Celebrating the economic vitality and potential of New Jersey’s downtowns, Acting Governor Kim Guadagno today visited Chester’s downtown district, stopping at shops on Main and Perry Streets and conducting a roundtable discussion with the town’s small business leaders. Chester Borough is the third stop of the Acting Governor’s tour of New Jersey’s downtowns after previous stops in Hammonton and Bernards Township.
“Chester is benefitting from business owners who are actively engaged and dedicated to the success of the borough’s downtown business district,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “It was clear to me after speaking with several of these entrepreneurs that they know a vibrant and active downtown is important not only for business, but for the overall spirit and health of the community too. The economic activity downtown businesses generate not only create jobs for local residents, but help support home values and mitigate property taxes for homeowners.”
The Historic Chester Business Association (HCBA) is actively working to make downtown Chester an attractive place for visitors to shop and dine and proudly boasts of the downtown’s “old-time mercantile district” atmosphere, brick sidewalks and preserved building facades. Seeking to make the downtown a unique destination, the HCBA sponsors public events throughout the year, including craft shows, classic car shows, a harvest celebration for families, and special attractions during the holiday season.
"We were extremely honored to host the Acting Governor today in our historic downtown district," said Kathy Barbieri, president of the HCBA. "This exposure at the state level shows concern for the challenges small 'Main Street' businesses are experiencing in today's challenging economic climate."
During her downtown walk, Acting Governor Guadagno visited Chester Crafts, Collectibles & Antiques at 28 Main Street, Pleasant Pools & Patio and Country Christmas Shop at 110 Main Street, World of Birds at 15 Perry Street, and Sally Lunn's Tea Room at 15 Perry Street.
“We chose to be in a downtown area, specifically Chester Borough, because it is a small-town Historical Village and we have always believed in small-town local shopping and the sense of community it brings,” said Larry Guizio, who owns World of Birds with his wife, Rosanne. “Doing business in Chester has been a very positive and wonderful experience and we are proud to be part of Chester's unique community for the past 24 years.”
"I encourage everyone to 'Shop Small Business - Shop Chester' this upcoming holiday season, as we will be offering Dickens carolers, ice sculpting demonstrations, horse drawn carriage rides and 'Merry' monster truck rides for the kids - all free as a gift from the HCBA,” continued Barbieri, who has owned Chester Crafts, Collectibles & Antiques for 11 years with her husband. “The experience Chester offers year round just can't be found anywhere else!"
The New Jersey Partnership for Action (PFA) supports the vital role business plays in advancing the state’s economy and creating jobs. Led by Lt. Governor Guadagno, the PFA is a three-pronged public-private approach to economic development and the starting point for all initiatives, policies, and efforts to grow New Jersey’s economy and create quality, sustainable jobs in our communities. The three elements of the PFA include the Business Action Center, reporting directly to the Lt. Governor and providing the business community with a single point of contact, applying a proactive, customer-service approach to businesses’ interactions with State government; the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, serving as the state’s “bank for business”; and Choose New Jersey, an independently funded and operated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation created to encourage and nurture economic growth throughout New Jersey.
Businesses considering a move or in need of assistance are encouraged to call New Jersey’s Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789 or visit the State’s Business Portal at www.newjerseybusiness.gov.