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40 new businesses open in less than 4 years in this N.J. town

Downtown Woodbury, NJ

By Caitlyn Stulpin | For
on August 27, 2016 at 8:10 AM, updated August 27, 2016 at 9:39 AM

WOODBURY — Downtown Woodbury is better than its been in years, local leaders say, thanks to the efforts of 40 new business owners.

The city has seen several setbacks in recent years, including the loss of grocer Bottom Dollar, Prya Art Gallery and King of Steaks.

The biggest blow came with the announcement that Inspira Health Network will close its Woodbury hospital in a few years and open a new one in Harrison Township. Inspira will keep a presence at the former Underwood Memorial Hospital site, where 500 jobs will remain. The hospital currently employs 1,600.

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Ridgewood Central Business District ,the good , the bad and the ugly

CBD Ridgewood by ArtChick

photo by ArtChick

August 27,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Several readers continue to claim the “Majority” of residents are against all development. Its nice to see that Ridgewood residents have now graduated to a “Majority” from gadfly, loud mouth ,minority status.

Reader says , “I think it is time to look around at all the empty stores in Ridgewood and realize there is a need to revamp the CBD. Soon all the shops will move to malls and replaced by housing; think… that what you want? Someone, most likely a shop keeper , is going to come up with ideas to improve the town, what is the problem. Make your own suggestions, welcome those of other residents, and have a discussion rather than complain. Get real people you are losing your central business district!”

Shops moved to malls in the 1970’s , and shopping has moved online since 1994 when Al Gore discovered the internet .

If you are worried about empty stores talk to the landlords not tax payers.  The simple fact is that tax payers are not responsible for a companies business plans. What I would suggest is that in this day and age stores need to make themselves destination businesses ie like Bookends and The Tobacco Shop of Ridgewood & Davidoff Lounge .  Retailers also need to build an online presence , websites, social media , press releases and they need to tell their story ; think why would I want to go here when I have to pay for parking? This is one of the reasons there are so many great restaurants in Ridgewood ,chefs have great stories to tell.

My biggest suggestion for Ridgewood merchants is to be open more hours. No one is home by 5pm. I can not tell you how many businesses have opened and closed that I have never seen open. The fact is most people who can afford to live in Ridgewood need to work a lot or hours , anywhere from 65 -80 hours per week and odd hours early am to late pm. So merchants need to develop strategies ,be it home or Train station delivery or open by appointment what ever it takes that is the new reality.

Destroying Van Nest Square will do nothing to help business and will most likely hurt business as much or more than the so called “traffic easing” ,that now backs traffic up into Midland Park. Making access to the almost CBD impossible from the West side of Town .

Another reader says, “James, you’re ignoring the facts. What is worth preserving of the old car dealers, old Town Garage and its toxic site, etc? What about all the empty shops and gold pawn shops? Why is this worth preserving? The majority rule wants to keep the status quo… which clearly isn’t working.”

First I was only posting comments and turning them into posts , so how exactly is destroying Van Nest square going to get rid of old car dealers,a toxic site, gold pawn shops and empty stores ? This maybe your problem you keep wanting to fix things that are not broken yet you ignore all the things that need fixing ? The solutions have to fit the problems. If the Village wants to clean up a toxic site it needs to take the steps to clean it up, not build a parking lot.

Now in New York City developers who wish to build non-conforming structures can often make a deal with the city by adding to public spaces, fixing subways or adding and maintaining new plantings.  In New Jersey we socialize the investment ie taxpayer funded yet we capitalize the profits. So taxpayers pay and developers make the money. Another words Ridgewood taxpayers build a parking garage so developers can reduce the amount of parking they offer and save money. and thus the continued rejection of a parking garage.

Now what you should be asking yourself is how could a bureaucratic organization like NJT fix the train trestle, raise the tracks , and renovate the train station while preserving and improving its historic nature in a relatively short amount of time. How could New Jersey Transit do all that yet Valley Hospital , a handful of developers, and a cadre of council members could not get anything done at all what so ever. NJT was willing to work with the town ,meet objections compromise and get the job done.

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Do Entrepreneurs Suck at Relationships?

Entrepreneur PJ Blogger

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein

August 26,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Some argue that entrepreneurs suck at relationships. On the contrary, I think most of us are pretty good at them.

Many of us begin to realize success because of the nurtured relationships we’ve built. But as stress builds and businesses evolve, we allow our relationship skills to diminish. The more we engage in stressful business decisions and debate, the more our relationships suffer.

We speed walk through the hallway to our office to avoid a lengthy conversation with the staff because we have back-to-back conference calls starting two minutes ago. We check emails at the dinner table because no one’s really talking right now anyway.

We begin to treat all the people in our lives the same. Generic. Passionless. Cold. Soon our spouses, children, and employees feel inferior to everything else on our mind. I know because I let myself get like this—once. As my business grew and I became busier, my time became even scarcer. Enter relationship problems.

My insensitivity and newly-found failure in relationships became evident. Suddenly my operations team dreaded meeting with me, my wife and I were disconnected, and my kids liked her better than me (ouch).
This all dawned on me when I sent my wife a picture of my filet mignon from a business trip in Singapore.
She responded with a picture of the mac & cheese and hot dogs she was eating with our kids. Clearly something was off.

This reminded me of the value of working on relationships. I began rebuilding the relationship with my wife, my kids, my business partners, and my team. What’s more, I actually started looking at these relationships as something to be developed and analyzed. I finally realized that relationships don’t take care of themselves.

I now have meaningful, individualized, and long-lasting relationships with the people in my life—because I live for others. And that, my friends, is the one thing we all need to do every day.

Here’s how I live for others now.

1. Reach out to people.

The expression “let’s get together sometime” has become cliché for one reason: little to no follow through. Our Google Calendars get so packed with appointments and conference calls that we forget to include a wildly important component to our day—maintaining existing relationships and creating new ones.

Keep a list of your 20 closest friends and 10 people you want to get to know better and reach out to one person a day. Show your friends you care by asking how they’re doing and what’s new in their life. Ask the people you want to build relationships with what you can do for them. Genuine focus on the other person shows how committed you are to the relationship. You’ll also maintain awareness of what’s going on.

2. Be there for others. Do you have a person in your life that you lean on? This is the person you call immediately without even thinking about it because they’re consistently there for you. Be that person for others. You can do this by just making time for them. As entrepreneurs, time is the best gift we can give. If someone calls, if a staff member comes into your office, make time for them. Be engaged. Don’t cut one meeting short for the upcoming meeting. Just plan better, provide support and counsel.

3. Focus on the value delivered, not taken. Relationships are a two way street. Imagine how strong a relationship would be if you both approached it selflessly. Stop thinking about what you can gain from the relationship. Instead, focus on what you’re bringing to the table. It’s not about you, it’s about them. If you find yourself drifting off when someone’s talking to you, remind yourself of this and regain focus. Building a relationship is about having a real conversation and making a connection.

We talk about the importance of relationships all the time. Network, build your collection of business cards, connect with colleagues on LinkedIn, and follow people within your niche on Twitter. But if we’re not going to nurture and value these relationships, what’s the point?

About Matt Stewart

Matt Stewart is co-founder of College Works Painting (, which provides business experience for thousands of college students each year. The award-winning program also offers high-quality house-painting services for homeowners.

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N.J. small businesses: Tax breaks for big corporations unfair to us

Snow Blizzard of 2016 Ridgewood CBD

file photo by Boyd Loving

A handful of small business owners on Tuesday urged the state’s economic development arm to back off issuing tax credits to big corporations, which they said come at their expense. Samantha Marcus,, Read more