operations within the downtown district. Forum recap>


Sustainable Jersey Virtual Summit: Supporting Local Economies

  • Date and time: Tuesday, April 28, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Location: Online Webinar

As part of Sustainable Jersey’s Virtual Summit, Downtown New Jersey Executive Director, Courtenay Mercer and NJDCA’s NPP Administrator, Jef Buehler discussed how we can support local business when it’s not business as usual. They explored new strategies to engage the community through the Support Local Economies and Buy Local Program Sustainable Jersey actions. Forum recap>


Downtown Management Forum: Downtown Budgeting Now

  • Date and time: Friday, April 24, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: ZOOM Online Meeting

The COVID 19 pandemic has left many downtown organizations with budget shortfalls, either from special event cancellations, stalled membership drives or fundraising events that have been postponed. Board members are asking how to we readjust our downtown organization’s budget to deal with these new and changing realities? The conversation was led by Donna Ann Harris of Heritage Consulting Inc., a Philadelphia based firm that works nationally in downtown and commercial district revitalization. Over the years Donna has worked with many Main Street New Jersey communities on board training and development, fundraising and strategic planning. Donna provided insights about the board’s role in financial oversight, and gave some tips about making cuts to your budget if absolutely necessary. Forum recap>


Downtown Management Forum: What’s next for the Retail Real Estate Market? 

  • Date and time: Friday, April 17, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: ZOOM Online Meeting

At this forum, we were joined by Marta Person Villa, NJ Retail Lead and Senior Vice President with Jones Lang LaSalle and a former SID director, municipal administrator, and DNJ President. Ms. Villa discussed “what’s next” – how does your downtown recover from economic upheaval, and what can you do now to plan for a time when we’re all back to business? Using global recovery statistics as a backdrop, she showed current and imminent downtown retail occupancy conditions, and mapped out a proactive recruitment strategy to expedite recovery starting in the 3rd quarter. Forum recap>


Downtown Management Forum: Survival Marketing Workshop

  • Date and time: Friday, April 3, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: ZOOM Online Meeting

Mike Blinder, Founder & President of The Blinder Group, publisher of Editor & Publisher Magazine, and author of Survival Selling Even in the Toughest Times presented his Survival Marketing Workshop on how to market effectively in tough economic times. Watch Video>


Downtown Management Forum: Economic Relief Legislation

  • Date and time: Friday, March 27, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: ZOOM Online Meeting

At this forum, we were joined by Christina Fuentes, Director of Small Business Services at NJEDA and Erika Calderon, Small Business Legislative Aid from Senator Menendez’s office to discuss programs, policies, and legislation that have passed or are being considered to provide economic relief to downtowns and small business. Forum recap>


Downtown Management Forum: Downtown Manager Exchange

  • Date and time: Friday, March 20, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: ZOOM Online Meeting

Downtown New Jersey is providing a series of virtual opportunities for downtown managers, economic development professionals, and public officials to exchange ideas about best practices related to downtown economic development in light of the COVID-19 crisis. At our first exchange, participants shared concerns for small businesses and their employees, questions for clarity related to closures, and policy and legislative needs to further assist small businesses. Forum recap>


Downtown Management Round Table (Luncheon)

  • Date and time: Friday, February 7, 12:00 – 2:00 pm
  • Location: East Orange Public Library, 21 South Arlington Avenue,
    East Orange, NJ 07018

DNJ’s quarterly round table is an exchange of ideas about hot topics in downtown economic development. The February meeting discussion focused on developing and enhancing your downtown restaurant scene. Forum recap>


Downtown New Jersey Session at the 2020 NJ Planning Conference
Glass Half Full: Reforming New Jersey’s Antiquated Liquor Laws

  • Date and time: Friday, January 24, 9:00 – 10:30 am
  • Location: Hyatt Regency,  2 Albany Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

DNJ President, Bob Zuckerman, was featured in this session. Hear firsthand from the experts on what can be done to reform New Jersey’s outdated laws and how any future reform would affect the planning process throughout the state.