New Jersey has a plethora of booming downtown areas like Jersey City, Hoboken, Cranford, Asbury Park, and many more. However, only one is currently in the running to be named the best in the U.S. and it’s one of the more low-key cities in the Garden State.
The Metuchen Downtown Alliance has been selected as one of Main Street America’s eight semifinalists for the 2023 Great American Main Street Award.
“The significance of this moment cannot be overstated as Westfield and Montclair are the only other previous winners in the state of New Jersey,” Mayor Jonathan Busch said on Facebook.
Metuchen and the seven other cities who have made the semifinals have been “recognized for their exemplary use of the Main Street Approach™ to transform their downtowns and neighborhood business districts.”
The New Jersey downtown was specifically chosen for uplifting their local business owners. “From painting the words ‘Shop Small, Shop Local’ on the railroad bridge that crosses over the town’s Main Street to using Small Business Saturday as a springboard for an entire month of promotional activities, Metuchen Downtown Alliance truly walks the walk when it comes to creating a culture of supporting small businesses.”
The site added, “The organization hosted their first retail promotion activity in 2016 with Small Business Saturday deals and prizes. The success of this event spurred the organization to expand programming to include multi-cultural celebrations, holiday contests, a winter market, and themed promotional days to appeal to early bird and last-minute shoppers alike.”
The city has also continuously supported its entrepreneurs’ growth not only during the holiday season. “Metuchen Downtown Alliance fosters goodwill and transformative placemaking activities year-round as well with quarterly member meetings, inclusive pop-up input sessions that encourage residents of all ages and backgrounds to envision enhancements to alleys and facades, and matching grant programs to assist merchants with improving their storefronts, accessing technology, and enhancing marketing efforts.”
The winning downtown areas will be announced in March during the Main Street Now Conference held in Boston, Mass.
Take a look at what other downtowns across the country are competing against Downtown Metuchen: