Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 46
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

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Iris Interiors

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Princeton Merchants Association Considers Next Steps for Business

Dilshanie Perera

Members of the Princeton Merchants Association (PMA) met on Tuesday to determine how the organization can better assist in bolstering business.

“We want to help make the community of merchants more competitive,” said CoolVines owner Mark Censits, who is on the PMA board of directors.

The topics up for discussion were education and professional development; social media; collaborative marketing; and a general category for brainstorming. Mr. Censits explained that PMA would “probably recruit from our own” to host workshops and training for members. Additionally, a new website is slated to be launched in the upcoming weeks.

The Princeton Merchants Association, which used to be the Borough Merchants for Princeton, is expanding its scope under the new leadership, which began its tenure in September. Business owners located in the Shopping Center, the downtown, Nassau Street, and elsewhere have joined the group, the focus of which is to stimulate economic activity in all of Princeton.

PMA President Travis Linderman of the MacLean Agency said that “we, as an organization, are actively reaching out and recruiting new entrepreneurs and new business owners,” to come to town, with priority given to those that fill in gaps in services or products.

“Over the next four years, we will see a new housing community,” observed Mr. Linderman of the new downtown development, adding that PMA wants to ensure the delivery of comprehensive services to residents.

“We want to attract energy, and have young professionals stay in town and start businesses,” Mr. Linderman said. “Utilizing new technology is the first step in marketing to new people.”

Mr. Linderman has also recently travelled to different states and visited towns in close proximity to universities to meet with chambers of commerce and local governing bodies in order to gain insight from other business models and operations.

During the PMA meeting, Linda Fahmie of Keller Williams Real Estate and ROI Renovations shared some initial plans about the site of the former Olive May grocery store.

“The configuration of the property is set up for a tenant providing food or grocery services,” acknowledged Ms. Fahmie. Currently they are interviewing potential companies and businesses while opening up a dialogue with local residents about their thoughts pertaining to the site, she said. Business needs and parking needs are particular areas of focus.

“We are looking for feedback and input,” Ms. Fahmie asserted, adding that such an endeavor “requires the community’s voice.” Tentative plans for a new building design fall within the current zoning parameters, and offer the possibility of three stories as well as a parking garage.

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