Palmyra’s Business and Community Development Committee hard at work
If you are a business owner in the Burlington County area, the Business and Community Development Committee of Palmyra wants you to set up shop in its town. According to Committee Chair Mindie Weiner, the committee has been hard at work on a few ideas it feels will help to rejuvenate the downtown areas and hopefully attract new businesses.
The township council recently approved 23 three-foot LED snowflakes for a winter display this holiday season.
“We are excited to light up the downtown this winter with some eye candy for everyone. We believe having a festive downtown will not only draw our community downtown but prospective business as well,” said Weiner.
She is also excited about an outdoor seating ordinance that will be up for a vote at the next township council meeting. There are currently no ordinances in place that allow for outdoor dining or seating in Palmyra. She believes restrictions like this have hurt local businesses. “Having a coffee and chocolate mousse outside of Jeny’s Java Joint just seems like it’s meant to be,” said Weiner.
The Palmyra Farmers Market is another venture the Development Committee hopes will attract new businesses. Originally intended as something that would bring friends and neighbors out into their community, walking past businesses on their way to the market, it has since become something more.
“We welcomed dozens of new vendors to our town over the last two seasons, some of which were looking for brick and mortar stores to expand their businesses. They were introduced to our town, loved it and some looked at real estate,” said Weiner.
Although none have set up a permanent shop in Palmyra yet, the committee is hopeful. Weiner believes having so many small businesses coming to the community every week is bound to pay off.
The most recent business to actually set up permanent shop in Palmyra is The Farmacy, a brunch and dinner restaurant that put down roots at 307 W. Broad St. toward the end of the summer.
Originally based in Philadelphia, restaurant owner Ros Scofield and his partner relocated to Cinnaminson after deciding to have a baby. He passed the storefront on his daily commute to his Philadelphia location and took note. Once the property became available, Scofield wasted no time establishing a workplace closer to his new home.
“Business has been solid,” said Scofield. He has been happy with the amount of foot traffic they have seen being located on Palmyra’s main thoroughfare. “We get a lot of great guests from the town.”
The Palmyra Improvement Association has also been hard at work helping existing local businesses and making the town more attractive to businesses that may be looking for a new home.
“Our first event was the clean up of the planters in our business district in May of 2017,” said PIA president John Casparro. “We believed that making our downtown more beautiful would entice more people to frequent our business district.”
The PIA is particularly active in the fall and has planned events that will drive more traffic to local businesses. The annual Halloween parade is a big draw, bringing people from surrounding towns to Broad Street where the parade runs.
A newer fall event the PIA has been involved with is the Trunk or Treat outside Borough Hall.
“Last year we had approximately 250 children running around from trunk to trunk getting candy and having a blast. This is all being put together to make our business district a Halloween town,” said Casparro.
He hopes their efforts will encourage people to stick around when they visit Palmyra.
“They don’t come to shop real quick and leave. They come to enjoy a bite to eat, take in the historic charm of our business district and spend legitimate time in our community.”