In an effort to support downtown businesses, the Downtown West Orange Alliance is launching 2 new programs this fall.
In partnership with the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, the DWOA is creating a flyer that every park visitor will receive listing downtown restaurants who will offer them discounts if they show their museum ticket stub. Denise Esposito, executive director of the DWOA, explains that “thousands of visitors visit the museum every year and we want them to extend their visit and experience the wonderful, diverse restaurants that downtown West Orange has to offer.” She hopes that all downtown restaurants will participate driving more business to their establishments.
The second initiative will provide 5 downtown businesses access to The Schallert Group’s Destination University online webinar library and international social media network of small business owners. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the Main Street New Jersey Program (MSNJ) awarded a contract to The Schallert Group, of Longmont, Colorado, that starts this month and runs through June, 2012. Because the Downtown West Orange Alliance is a certified Main Street New Jersey Community, they have access to this free service for 5 of their downtown businesses. “By providing Destination University, we expect to assist these 5 downtown West Orange businesses to become more successful and serve as business models to enhance West Orange’s local economy”, Denise Esposito explains.
The Destination University program (DestinationUniversity.com) consists of an expanding library of searchable rich-media online webinars, available in a live, interactive format, and on-demand, 24/7, covering 14 different topic areas on business retention, business destination skills, best practices, and proactive entrepreneurial techniques.
Participants can also communicate, ask questions, network, and collaborate with other online members in Destination University’s social networking area. Members log in with password-protected access from anywhere, using their smartphones or computers.
Top experts, authors, and business authorities will conduct the webinars, providing cutting-edge advice to business owners and operators. Currently Destination University has over twenty-five (25) business experts contributing instruction, with new webinars being added monthly.
The Downtown West Orange Alliance will pay ½ the cost of a promo web video for your downtown business!
The Downtown West Orange Alliance announces a grant program that aims to have the majority of our downtown businesses equipped with a searchable online video within 2 years. By creating and posting a large number of searchable videos for local businesses we will increase foot traffic to our entire downtown business district and improve our community’s overall economic health.
Why are we supporting online video for our businesses? Because online video has proven to be a hugely effective tool in driving purchase decisions. In fact, web video is so effective that Entrepreneur.com included “creating a video” in their list of 10 New Year resolutions for small businesses. And when you look at the numbers you begin to understand why.
We have partnered with a local online video production company, Vidoovy.com, who will not only create these videos but distribute them through multiple free video hosting sites including Youtube, Google Places, Metacafe, Daily Motion and the West Orange Patch. They will also create tags and descriptions for your video to increase search engine optimization so that potential customers will find your video when searching online. Click here to see the video that Vidoovy.com produced for Schneider Hardware.
Call Executive Director Denise Esposito today at 973-325-4109 and be one of the first downtown businesses to take advantage of this exciting opportunity. Click here to download a flyer.
Programs for Downtown Businesses:
Welcome to West Orange!
TOWNSHIP OF WEST ORANGE
INFORMATION FOR BUSINESSES
All construction interior or exterior, including electrical, plumbing, roofing, etc. need permits.
To obtain a permit application stop by the Department of Planning and Development, 66 Main Street , 2 nd Floor, room 217 or call the Building Department at (973) 325-4112.
All signs and awnings require permits and approval, to obtain a copy of the latest sign ordinance call the Township Zoning Officer, Geniece Gary-Adams at (973) 325-4119.
No more than 1/3 of any window can be covered with signs.
PROPERTY & BUILDING MAINTENANCE
It is necessary to maintain the entire site including building, parking areas, as well as the sidewalk.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding property maintenance issues please contact the following:
Geniece Gary-Adams , Zoning Officer- (973) 325-4119
Will Ordonez- Property Maintenance Inspector- (973) 325-4118
Michael Grandusky - Property Maintenance Inspector- (973) 325-4115
All refuse containers must be well screened and maintained. Any questions regarding refuse should be directed towards the health department at the following number: (973) 325-4124.
SID / DOWNTOWN WEST ORANGE
Any business located in the Downtown area are advised to contact the SID Executive Director , Denise Esposito at (973) 325-4109.
DRAINAGE/ STREET REPAIRS/ TREES
Any issues involving drainage, street repairs, snow removal, trees, etc.; please contact the Engineering Department at (973) 325-4160.
West Orange Business Owners!!
Don't Forget About S.C.O.R.E.!!
