Challenging times require commitment, patience, and adaptability. These are the qualities that best describe Red Bank’s many small business owners, who have faced adversity on a grand scale this year due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Things certainly looked bleak back in the spring when the pandemic was at its height, forcing many non-essential business to shutter their doors. The new reality was a different, unexpected normal for many people.
Fast forward to the summer, when some of the restrictions lifted and the town came up with an ambitious plan to close down Broad Street for a pedestrian plaza, you could argue it was the return of small businesses. And that leads up to Small Business Saturday, which is slated for November 28 this month. It’s your time to support your favorite small business in Red Bank, which need your help more now than ever before.
We recently partnered with the Red Bank Business Alliance, an alliance founded by a collection of Red Bank businesses “with the purpose of enhancing the vibrancy of Red Bank as a destination for shopping, dining and entertainment.” They’ve organized many many events throughout the year, like the Red Bank Classic and the Great Red Bank Egg Hunt to name a couple. We interviewed many owners and representative from the many small business shops in Red Bank, who opened up about why Red Bank has a significant presence around the area.
“Red Bank has an amazing downtown, it has a great vibe to it. It has a great family atmosphere,” explains Wendy Jones, owner of A Time to Kiln. The town’s identity continues to change, one that has undeniably been improved in a dramatic way thanks to how the pedestrian plaza has been such a huge draw — not only for locals in Red Bank, but neighboring communities as well. Members of the Red Bank Business Alliance, along with town officials and other local organizations like the Red Bank RiverCenter, all helped to bring this ambitious plan to fruition. “Red Bank is very unique where you have the best of all parts,” says Sagar Shah of Shah Financial.
The importance of Small Business Saturday is more paramount this year than ever before, just because the future’s still uncertain. Many of the people we spoke with and interviewed explained how our community is enhanced thanks to small businesses. Not only do they provide us with products and services, but many of them are friends who we all want to see succeed. “When we can support locally, our friends in our community, you are contributing to something really good. You’re helping people innovate and create,” remarked Liza Cherubini of Cherubini Chiropractic on what it means to support small businesses.
Another owner, Louis Adrianos of Neapoli Italian Kitchen, was passionate about the humble beginnings he had growing up with parents who owned a small business and how they helped out local communities. “We live in the community, we employ within the community, we buy within the community, so we shop local.” After we interviewed 23 various people about why people fall in love with Red Bank, the answers covered the gamut. Here are some of them:
“When customers shop at our store, they’re not only supporting the bakery, but they’re supporting the Red Bank community.”Amanda Gorman, General Manager of Antoinette Boulangerie
“They love seeing all the talent that’s in our community.”Deborah Eisenstein, owner of Artisan Collective
“As long as you have commitment, hard work, and a dream, and that’s what each small business is today, an American dream.”Sam Jain, owner of Bombay River
“They’re the heartbeat of our community.”Mary Ansell, owner of Open Heart Yoga
With Small Business Saturday inching closer with each passing day, there’s no denying that people continue to fall in love with Red Bank, but small businesses still need your support. You can watch all the interviews through the Red Bank Business Alliance’s YouTube page.