The “chamber train” trip will be replaced in 2022 by a drive down the Parkway.
The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday that its Walk to Washington networking train trip will be recast as the ReNew Jersey Business Summit, to be held April 13-14 at Borgata in Atlantic City, due to lingering concerns about COVID-19.
The announcement marks the second consecutive year that the Walk to Washington, the state’s largest business networking event, has been canceled due to the pandemic. Chamber officials said they intend to have the train trip return in 2023.
Chamber CEO Tom Bracken said the ReNew Jersey Business Summit will aim to bring together thought leaders from many industries and government to discuss economic policies critical to the state economy over the next several years.
The intent, Bracken said, is to develop strategies that the governor, Legislature and general business community can use and embrace in an effort to enhance the state’s recovery.
“Our summit will provide a platform similar in size and scope to the Walk to Washington, where members of the governor’s administration, the state Legislature, the business community, labor and education can come together and collectively map out a road to economic revitalization and job growth in the post-COVID era,” he said. “We need everyone pulling in the same direction.”
Bracken said discussions will identify issues that currently hamper a full-throttle economic recovery in New Jersey — and provide proposed solutions and recommendations.
“While we can postpone the Walk to Washington, we cannot postpone action,” he said. “Business leaders are still looking for their voices to be heard. The next four years may determine New Jersey’s future for generations to come.”
Bracken said the announcement of the summit is coming at just the right time, pointing to a poll released Wednesday by Monmouth University, which said New Jerseyans are most concerned about taxes, jobs and the economy.
The ReNew Jersey Business Summit ’22 will include a business expo, where member companies of the state chamber and other chambers of commerce can showcase their products and services. This will reinforce the “Buy New Jersey” concept and encourage New Jersey companies to do business with each other.
“It’s appropriate that we host an event focused on New Jersey’s economic recovery right here in Atlantic City, so we can bring the economic benefits of this significant event to our home state,” Bracken said.
Bracken emphasized that the Walk to Washington, which began in 1937, is still very much a part of the chamber’s future plans.
“Our intent is to resume the Walk to Washington in 2023 — conditions permitting,” he said.