Main Street New Jersey Accepting Registrations for Downtown Revitalization Seminar
Program to Offer Strategies on How to Retain and Attract Businesses to Downtowns

TRENTON - The Department of Community Affairs' (DCA) Main Street New Jersey program will present a seminar June 21 and 22 at Thomas Edison College in Trenton to help downtown commercial districts capitalize on New Jersey's recovering economy. The two-day seminar is specifically aimed at downtown business organizations, civic groups, merchants, and property owners, as well as local economic development and elected officials.

"Downtowns are the social, civic and economic heart of communities around the state. To keep downtowns flourishing and energized requires considerable focus and continuity," said DCA Acting Commissioner Lori Grifa, who will speak at the seminar. "This is where Main Street New Jersey can help. The program's seminars are a great opportunity for downtown stakeholders to learn about ways to improve and sustain their traditional commercial districts."

The seminar, "Bringing Business Back to Main Street: Revitalizing Your Community for New Jersey's New Economy," was developed in collaboration with co-sponsor JGSC Group of Merchantville, NJ. It will cover such topics as strategies to retain local businesses and reinvent downtowns for the next decade and ways to bring business back to Main Street and improve local economies today. Both Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and NJ Economic Development Authority CEO Caren Franzini are also scheduled to speak.

"While there may be a variety of conflicting signals regarding the fundamentals of the current economic climate, we know that New Jersey's downtowns, urban commercial districts and village centers are best suited to house a mix of commercial and residential uses, already have ready-to-go infrastructure and are connected to transit and transportation," said Jef Buehler, Director of DCA's Main Street New Jersey and Improvement District Programs. "Now is the time to leverage these assets to grow and expand our small businesses while retaining our community character."

The seminar is part of the Main Street New Jersey program's Downtown Revitalization & Management Institute (DRMI), which is now in its 12th year. The Institute takes a comprehensive, community-based management approach that recognizes downtowns do not decline overnight, and they need time and consistent efforts to bring them back to vitality. The DRMI is taught by experienced trainers who are experts in the specific disciplines essential for downtown success.

To date, the DRMI has held 40 sessions. More than 1,600 participants have taken advantage of this training resource.

People are asked to register at by June 18 to attend the seminar. The registration webpage includes directions to Thomas Edison State College. For more information about Main Street New Jersey and DRMI, please visit or contact Jef Buehler, Director of Main Street New Jersey, at (609) 633-9769 or