Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry has been busy welcoming new businesses to town. It is not a surprise considering all the wonderful initiatives the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development has put in place to assist the local businesses to prosper. For every new business that opens, there seems to be an equal amount of businesses that have been reaching milestone anniversaries. It is the support and loyalty of the community that can be thanked for these success stories and for the steady economic growth in Old Bridge.
This dedication to and appreciation for the Old Bridge community inspired one of the newest business ventures in town, All Around Old Bridge, the hyperlocal news publication that debuted in October 2016.
Founded by David Hernandez , owner of Old Bridge Funeral Home on Route 516, this monthly publication has been steadily increasing in size. Each edition is filled cover-to-cover with highlights, photos, interesting facts and stories about the people, school district, organizations and businesses that make up Old Bridge. Links to the current and past editions are available on the township’s website at www.oldbridge.com/content/5452/10669.aspx.
Mayor Henry and Executive Officer Steve Mamakas of the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development launched the Old Bridge Business Alliance in 2015. This free networking group has grown to include over 500 businesses in the Tristate area. Its members include business owners, developers, professionals and nonprofit organizations currently operating or who have a future interest in conducting business in the Township of Old Bridge.
The Old Bridge Business Alliance provides a communication platform for businesses to freely share ideas, experiences, resources and information to make each organization stronger. By creating a direct link for local businesses to foster new relationships and opportunities, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development has encouraged local economic growth in the township. Through these connections emerged two very exciting public-private partnerships with promising new programs. Launched in 2016 at the Old Bridge Business Alliance Leadership Forum was the Think Old Bridge Property Tax Reward Program and the Uber Safe Ride Program.
The Think Old Bridge Property Tax Reward Program strengthens the local economy by offering residents and non-residents incentives to shop locally at participating businesses. As you shop, a percentage of your bill is deposited into your personal Think Old Bridge account. It accumulates throughout the year and then is automatically credited on your third quarter property taxes.
For those who rent or work in the town, a rebate check is mailed to them directly. Twenty thousand Think Old Bridge Property Tax Reward card were sponsored by Excel Urgent Care, ACE Pharmacy and AMBOY Bank, making it possible to distribute them free of charge to residents. If you don’t have your card already, stop by The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, Old Bridge Library or any of the participating businesses that display the Think Old Bridge logo to pick up a card.
Once you register your card online, it is ready to begin tracking your credits. Any member of your family can go into any of the participating stores and give them the phone number you had registered the card to and you will begin to see your credits accumulate; participants can track their credits online. For more information about the Think Old Bridge Property Tax Program, contact the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development at (732) 721-5600, ext. 7920.
The Uber Safe Ride Program aims to combat alcohol-related incidents and provide incentives for the residents to dine in town. The Old Bridge Business Community and Uber have partnered together to pilot the Safe Ride Program. Any Old Bridge resident who is at one of the local restaurants and find they may have consumed too much alcohol should make arrangements for Uber to pick them up for a free ride directly to their home. This program had been made possible through the generosity of a lifelong resident and local business owner in Old Bridge. For more information, visit www.oldbridge.com.