SCORE stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives. Funded through the Small Business Association, SCORE offers to local business owners a FREE Consultant to help you improve your business! If you are a startup or long-time business owner, inexperienced or experienced, you could learn from the masters themselves how to maximize your profits and improve your business. Why reinvent the wheel? If you want expert advice, for FREE!!, contact SCORE directly at their local counseling
satellite office in Newark at 973-645-3982
Grants Available to Local Businesses
FREE MONEY!! AVAILABLE TO LOCAL BUSINESSES
The Downtown West Orange Alliance wants all downtown businesses to know they can get financial and design assistance for fixing up the exteriors of their stores. “The look of our downtown is largely dependant on the way the buildings and businesses that line the streets in the district look,” says Denise Esposito, DWOA Executive Director. “Because the streets are so narrow, the street wall created by the buildings is probably the most important aspect of improving the overall appearance of the downtown. And because we understand that, we wanted to make it easier for the businesses to improve or freshen up their storefronts.” The Alliance, therefore, developed a smaller grant program than the existing County grant program, to make it easier for business owners to get financial help.
The Downtown West Orange Façade Grant Program is designed to help businesses afford small improvements to their facades. When a new business needs a sign, awning, or lighting or when an existing businesses needs to redo their existing exterior elements, the DWOA’s grant program can help. The grants are matching dollars up to $2,000 and require the business owner to fill out a brief application, supply two contractor estimates, and a picture or diagram of what the improvement will look like. Once the project and design are approved by the Director and the Board, the applicant will be told they can go ahead with the project. When the project is complete, the applicant supplies a copy of the paid invoice and the DWOA sends payment for half the amount of the work. Click here to download a facade grant application and guidelines package.
While the township has offered Community Economic Revitalization Program (CERP) grants for years that are funded through the federal government’s Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG), these grants are generally used for larger projects and don’t really lend themselves to the smaller projects that small businesses more often have. The CERP grants also take much longer to get approved and require more paperwork and estimates. The local program is funded directly from the Special Improvement District assessments and require only local approvals, thus they are quicker to get. Some local businesses that have taken advantage of the program include Gaffer’s Pub, Misty’s Deli, and Brooklyn’s Famous Hot Dogs. Click here to download an application.
This program is limited to the Special Improvement District (Valley Road from Central Ave. to Main Street and the Main Street Corridor to Harrison Ave. Washington Street and Harrison Avenue are included in the district.) If you are a business or commercial property owner in the downtown and are in need of sign, awning, lighting, windows, doors, painting, or any other exterior work you should contact the Downtown West Orange Alliance at 973-325-4109 for assistance with this valuable program.
(Excerpted from the SBA website at www.sba.gov)
Starting and managing a business takes motivation and talent. It
also takes research and planning. Although initial mistakes
are not always fatal, it takes extra skill, discipline, and hard work to regain
the advantage. Take time beforehand to explore and evaluate your business
and personal goals, then use this information to build a comprehensive and
thoughtful business plan that will help you reach these goals.
Developing a business plan will force you to think through some important issues that you may not otherwise consider. Your plan will become a valuable tool as you set out to raise money for your business, and it will provide milestones to gauge your success.
1: List your reasons for wanting to go into business. Some of the most common reasons for starting a business are:
2: Next determine what business is right for you. Ask yourself these questions:
3: Identify your business niche. Research and answer these questions:
4: The final step before developing your plan is the pre-business checklist. You should answer these questions:
Your answers will help you create a focused, well-researched business plan that will serve as a blueprint for business operations, management, and capitalization. SBA offers a tutorial on preparing a solid plan.
Once you have completed your business plan, review it with a friend or business associate. When you feel comfortable with the content and structure, review and discuss it with your banker. The business plan is a flexible document that should change as your business grows.
|Business Plan Basics|
A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your firm's resume. The basic components include a current and pro forma balance sheet, an income statement, and a cash flow analysis. It helps you allocate resources properly, handle unforeseen complications, and make good business decisions. Because it provides specific and organized information about your company and how you will repay borrowed money, a good business plan is a crucial part of any loan application. Additionally, it informs sales personnel, suppliers, and others about your operations and goals.
The importance of a comprehensive, thoughtful business plan cannot be overemphasized. Much hinges on it: outside funding, credit from suppliers, management of your operation and finances, promotion and marketing of your business, and achievement of your goals and objectives.
"The business plan is a necessity. If the person who wants to start a small business can't put a business plan together, he or she is in trouble," says Robert Krummer, Jr., chairman of First Business Bank in Los Angeles.
Despite the critical importance of a business plan, many entrepreneurs drag their feet when it comes to preparing a written document. They argue that their marketplace changes too fast for a business plan to be useful or that they just don't have enough time. But just as a builder won't begin construction without a blueprint, eager business owners shouldn't rush into new ventures without a business plan.
Before you begin writing your business plan, consider four core questions:
FOR MORE OF THIS IMPORTANT AND HELPFUL INFORMATION, GO TO: Small Business Administration | STARTUP