Home » The Best Shop Local Program in New Jersey is in Trenton

The Best Shop Local Program in New Jersey is in Trenton

by Community Contributor

Duplicating best practices from other successful cities and creating some brand new innovative ones, Trenton New Jersey’s Division of Economic Development has created the most robust package of shop local support tools in the state.

“Trenton’s Division of Economic Development has programs supporting businesses you won’t find anyplace else” said Maurice Hallett of 1911 Smokehouse Barbecue at 11 East Front Street in downtown Trenton. “They organize the Trenton Eat Local Club, which brings a mob of people to a different restaurant every month, supporting local businesses.  Other cities often have Shop Local programs that consist entirely of newspaper ads and social media posts. Trenton actually brings people into your business so they can spend money.  This is in addition to assisting with business improvement and expansion grants and access to programs like the UEZ.  I feel sorry (not sorry) for all those businesses who are in other cities that don’t work so hard on their behalf.”

Orchid House

Elijah Dixon of The Orchid House at 134 East Hanover shared, “At the Orchid House, we are all about local commerce.  Since joining the online Shop Trenton platform, it has been a great resource for us in identifying other small businesses to support and collaborate with.”

Letty Acevedo from Designs by Letty at 439 South Broad Street raved, “Trenton has better Shop Local initiatives than anywhere! They recently organized a community video contest, where 11 videos featuring 26 different Trenton businesses were made and promoted (of course Designs by Letty was one of the featured businesses)!  Love this town!  Life, unity, peace.”

Retaining businesses and the jobs they create is important and cost effective.  In order to support Trenton businesses, we have created a shop Trenton Campaign that includes the following.

  • Eat Local Club: an initiative that brings Trentonians to eat at local restaurants every month. Many shop local programs only take out ads and do messaging. To follow on Facebook, please see this link.
  • Micro-branding with TCNJ: a project where TCNJ graphic designers created collateral that helps businesses brand geographic clusters (like Chambersburg or SoBro) or industry sectors (like innovative manufacturers or caterers).
  • Trenton Businesses in the News: a FaceBook page that collects and shares positive media stories about Trenton businesses. To check that out on Facebook, please see this link.
  • Shop Trenton: a FaceBook group that features posts about Trenton businesses. For more, please see this link.
  • YouTube Channel: a YouTube channel that collects and shares positive media stories about Trenton businesses. 
  • Community Shop Trenton Video contest: an initiative that encouraged the creation and promotion of community videos of their favorite Trenton businesses
  •  Why They Came to Trenton, Why They Stayed campaign: a project that had businesses tell their stories about why they came and stayed in Trenton.  Used in material to show prospective businesses.
  • TrentonDaily.com:  Working with Greater Trenton to develop TrentonDaily.com as another venue to talk about Trenton businesses.
  • Created video content featuring Trenton businesses.
  • Social media messaging distribution plan for FaceBook and other platforms

If you would like to talk to somebody about how your business can take advantage of a robust shop local program like this, and many of the cash incentives available if you move to Trenton, contact Eric at [email protected].

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