The state estimates that up to 30% of small businesses have closed over the last year as a result of the pandemic. In Scotch Plains, we have bid a sad farewell to some businesses unable to weather the many months of stay-at-home orders, reduced inventory and a decline in customers.
But as we look forward, there is a clear rebirth. We are celebrating ribbon-cuttings for retailers who have filled vacant spots and continue to hear from potential investors who believe Scotch Plains is the ideal location, with the right demographics, to set up shop.
Back in October, when I was running for election to the Town Council, I saw some of that enthusiasm when Black Drop Coffee (431 Park Ave.) opened right across from town hall. And now, as a member of the governing body, I’ve visited many local businesses with Mayor Josh Losardo and have the opportunity to attend grand openings to welcome new merchants who are so happy to be here.
We were excited to welcome Yummies (2581 Route 22) on January 14, followed by Zen Float Center (219 Park Ave.) on March 19 and then – this Tuesday – Grano Pizzeria & Italian Tavern (435 Park Ave.) There is also a new development at 393 Park Ave., with two new apartments above MLB Lending, underscoring the interest of people to live in our downtown.
A strong community relies on a vibrant business core. Every week in this E-Messenger, we are proud to spotlight local businesses investing in Scotch Plains. As we recuperate as a community from this pandemic, it is my hope that you will join me in shopping locally.
For new residents to Scotch Plains, we offer an eclectic offering of restaurants and shops. And for those who have lived in town for a while, I ask that you explore some of the new businesses that have opened.
All would certainly agree that we have friendly, local merchants who are eager to provide stellar service to our community. Now, with the beautiful spring weather upon us, it is the perfect time to see what they have to offer.