Program Promotes the Development and Enhancement of Small Businesses

TRENTON, N.J – The Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) today announced that registration is open for the 13th annual Downtown Revitalization & Management Institute (DRMI) hosted by Main Street New Jersey (MSNJ).Designing Downtown NOW: Real Tactics and Tools to Enhance Your Business and Districts will focus on tactical business, building and district changes that are shorter-term and hands-on. The conference will take place in Atlantic City on July 25, 2012 at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

This year’s DRMI will show businesses and districts short-term low cost ways to making real changes to businesses/building appearance that can increase commerce and property value and enhance the perception of the district by taking direct actions to turn tough places into bright spots of positive economic and social activity.

“The purpose of Main Street New Jersey’s DRMI is to educate communities on the ways to successfully redevelop businesses in their districts for future growth,” stated DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III. “This program provides a short-term approach to rehabilitating districts in a cost effective ways that deliver lasting results.”

For the past 20 years, the goal of the DRMI has been to assist property owners in improving, creating, reform, and maintaining viable communities for living and business activities. The program has developed from simply solving streets complications to enlisting the help of public and private partnerships, as well as expert professional managers to guide districts in complex economic development initiatives. MSNJ realizes the decline of districts’ main streets over time and provides the tools to enable communities to learn a comprehensive community-based management approach that creates strong efforts to bring back the vitality of communities.

“Those that take part in the DRMI are given an opportunity that results in a community becoming a vibrant center in New Jersey,” said Jef Buehler, Coordinator of the Main Street New Jersey and Improvement District Programs at the DCA. “Communities that get involved are taking the necessary steps to become a dynamic part of New Jersey’s future.”

Those who attend the July conference will meet with cutting-edge experts from around the country in specific disciplines essential for success. Upon completion of the entire training series, participants will receive a DCA certification, which the Department will take into account when considering future DCA program applications. The morning agenda will discuss the differences that small enhancements make in urban businesses and storefronts while the afternoon agenda which focus on how and why businesses should change their look how this will apply to the district.

This conference is sponsored by the New Jersey Downtown Revitalization and Management Institute, Department of Community Affairs, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and Main Street New Jersey. Promotional sponsors for the DRMI are Downtown NJ, the NJ American Planning Association and the Transit Village Initiative.

The Main Street Program is designed to promote the historic and economic redevelopment of traditional business districts, and to encourage and support the revitalization of downtowns throughout the state. The benefits of the program allow the awareness of organizing, developing, and strengthening of the community, building of new businesses, and creation of more jobs.

The benefits of entering the Main Street program include protecting and strengthening the existing tax base, as well as, the focus on organization, development, growth and awareness in the initial year. If the associate programs show signs of success the communities will have an opportunity to move up to traditional designation where higher levels of local assistance are available including design/architectural services and technical assistance to individual businesses with the Main Street district.

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