With New Jersey stuck in Phase 2 of reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses are fighting to survive.
Throughout Hudson County, municipalities have been closing down streets to allow restaurants to expand outdoor dining.
In North Bergen, folks took advantage of the nice weather over the weekend to enjoy the township’s restaurants along Broadway during the first “Eat & Shop Local” event.
“Small businesses are the lifeline of our community, and they depend on our help now more than ever,” North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco said in a statement. “That is why we are proud to announce our new program “North Bergen: Eat & Shop Local’ to promote local businesses throughout our town and help them get back on track during these troubled times.”
Sacco published a video message to showcase the initiative.
Under the program, streets are closed to vehicular traffic on weekends, from 3 p.m. Friday until 10 p.m. Sunday.
Supporting local eateries
Sacco, Commissioner Julio Marenco, Freeholder Anthony Vainieri, and other local officials enjoyed outdoor dining.
“This weekend was the first of the Shop and Eat Local initiative, and so far it’s a huge success,” Sacco said on Aug. 8. “Last night and today the businesses on Broadway had great turnouts all day and evening.”
From August 7 to 9, Broadway between 72nd St. and 79th St. was closed to traffic, and tables were set up in the street to allow for social distancing.
Other businesses added their own initiatives. Iza Music Academy presented a full concert on the sidewalk, with piano performances, singing, guitar, and more.
Eat local throughout August
Bergenline between 78th St. and 82nd St. will be closed from August 14 to 16. Additional locations on Bergenline will follow every weekend in August.
From August 21 through 23, Bergenline between 76th St. and 78th St. will be closed to traffic and open to businesses.
From August 28 to 30, Bergenline between 70th St. and 76th St. will be closed.
Side streets will remain open.
“Please remember to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” Sacco said.
North Bergen has expedited the process of applying for outdoor dining.