Residents are encouraged to shop local this holiday season to support businesses in the city, according to Bayonne Mayor James Davis.
Many local and small businesses have been struggling to stay afloat since the first COVID-19 restrictions were instituted in March, when Gov. Phil Murphy issued the stay-at-home order. Even after restrictions had been lifted and many places reopened, business is not the same as it was pre-COVID-19 pandemic.
Shop local for the holidays
“As we have been discussing each week since the lockdown ended, we need people to support all of our businesses in Bayonne,” Davis said, reiterating his message to shop local on Small Business Saturday.
He has encouraged residents to shop local in nearly every weekly COVID-19 update video. Davis has urged residents to support local businesses to keep the city “#BayonneStrong.”
“We have done so much work together in bringing our community back to life over the last few years, and 2020 has set us back a bit, but I am very confident that our city can come back even stronger than we were,” Davis said.
He continued: “Part of the equation for success is our stores, shops, and restaurants having your business.”
According to Davis, out of every $100 spent local, $68 stays right here in Bayonne.
Helping local businesses
Davis championed the “shop local” cause to help struggling local businesses in the city, especially restaurants, stay afloat during the stay-at-home order.
The city even took additional steps during the stay-at-home-order to help local businesses by enacting special parking spots for use by residents picking up take-out. Establishments could call the Bayonne Parking Authority to apply for the “No Parking” designation that Davis said helps to maintain social distancing. Delivery drivers were not allowed to park in the spots, only residents picking up food quickly and returning home.
During the stay-at-home order, the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) promoted businesses still open to the public and following the enactment of COVID-19 restrictions. The UEZ wanted businesses still open to make themselves known by sending in photos of their stores. Each business was cleaned and sanitized before the UEZ would post on social media platforms that the business is still open and safe to visit.
And while these measures may have ended when the stay-at-home order ended, the “shop local” sentiment has remained.
In September, the city began hosting “Dine Out and Shop Out” events across Bayonne. Certain parts of a street were shut down during each event to expand outdoor dining for participating restaurants and encourage shopping at nearby businesses.
The outdoor dining events may have ceased due to the winter, but financial support of local businesses must continue, according to Davis.
To spearhead efforts, Davis has been visiting and paying for services from businesses in Bayonne. Leading by example, Davis has frequented many local and small businesses ranging from local eateries to his prefered salon.
“Please do what you can to shop local, it will benefit all of us!,” Davis said.
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