When Rory Narcisi had to shut down Olga’s Diner on route 73 at the beginning of the pandemic, his main concern was employment for his staff, but with fewer customers, it was hard to guarantee job security.
“The pandemic has taught me that the big guys will always thrive kind of regardless of the situation,” said Narcisi. “The little guys need to stick together, be creative, and lean on the community support as much as possible.”
Narcisi felt confident maintaining employment for his workers after Deputy and Community Development Director Stacy Webb reached out to him about an opportunity to build community goodwill while potentially gaining customers at Olga’s, according to Narcisi.
As small businesses began to reopen, the Economic Advisory Council of Evesham made its goal the creation of multiple initiatives to keep township businesses in the community. One of those initiatives is Marlton Monday, a plan to increase foot traffic for businesses during their Monday hours.
Marlton Monday allows 10 percent off to customers, who can shop at any business participating in the initiative. In exchange, business owners can advertise through the township’s website and social media accounts.
“We reached out to our local businesses and asked them if they wanted to be a part of this amazing initiative,” said Webb. “If we bring customers on Monday, they’ll have them long term. They’ll have customers locally, as well as outside of Evesham.”
One of the reasons the council decided on Monday for the initiative is to provide guidance, since it tends to be a slower day of service, especially in the restaurant industry, according to Public Information Officer Zane Clark.
Marlton Monday applies to all businesses in the Marlton area, not just small ones. Council members have tried to inform the community about the initiative by reaching out to owners through email, phone calls, and word of mouth.
“I went to Zoe’s for lunch; I asked if they knew about Marlton Monday, and I said. ‘Let me tell you about it.’ I had some paperwork on me, and gave it to the owner,” said Councilwoman Pat Hansen.
Council understands the initiative will take time to grow and it won’t happen overnight, but members are determined to keep the community engaged and informed through social media, according to Webb.
“Small businesses have been big supporters of the community. They always have fundraisers, make donations and help our rec program,” Township Manager Robert Corrales noted.
“They’ve always been there for us, and this our way of being there for them.”
Businesses involved in Marlton Monday include Athleta, Laurel Oak Garden Center, and Nene Italian Market. Visit the website https://evesham-nj.org/marlton-mondays to join or learn about other businesses involved in Marlton Monday.