LIVINGSTON, NJ — As summer comes to an end and the weather begins to cool down, the Livingston Business Improvement District (BID) and Township of Livingston are enhancing their efforts to ensure the continued success of Livingston’s businesses.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic caused many local businesses to either adjust their services or close their doors for several months, BID Executive Director Beth Lippman reported that there have been very few permanent closures as a result. In fact, Livingston recently held its first ribbon cutting since March at Exceptional Explorers and expects to welcome more new businesses—such as The Barker Lounge doggy daycare, a window store, an automotive supply store and others—in the coming months.
Lippman added that she anticipates more closures to be announced after the holidays, but that the BID is putting together a committee with representatives from the business community as well as the planning board, the township council and the township manager’s office in order to “plan ahead and see what Livingston can be doing to make it easier for new businesses to come in where we have vacancies.”
“I think we’re definitely going to get that because the rents are lower now,” said Lippman. “In some ways, it’s an opportunity for new businesses because landlords are willing to make better deals…
“Right now, I think that people are going to hold on as long as they can—at least through the holidays. This is usually a slow time of year, so it’s hard to judge, but I do believe that people will shop for the holidays. I’m hoping it’ll pick up a little bit if we keep up with the sidewalk sales because people would prefer to be outside than inside still.”
Early in the summer, the Livingston BID began hosting town-wide sidewalk sales for local retailers to ensure that residents continued to patronize local businesses despite not being able to shop indoors. These sales have continued to be successful at many stores even after their doors reopened, Lippman said.
In addition to the sidewalk sales, one of which will be held on Wednesday, the Livingston BID has also established a discount card program as well as a new online marketplace to further encourage local shopping and dining.
“What these cards are going to do is, if you go in somewhere and spend $50, they’ll hand you a card for the next time you come in and you’ll get 10 percent off,” said Lippman. “The cards also list all the businesses that are participating—so if you get it in one place, you can bring it and use it at another place. We’re trying to get people to spend money in town, so that’s one of the projects we’re doing…
“[The online marketplace] connects you to people’s online stores, and we’ve had thousands of hits. We’re still trying to get the businesses to go online because it’s great to have the brick and mortar, but I think you also need to have an online presence. This is a good opportunity for them to do that and to start using social media and marketing to get their name out there.”
Members of the township council are also looking ahead to colder days by working with the BID, the Livingston Health Department and other local officials to ensure that Livingston’s eateries can safely continue outdoor dining for as long as possible while also complying with the state’s indoor dining protocols.
Prior to the summer, the council also adopted a $125,000 COVID-19 small business relief program as part of the 2020 municipal budget that included grants, a gift card-matching program to generate immediate cash flow as well as other township-funded relief programs administered through the Livingston BID.
For a full list of Livingston’s eateries, see the photos above or visit Livingston’s online marketplace at https://luvlivnj.com/ to learn more about the eateries, retail businesses and beauty/fitness facilities currently offering services.
For the final town-wide sidewalk sale of the season on Wednesday, the following stores will provide an opportunity for area residents to do a little fresh-air outdoor browsing during their regular business hours.
Any participating businesses not seen below should contact TAPinto Livingston franchise owner Danielle Santola at [email protected] with their business address and phone number.
580 SOUTH Men’s & Boys Clothing
580 S. Livingston Ave. / 973-758-0580
Bee Bee Designs
175 S. Livingston Ave. / 973-535-0602
371 East Northfield Rd / 973-736-7647
155 S. Livingston Ave. / 973-533-0608
Cotton & Jewels
2 W. Northfield Rd. / 973-533-0003
21 E. Northfield Rd. / 973-994-2448
32 E. Northfield Rd. / 973-533-1331
142 S. Livingston Ave. / 973-535-5654
20 E. Mount Pleasant Ave. / 973-992-2727
Moxie Salon & Beauty Bar
277 Eisenhower Pkwy / 973-513-4000
1110 Town Center Way / 973-994-0975
Safavieh Home Furnishings
442 W. Mt. Pleasant Ave. / 973-629-5800
2 W. Northfield Rd. / 973-994-2444
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