Revitalization is on its way, especially in the Oranges.
At a longstanding and well-established African American-owned floral shop that’s a pillar in East Orange’s downtown business district, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver on Wednesday announced $2.5 million worth of Neighborhood Preservation Program grants to 20 municipalities in the state.
“We are so proud to reinvigorate the Neighborhood Preservation Program after more than a decade of dormancy,” said Oliver, who also serves as the Department of Community Affairs commissioner.
This came right before Oliver, the acting governor while Gov. Phil Murphy is on vacation, announced $350,000 in Main Street New Jersey grants to 17 Main Street district organizations, including the South Orange Village Center Alliance. The announcement was made Wednesday at Spiotta Park in South Orange.
“Gov. Murphy and I recognize how important programs like MSNJ are for improving local economies and creating jobs in the heart of our communities,” she said.
Oliver and the Murphy administration say NPP grants will improve quality of life by assisting communities with their neighborhood revitalization efforts, while MSNJ grants aim to do the same for downtown revitalization.
On the NPP grants, Oliver said the funding is an indicator of the program’s effectiveness.
“The grant funding is a recognition that the program works and that it routinely reports an excellent return on investment,” she said.
And she said the impact the MSNJ grants will have is going to be a sight to see.
“The grant funding will be used for restoring storefronts and developing strategies to take downtowns to the next level,” she said. “We are confident these projects will have a tremendous impact on Main Streets around the state and can’t wait to see the results.”
This year is the first year in 11 that the DCA has awarded NPP grants and the first in 30 for MSNJ grants. The Murphy administration says both sets of funding are a part of its effort to focus revitalization programs more on small businesses and neighborhood improvement projects.
The $125,000 NPP grant recipients are:
- Berlin Township;
- Cape May;
- East Orange;
- Egg Harbor City;
- Mount Holly;
- New Brunswick;
- Passaic City;
- Perth Amboy;
The MSNJ grant recipients are:
- Bloomfield Center Alliance, $9,750;
- Boonton Main Street, $23,000;
- Bridgeton Main Street Association, $17,500;
- Downtown Denville BID, $25,000;
- MainStreet Hammonton, $24,000;
- Main Street Highland Park, $25,000;
- Metuchen Downtown Alliance, $23,000;
- Millville Development Corp., $15,000;
- Montclair Center BID, $25,000;
- Main Street Mount Holly, $20,750;
- Red Bank River Center, $13,000;
- Stand Up for Salem, $23,000;
- South Orange Village Center Alliance, $21,500;
- Vineland Downtown Improvement District, $20,500;
- Downtown Westfield Corp., $20,000;
- Downtown West Orange Alliance, $20,250;
- Main Street Woodbury, $23,500.