If there’s one thing Bergen County isn’t short on, it’s shopping locales! With five major malls and shopping centers, and more downtown Main Streets than you can count, visitors travel from miles away to take advantage of the abundant options offered in this northeastern stretch of the Garden State.
We recently sat down with Englewood Chamber of Commerce (ECC) President Carol Rauscher to learn more about the state of retail in Bergen County, and the services this organization provides to help retailers thrive.
Please tell our readers a little bit about the Englewood Chamber of Commerce.
ECC, which has over 250 members, promotes the business community throughout Englewood. We have a business directory that informs shoppers of businesses with updated specials and promotions, as well as an interactive map used by current shoppers and newcomers who plan to visit.
ECC has a comprehensive community calendar of events and fundraisers in Englewood. Visit www.englewoodnjchamber.com to see what’s coming up.
What are some of the benefits unique to Bergen County that Englewood retailers enjoy?
One advantage is that Bergen County has no sales tax on clothes. Because Englewood is a regional center, many visitors come from New York City, Westchester and Rockland counties for shopping, dining, entertainment and events. Retailers benefit by having so many people walking our streets, all of whom can shop in their establishments.
Are there any common misconceptions you’ve found business owners have about starting or running a business in this area?
We encourage businesses owners to research Englewood and understand the environment and our needs. Owners also must know how our successful businesses operate and what is working in our community. We remind people that they need two years of reserve funds to start a business. Also, a hair salon or similar business needs an established customer base to successfully open.
What kinds of trends are you seeing with local retailers as of late?
The biggest challenge is online sales and the many discount stores, like TJ Maxx.
Are there any recently opened businesses that are getting a lot of buzz and/or any on the horizon local residents should be on the lookout for?
Business of all kinds are doing well in Englewood. For food, fresh jaunts include Candy Rush, Lucky Roll Ice Cream, and Pokey Crew. New home décor stores include Art Evi, and if people are shopping for clothing and jewelry we have Hush, Florentia, Marie Studio, and La Douma. Spas in Englewood include Hand & Stone, and Serenity. There are also unique retailers, such as Eve & Nico. Of course, there is the local Shop-Rite.
Those on the horizon include Good Neighbor Juice Bar, Rita’s Italian Ice, George’s Seafood, Aumm Restaurant and newly renovated Cassie’s restaurant.
Are there any upcoming fall events for local business owners and/or consumers?
ECC has the most comprehensive event and fundraising calendar in the area. We have a Farmer’s Market every Friday until the end of October. Other upcoming events include the Men’s Health & Football Night at Englewood Health on September 20, and the Women’s Club Fall Harvest Fundraiser at the Carriage House on October 14. Visit www.englewoodnjchamber.com for a full listing.
Does the ECC get feedback from residents that helps inform decisions made about local retail?
ECC receives feedback, suggestions, and comments from residents. Most come through social media.
Who can join ECC and what kind if benefits can members enjoy.
Any non-profit or individual business can join ECC. Our website offers invaluable tools to support and expand their advertising program. An expert in marketing is available to members who need assistance in developing their directory page or social media. This opportunity to advertise is at no additional cost. The Chamber also sponsors numerous community events that drive traffic to Englewood.
What’s something surprising people might not know about the ECC?
ECC has mega networking events with other chambers (Cliffside Park, Palisades Park, Teaneck, Edgewater, Gold Coast Regional) and groups like Bergen Biz to meet people from other towns and businesses. We also advertise grand openings and ribbon cuttings of new businesses, and special promotions and events.
NVE Bank has been an active member of the ECC for many years. How has our participation and support of events sponsored by the ECC helped the organization carry out its mission?
NVE has been a great partner to the ECC for many years. Not only are they active participants in our community events, they help advertise these events through their social media pages, website and branch literature. They have also been strong champions of our member organizations and annually serve as sponsors for events held by Englewood Hospital, Flat Rock Brook Nature Preserve, and bergenPac, just to name a few. NVE’s support of the ECC and the City of Englewood has really been instrumental to the health of the ECC.
How can people learn more about and get involved with Englewood Chamber of Commerce programs?
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Learn more about NVE Bank by visiting our website, stopping by one of our convenient neighborhood branches, or calling 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) to speak with a branch associate.