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START A BUSINESS IN ASBURY PARK

Need a competitive edge to help your business grow and thrive?
Asbury Park has the answer. The waterfront development plan has been approved. The revitalization of the downtown shopping district is well underway. The Asbury Park Urban Enterprise Zone Program (APUEZ) offers participating businesses an advantage by providing incentives that encourage growth while stimulating the local economy. Build your business with the help of the APUEZ program:

  • 100% sales tax exemption for specified materials and tangible personal property.

  • Qualified retail businesses may charge 50% of the 7% NJ sales tax on certain "in person" purchases.

  • Revenues generated from the 3.5% sales tax are maintained in a Zone Assistance Fund (ZAF) dedicated for use within the APUEZ for certain economic development and/or public service improvement projects.

  • One-time corporation tax credit of $1,500 for each new, full-time permanent employee who is a resident of Asbury Park and has been unemployed for at least 90 days or dependent upon public assistance.

  • Subsidized unemployment insurance for certain new employees with gross salaries of less than $4,500 per quarter as per Department of Labor schedule.

  • Tax credit against the Corporation Business Tax of 8% if investment is an approved "In Lieu" agreement with the Urban Enterprise Zone Authority and City of Asbury Park.

  • Priority financial assistance from the New Jersey Local Development Financing Fund (LDFF) and Department of Labor Job Training Program.

Currently, there are over 100 businesses participating in the APUEZ program. We have successfully reinvested our sales tax revenues to assist those companies and improve the quality of life in our community. The APUEZ Board of Directors and many volunteers are presently offering the following programs:

Facade Improvement Program Phase IV: Certified businesses can receive up to $7,000 in matching grants for facade improvements. These renovations include windows, doors, awnings, signage, lighting as well as siding or other improvements to the front of the building.

APUEZ Micro-Loan Program: In partnership with the New Jersey Community Loan Fund, this program offers qualified businesses up to $25,000 at a low interest rate for a term of five years. In addition, we work closely with a number of state agencies and local banks to assist you with other financing requirements.

Clean Sweep Program: This year we provided funding for a new sidewalk sweeper that will be utilized in the business district to assist in our efforts to keep our shopping areas clean. In addition, we gave the city the down payment to purchase a new street sweeper.

Marketing Program: The APUEZ in partnership with the Greater Asbury Park Chamber of Commerce, the Asbury Park Merchants Guild and other community groups and individual business owners has launched a city marketing campaign. This includes advertising, web site design and management, directional signage, public relations and special events.

We are presently conducting a search for new board members and volunteers. You must be a resident, Asbury Park buisness owner or an employee of an Asbury Park-based business to serve on the Asbury Park Urban Enterprise Zone Program's Board of Directors. If you are interested please conduct Steve Kay, City Clerk to complete a volunteer application form. Thank you.

It's finally happening where the city meets the sea. Why not take advantage of all Asbury Park has to offer? For additional information, please contact Tom Gilmour, Director of Commerce at (732) 502-5749.

Downtown Business District Once upon a time, it was the place to grab refreshments at the soda fountain and redeem your S & H Green Stamps. The downtown is now becoming a “Destination” for shoppers looking for something different — both in merchandise and ambiance. Home design stores, art galleries, antique shops and cafes are all located in our downtown area. Convenient parking is always available, but walking around our city is the best way to enjoy the day or evening.

Yes, we have a new multi-million-dollar boardwalk. Yes, we have magnificent beaches. And yes, we have trend-setting shops… galleries filled with original art and design…mellow watering holes…must-go restaurants…laid-back cafes and get-down clubs where the music soars.

And so many special events throughout the year. Every summer in June, we host a free weekend Jazz Festival, as well as the state’s gay and lesbian festival — Jersey Pride. Our 5K runs through town the second week in August. The Clearwater Festival is a perfect family outing featuring great food, arts and crafts, environmental displays and live entertainment. Taste of Asbury Park happens in October, where delicious tidbits and fine wine are served up by our top ten restaurants.

You’ll certainly want to party with us on the first Saturday of every month. “First Saturday Night” — a fun and festive evening from 6-10 p.m. and beyond, when shops and galleries stay open, refreshments are served, bands play on and a free trolley shuttle runs from the downtown to the beach and back. “Mardi Gras,” “Beach Blanket Bingo,” “Art After Dark” — every “First Saturday Night” has a different theme. The time to come is now. With $1.3 billion in development underway, there have never been more reasons and more ways to live it up in Asbury Park.

The Beach & Boardwalk - One mile of the Jersey Shore’s best kept secret...uncrowded with endless sand, great surf and unlimited fun. Don’t forget our annual 4th of July parade, festival and fireworks! Daily and seasonal badges are available at the ticket booth on the boardwalk.

The Steinbach Building - In 1896, the Steinbach brothers purchased the Commercial Hotel and converted it into one of NJ’s most renowned department stores. Today, this building is listed on the National Historic Register and is being restored to become once again an important anchor to the downtown area.

Transportation Hub/City Hall - Exit a train or bus and start your tour of downtown by simply crossing the street. Adjoining this modern facility is City Hall and the Police Department. For City Hall information, call (732) 775-2100. For schedules and times of buses and trains, call New Jersey Transit at (800) 772-2222.

The Berkeley Ocean Front Hotel - One of the grand hotels of a bygone era, its 250 suites and rooms offer modern luxury and classic beauty just steps away from the ocean. A sandy beach and a mile-long boardwalk make for the perfect day. Be sure you specify “room with an ocean view” when making reservations. Visit Our Website.

Wesley Lake - Here, if you listen carefully, you still might hear the paddling of the Swan boats from the 1890´s. Today, it’s the place for a peaceful stroll on Lake Avenue or a beautiful view from the balcony of an elegant restaurant nearby.

The Asbury Park Library and Library Square - This 1885 treasure has two beautiful windows flanking each side. One is a memorial to President Ulysses S. Grant, the other is a Tiffany-style window designed by local artist Theodore H. Davis. The library, albeit small in size, houses the largest collection of written material on Bruce Springsteen ever assembled. For information, call (732) 774-422

The Stone Pony - One of the world’s most famous music “scenes.” The Asbury Park experience would be sorely incomplete without taking in a show here. Be a part of legends and have your picture taken at the club entrance. And be on the lookout — you never know who might stop by to jam at the Pony! For more information and performance schedule, see www.stoneponyonline.com.

Fastlane & Baronet - The Fastlane is another great rock institution where performers from Bon Jovi to U-2 and Steppenwolf have helped shape Asbury Park’s great musical heritage. The 546-seat Baronet Theatre preserves the art deco look from the late 1950’s when the original Three Stooges performed here. For information on Fastlane and Baronet.

Stephen Crane House - One of America’s greatest novelists, Crane (author of The Red Badge of Courage) lived in Asbury Park during his high school years. One of 14 children, he wrote his first short story here on Fourth Avenue. For visitor information, call (732) 775-5682.

Sunset Lake - If you’re up in a hot air balloon, it looks like the state of NJ. At sea level, it’s a peaceful setting of islands, bridges and serene open park areas. Site of many Asbury Park annual events like the Jazz and the Clearwater Festivals.

Convention Hall and Paramount Theater - One of the most distinctive and majestic landmarks on the East Coast, this multi-purpose venue has hosted the world’s greatest performers (The Rolling Stones, The Who, Elton John) on one hand and classic operas and theatre on the other. Connecting the two buildings is a gigantic arcade, through which our famous boardwalk extends. In 2002, The Today Show selected the Hall for its show to launch Bruce Springsteen’s “Rising” CD. For information on Convention Hall, visit www.conventionhall.net.

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