From the South Orange Village Center Alliance:
The South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA) recently unveiled a “Back to Business” campaign designed to remind residents that our businesses are ready to serve the community and to reinforce the significance of supporting local businesses, now more than ever.
This isn’t the same “Shop Local” message people are accustomed to hearing. Since the pandemic, the stakes are elevated and the success of our local businesses will profoundly impact the overall state of our community. The campaign coincides with this month’s opening of gyms, indoor dining, movie theaters and indoor venues (at 25% of maximum capacity).
“While the limited reopening is good news, it does not mean the crisis is over. As things start returning to a sense of business as usual, we want to remind everyone that our businesses need as much support now as they did when we first shut down. With most businesses recovering from over 5 months of little-to-no income, they have a long way to go before they can begin to stabilize,” offered Julie Doran, the Executive Director of SOVCA.
Importantly, while businesses prepare for this next phase of reopening, most will offer customers their choice of how to do their shopping and dining. “After pivoting and adjusting our business we are thrilled to be at a place where we can begin to bring back staff and extend our operating hours as well as launch new e-commerce businesses for both stores so we can streamline the contactless pick up and free local delivery options for those not ready to venture out yet,” said Cat Fisher, owner of Sadies and Kitchen a la Mode.
The campaign consists of storefront banners and social media posts highlighting individual storeowners as a way of personalizing our businesses. Some of the slogans are straightforward, some are clever and some offer a bit of levity, just like our individual businesses. The first wave of banners started going up around town yesterday and installation will continue throughout the week. Social media posts can be found on Instagram and Facebook at @sovillagecenter and are designed to personalize our local businesses by focusing on the owners and managers.
“Downtown South Orange is open, and our businesses still need an unprecedented amount of support,” said Deborah Engel, SOVCA Vice Chair and owner of 19 Prospect Street. “We chose to invoke a bit of humor and personality into the campaign because laughter is still important, even during a pandemic.”
About South Orange Village Center Alliance
The South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to making downtown South Orange a vibrant place to live, work and enjoy through events, beautification and advocacy for the downtown business district. SOVCA’s mission is to strengthen the vitality of the downtown business district by supporting existing businesses and attracting new ones to improve the Village’s retail mix; raising funds for improvement and public art projects; producing events that complement existing stores and services; maintaining a clean, safe, and pedestrian-friendly downtown; and helping our governing body manage new development while preserving the attractive architectural legacy of the downtown area. The organization is run by an Executive Director and a volunteer board of directors made up of property owners, business owners, residents and other stakeholders. For more information, visit sovillagecenter.org.