Recognizing the significant contributions New Jersey’s downtown districts provide by generating economic activity and instilling community pride, Acting Governor Kim Guadagno today visited Rutherford Borough, stopping at shops and businesses on Park Avenue and also conducting a roundtable discussion with the town’s small business leaders.
Rutherford’s government leaders and business owners have given the downtown a Victorian touch with period-style lampposts and brick paved sidewalks. Flowers planted along the downtown’s streets contribute to a bright and pleasing atmosphere for shoppers and residents. Cigarette disposal urns keep cigarette butts off the street and hired workers sweep sidewalks each weekend to keep the downtown clean.
“Rutherford puts a great deal of effort into making its downtown beautiful and clean. This investment not only attracts shoppers and increases revenue for business owners, it also leads to overall community pride,” said Acting Governor Guadagno. “Rutherford’s commitment to the success and beautification of its downtown contributes to a cooperative spirit among residents and business owners. This spirit helps promote success, improve the town’s economy and create jobs.”
“I am pleased to welcome Acting Governor Guadagno to Rutherford,” said Rutherford Mayor Joseph DeSalvo. “We are proud of our community and especially proud of our downtown. Our downtown is far more than a place for merchants to do business. Sure we have retailers, but we also have professionals, restaurants, music studios and even a three-screen movie theater that was at one time a vaudeville theater. Rutherford’s downtown, like most other New Jersey downtowns, automatically becomes the face of the community. We look forward to Acting Governor Guadagno’s visit being a catalyst to identify areas where state and local governments can work together even more closely, coordinating resources, to enhance the value that our downtowns bring to our communities.”
Rutherford holds many events and promotions to attract visitors and shoppers downtown. Its Labor Day Street Fair has drawn as many as 40,000 people. Business owners hold late night shopping events and free gift wrapping during the holidays.
“In today’s economic climate, downtowns are not automatically prosperous and successful,” said Richard J. Allen, Jr., president of the Rutherford Chamber of Commerce. “They need to be nurtured and supported. That’s why the Rutherford Chamber was one of the first backers of the Business Improvement District. The District provided ways to allow the various downtown stakeholders to work together. As we said when we created the District, it’s like the old saying ‘a rising tide raises all boats’. The District might not directly benefit any one business, but working together through the mechanisms created by our Business Improvement District we can make the downtown as a whole lot better. That means more people in the Downtown. The translates to more customers for our businesses, more demand for space that helps increase rental and property values for our property owners and an attractive sense of place that enhances the quality of life of our residents.”
The Acting Governor stopped in on Lanni Appliances at 116 Park Avenue, Goffin’s Hallmark at 64 Park Avenue, and Park Avenue Pet Center at 33 Park Avenue.
“Not only is Rutherford a wonderful town for a small business, it's a great place to live, too,” said Carol Tantullo, who owns Park Avenue Pet Center with her husband. “There is a real sense of community here in Rutherford. We couldn't imagine having our business anywhere else.”
To help small businesses in New Jersey grow, create jobs and increase investment and expansion, Governor Christie enacted small business tax cuts saving New Jersey small businesses $2.3 billion over five years. The tax reforms included an option for taxpayers to carry forward losses from certain business-related categories of gross incomes and a 25% reduction in the minimum tax for S-Corporations. The Governor has also continued to advance policies to further improve New Jersey’s business climate by changing the corporate business tax formula from a three-factor formula to a single sales factor formula that incentivizes businesses located in New Jersey; sunsetting the corporate business tax surcharge; signing business attraction legislation; and protecting businesses from an average $400 per employee, or 52% increase in the unemployment insurance payroll tax.
Acting Governor Guadagno hosts a series of events that highlight state resources for business growth available to business owners. These events give business owners the opportunity to interact with representatives from a dozen or more agencies. Along with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the New Jersey Business Action Center funds the Small Business Development Center Network to provide counseling at no or minimal charge for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. The Red Tape Review Commission, chaired by the Acting Governor, has dedicated public meetings to the needs of small business and non-profits organizations. One of the signature accomplishments of the Commission was passage of the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Act, which updates and simplifies the framework under which LLCs – the most popular business formation in NJ – are established and operate.
The New Jersey Partnership for Action (PFA) supports the vital role business plays in advancing the state’s economy and creating jobs. Led by Acting 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 Acting 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.