Dear RDP Members:
I am concerned with some of the information being spread to our members that is both inaccurate and detrimental to the health of our business district. The idea that closing down the RDP will end the assessments and business license fees is simply incorrect. The RDP is only the organization charged with administering the SID (Special Improvement District) that was created by the municipality through a long-standing ordinance. The assessments and fees were established by that ordinance, not by the instigation of the RDP.
Should the RDP be disbanded, the fees will remain and another organization will be put in place to administer the SID. This organization, in its current form, gives you, the members, the opportunity to participate and make your voice heard. The RDP also runs the Farmers’ Market and works toward maintaining a quality of life in the Downtown that makes it a more pleasant place to be. While it is true that the RDP has not lived up to its potential in recent years, please know there is a small but strong team of dedicated people working hard to turn the ship around. Unfortunately that cannot happen overnight, but in the past year we have made great strides to improve our infrastructure.
With that said, the RDP is pleased to announce the June 14th Summer Kickoff! We have been busy working with various community organizations to put together an exciting event for the downtown business district. We will NOT close Park Avenue, however, we encourage business owners and their employees to leave open the parking spaces for residents and visitors to park and come to your stores. There is plenty of parking just a block or two away from your businesses at the Kip Garage and Ettrick Terrace.
The Summer Kickoff is designed as a community event to show people just what makes Rutherford the place to live, love, dine and shop! And to promote Rutherford businesses and the District we will be advertising to over 25,000 families in the surrounding area with the help of the Meadowlands YMCA. And you will have the opportunity to add your promotions and bring customers to your business. Watch for information coming to you soon about advertising and promotional opportunities for the June 14 event.
The event will run from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., engaging visitors in town for breakfast and brunch and ending in time for them to enjoy dinner or shopping in town. We encourage our members to keep retail and service establishments open until well after the event to allow families to walk, shop and discover what your businesses have to offer. If you have a promotion, whether it be for dining, shopping or a special service offer, contact our office. Cori Verdino, our administrative assistant will be happy to help you get the word out and engage event visitors. We will be giving out bags with information on all the current businesses in our district, including all professionals, salons restaurants and retail stores who are current with their fees. And there will be a variety of sponsorship opportunities available as well. Visit our website for more information: www.downtownrutherfordnj.com
When I first started going to RDP meetings I realized we were not moving fast enough into the digital age. Since taking on the President’s position last July, I have worked diligently with members, trustees and contractors to move our communications and record keeping into the 21st century. Since August we have significantly boosted our digital footprint and gained followers from around the area. My office, for instance, has patients coming from all over and I have heard from some who come from Clifton and beyond commenting on our blog and Facebook pages. And they want to see more information from the stores like yours.We are actively promoting our member businesses and helping them reach more consumers.
Through our relationship with a local business our members have been given the opportunity to improve, repair and boost their digital reach at a much-reduced rate. Several member businesses have turned to the RDP to post promotions and get their stories out to consumers through our Facebook and Twitter pages as well as our Downtown Highlights newsletter. Residents and business owners alike have come to us to offer assistance in our mission to promote the downtown and its businesses and promote the growth and opportunity we have long awaited. These partnerships give you the opportunity to advertise your business at little to no expense. If you are not taking advantage of these services, you are missing a great opportunity. Visit our website and check out the Social Media information. It is there to help you spread the word and help your business grow.
Cutting to the Chase
Has the RDP failed in the recent past to promote and beautify Downtown Rutherford…. Yes, it has. But that does not mean it can’t serve a purpose and accomplish great things with the right people.
Now Ask Yourself This:
In this past year, if you’ve found fault with the RDP, did you participate or offer positive ideas? Did you offer to help? …. Only you can answer that. I look forward to working with anyone who wants to help the Downtown march positively into the future. Consider running for a place on the board to help, not tear down.
President, Rutherford Downtown Partnership