Business Development Programs and Marketing Activities
Jersey City is rapidly evolving, and so is the market. Many long-time residents are cashing in real estate investments, allowing an influx of new consumers in Jersey City. Each day local business owners are seeing new faces entering their establishments and fewer of the old ones. Further development of big-box retail, malls, and internet shopping has forever changed the business landscape, adding new challenges for all New Jersey main streets and business centers. Business owners in these areas have to become more creative than ever to grab the average shopper not just for today but more importantly for tomorrow.
The CASID focuses on bridging the gap between the local market and business community servicing the Heights Section of Jersey City. Investing a large amount of both time and resources, the CASID takes the initiative to assist businesses in advertising the great variety of goods and services just around the corner. The Avenue continues to evolve as new businesses open every year. Business retention is important and helping those new businesses grow fosters economic development.
The CASID uses the experience of our well established business members to design effective marketing strategies which benefit the district as a whole. These activities range from special events such as festivals and holiday lighting to developing public relations and marketing materials. The CASID has developed and distributed business directories, coupon books, and other district brochures. The SID program also market the districts to potential businesses in an effort to reduce vacancies, provide a good mix of businesses and strengthen the district. Since 1992, the CASID has tested a variety of programs including newspaper advertising, direct mailing, coupon programs, sweepstakes, gift certificate programs, television and radio advertising, and an assortment of holiday promotions. All of these activities help to further market the districts to customers. As the local consumer market continues to evolve, so do our programs. Utilizing limited financial resources, our marketing strategy is centered on achieving the most "bang for the buck." Our programs have a goal of making the Central Avenue business district a familiar and desirable shopping destination, thereby providing stability to Jersey City's economy and job market.
CASID members and other local businesses wishing to learn more or participate in our active marketing programs should contact the CASID office.
Active and Past Marketing Programs:
When people go shopping during the holiday season (November through January), they look for the entire holiday experience incuding a festive shopping atmosphere. Central Avenue continues to be an attractive holiday shopping destination, thanks primarily to its seasonal lights and streetscape decorations. It is a neighborhood tradition that is decades long and has survived several generations. The CASID decorates the 3/4 mile streetscape with inclusive seasonal motifs to encourage business while greeting customers and local residents alike. Since 2002, CASID has decorated Central Avenue with 133 lighting pieces, 3 cross-street skylines, and 46 30x84 inch banners. As an added bonus, the bright lights contribute greatly to visibility and public safety during the early winter nights.
With over 240 storefronts on Central Avenue, it may be tricky to find the specific item, service or meal you're looking for. To help shoppers connect with businesses that can meet their needs, the CASID produces and distributes a popular biannual business directory. The publication of the latest business directory is always a much-anticipated event in the Heights - copies are snapped up quickly and referred to regularly.
The business directory is also available in digital form on JCHeights.com along with a restaurant guide, catering to the younger generation of Central Avenue shoppers who use the internet to find local businesses and make purchasing decisions.
What do people think of when it comes to Central Avenue? Well, if they live in Jersey City and have Comcast Cable, it is very likely they would describe the businesses featured in CASID's commercial campaign. Comcast has over 51,000 cable subscribers in Jersey City (total population: 240,000), providing an excellent platform for advertising local businesses. In partnership with Comcast Spotlight, the CASID has created a program which allows small businesses the opportunity to experience and afford cable advertising while helping to promote the variety of shopping, dining and services available on Central Avenue and in the Jersey City Heights. This six month program usually runs between December and May focusing in on the shopping seasons around Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, and Mother's Day. CASID commercials have appeared on networks such as ESPN, ESPN 2, VH1, Food Network, Lifetime, Galavision, MUN2, USA, TNT, Comedy Central, and the History Channel, to name a few.
The Heights News, the official newsletter of the CASID, is published on a quarterly basis and distributed to all CASID members and 5,000-10,000 local residents. The newsletter is also made available digitally on JCHeights.com.
As a public relations tool, the Heights News enables the CASID to promote the many positive developments taking place both within the business district and in the Heights as a whole. The newsletter is read with interest by both CASID members and members of the public who want to stay in the know about local events and concerns.
Given its appeal and solid readership, the Heights News is also a marketing opportunity for CASID members. Advertising space in each issue is available for purchase until one month before newsletter publication; deadlines for ad and payment submission are December 15 (Winter Edition), March 15 (Spring Edition), June 15 (Summer Edition) and September 15 (Fall Edition). CASID members are eligible for significantly discounted rates. To discuss ad sizes and rates, contact the CASID.
In conjunction with the Jersey City Police Department and Division of Zoning, the CASID invites Central Avenue businesses to join our monthly Sidewalk Sale Events. The City of Jersey City allows businesses to display merchandise on sidewalks by permit only. While other Jersey City businesses have to go to the Division of Zoning to obtain a permit, Central Avenue businesses can instead pick one up at the CASID office.
Sidewalk sales are limited to three consecutive days a month and can extend no further then four (4) feet from the storefront. Merchandise is not permitted near curbs. The CASID organizes monthly sidewalk sale events (see calendar) to create additional foot traffic on Central Avenue. CASID members should contact the CASID office to obtain a sidewalk sale permit or for further details.
Social Media | Internet Presence
Businesses have to go where the attention of their customers can be found - the internet. Luckily, a SID program can help businesses within a shopping area connect on the internet to brand and promote neighborhood shopping. Social media continues to grow in popularity and helps connect businesses with customers. There are many partnership opportunities among businesses to use this to their advantage.
Like many great American main streets, Central Avenue is proudly decorated with flags and banners welcoming local residents, veterans, seniors, and shoppers to our business community. While municipal government usually takes the lead to decorate the downtown or main shopping area in smaller town settings, this task has proven to be difficult when you have ten unique business districts to consider as you do in Jersey City. In light of this, the CASID takes the initiative to decorate our streetscape adequately year round, thereby contributing to traditional neighborhood character, eye appeal on the Avenue, and pride in the community.
Over forty 30x84 inch banners capture the variety of amenities available on or near Central Avenue with the words "Live! Dine! Work! Shop!" and corresponding graphics. The blue banners provide wayfinding assistance for motorists seeking Central Avenue's four municipal parking lots. Altogether, there are twelve American Flag Displays distributed between the entrances and center of the district for maximum impact. And finally, there are three sets of banner poles allowing for the placement of 4x30 ft banners at the central, northern and southern entrances of the district. The CASID continues to manage these banner systems to welcome visitors and promote both the business and neighborhood community in the Jersey City Heights.