A first-of-its-kind event in Asbury Park, NJ to help small shops
❄ Asbury Park will host its 1st Annual "Made and Sold in Asbury Park" in 2024
❄ The event will help showcase the city's urban enterprise zone businesses
❄ The hope is to boost business during the winter when things are slow
ASBURY PARK — The seaside city in Monmouth County has announced it will host its first annual “Made and Sold in Asbury Park” event on February 3, 2024, from noon until 5 p.m. in the main ballroom at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, 1401 Ocean Avenue.
The event, created by the city’s Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program will showcase the city’s UEZ businesses and highlight all that Asbury Park has to offer, said Deputy Mayor of Asbury Park, Amy Quinn.
The UEZ is a state-funded program that provides tax incentives and other funds to assist businesses located in the city. For a place like Asbury Park which has a lot of mom-and-pop businesses, this is a great program to keep them up and running and provide them with incentives to do interesting things, like “Made and Sold”, Quinn said.
All local businesses are encouraged to sign up for the shopping event. Currently, there are about 15 shops that will be on hand, but Quinn is hoping for more.
“Made and Sold in Asbury Park” will allow the city’s UEZ businesses to tell their story, what they make, what they sell, and why they chose Asbury Park as their business home,” she said.
Expect to see musical products at the shopping event since Asbury Park has always been known for its famous eclectic music scene. Places like Vaccaro Guitar Co., 1001 2nd Avenue, make guitars, for example.
But Quinn said patrons are sure to find hidden gems like lamps, torches, and wigs—odd and unique items that even she didn’t know are made in Asbury Park.
Admission is free and besides shopping, there will also be live music from local bands all day, plus food and drinks will be available at the café at Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel.
What is the hope?
“I’m hoping it supports our small, local businesses. Asbury is not a town that has Walmarts and Targets. We’re a town that has your neighbor owning the surf shop and your across-the-street neighbor owning the restaurant,” Quinn said.
Keep in mind that after the holiday season, shore towns, like Asbury Park, along with their local mom-and-pop shops suffer financially because things quiet down.
“While our claim to fame is Memorial Day to Labor Day, when we really want people to come out is January, February, and March. This is an initiative to bring people out, to spend some money, and to learn about these local businesses and the types of products that they produce in Asbury Park,” she said.
Quinn credits UEZ Business Development Administrator, JulieAnn Murray who is putting the “Made and Sold in Asbury Park” together in the hopes of one, bringing people who wouldn’t normally come to Asbury Park, to Asbury Park, and then showcasing the local mom-and-pop businesses here.
Available spots for local businesses will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis and the City expects these spaces to fill up quickly.
At last check, Quinn said there were about 15 shops already signed up, but more are encouraged to get involved.
For more information on “Made and Sold in Asbury Park”, please visit here.
Free parking through December
Quinn also stressed that the City of Asbury Park wants to make things easier on you while you shop this holiday season with its “Shop Asbury, Park Free” program. Enjoy free holiday parking in Asbury Park all December long, while you shop at the City’s retail shops.
All the information about free garage parking and free meter parking can be found here.
This sleepy historic South Jersey town is worth a half-day trip
Gallery Credit: Dennis Malloy