Happy New Year! It is officially 2022 but we here at the Bloomfield Center Alliance (BCA) are still reflecting on some of the amazing moments that happened right here in Bloomfield's downtown. We have compiled a list of our TOP TEN events and highlights from last year.
1. Accelerate Your Success Business Training Program
In February of 2021 the BCA launched a small business initiative which provided training and technical assistance to our small business community. The 8-week program empowered business owners with critical skills, such as brand management, E-commerce, and digital marketing, to name a few.
A total of 19 Bloomfield businesses received education and training during the initiative's Phase I through virtual classes hosted by the BCA
10 downtown businesses received follow-up one-on one counseling and technical assistance during the program's Phase II
2. Cruise Nights
An annual tradition is Bloomfield Center, Wednesday nights in June and July. Vintage and custom cars line Broad St. drawing in crowds of spectators to the weekly car show.
7 shows in June and July
Bloomfield Center business gift cards handed out as prizes to weekly Car Show winners
3. Dinner Under the Stars
Another annual summertime favorite event, Dinner Under the Stars features live entertainment and al fresco dining Friday nights from June to October. This year was special, with new collaborations and cool live performers.
16 evenings between June and October
First ever Comedy Night in partnership with New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts
An exhibition of live cultural dance with the Mosaic Dance Theater Company and Viva Flamenco
A night of Latin music and dancing on Washington Street.
4. Bloomfield Center Walking Food Tours
There are so many great restaurants in Bloomfield Center sometimes it is hard to chose which one to go to. The Walking Food Tours allows participants to try a little bit of everything from participating restaurants while learning interesting facts about Bloomfield Center's history and ongoing revitalization.
3 tours held (June, August, October)
Featuring 13 downtown restaurants
5. Bloomfield Center Restaurant Week
Restaurant week is yet another time to explore Bloomfield's cuisine. During this event restaurants offer specialty menus with special pricing. The perfect time to make a reservation for a romantic dinner for two or take your family to a new place for dinner.
12 restaurants participated with special menu items and pricing
2 new restaurants that opened their doors in 2021 (Grab Crab & Curbside Smoothies)
6. Halloween Parade/Festival
In conjunction with Rare Breed MMA, the Bloomfield Center Alliance put on a festival guests would not forget. There was face painting, stilt walkers, juggling, and magic. Businesses gave out candy to trick or treaters and so many fun, scary, and creative costumes.
An estimated 800 people in attendance
Included a parade of several hundred costumed people and pets!
7. Tropical Storm Disaster Relief Fund
Local businesses and residents were shocked by the devastation left by Tropical Storm Ida. Following the storm, we called out to the community to help small business owners in need and were pleased by the outpouring of support and donations.
Over $3,000 raised
Disbursed grant aid to 3 downtown businesses
8. Second Annual Holiday Hunt Event
Shoppers gathered at Six Points Plaza ready to find a new business and buy items from their gift lists. The Holiday Hunt 2021 included an ice sculpting demonstration, delicious s'mores (courtesy of Provident Bank), and special appearances from Disney's Frozen - Olaf and Elsa.
The event was covered on New York's CBS NEWS
Promoting holiday shopping at 12 downtown retailers and destinations
Event sponsors included Provident Bank, Level Up Urgent Care, and Jack's Super Foodtown
9. New Businesses in Bloomfield Center
There were several businesses we said farewell to in 2021, but an even greater number of new businesses that opened and now call Bloomfield their home.
10 new businesses opened, including 4 new restaurants, 2 fitness facilities, a barbershop/salon, and an urgent care facility.
10. Facade Grant Improvement Program
This grant is awarded to businesses in Bloomfield Business Improvement District. Allowing them the funding to improve their curb appeal with new awnings, signage and infrastructure. Make sure you check out some of the renovated store fronts.
4 downtown businesses received a total of $9,000 in grant funding to subsidize the costs for new awnings, windows, doors, and exterior lighting
Grant recipients were Murdoch Shoes, Anthony's Cheesecake Restaurant, Dev's Jamaican Cuisine, Save and Rave Consignment Shop