Goodbye stranger, it’s been nice, hope you find your paradise.

Well, as this semester comes to a close I am saying a farewell to Breaking Bordentown for the time being so I can take a hibernation of sorts. It is possible I will continue to update this blog on the occasion with less reporting and more photos of things around Bordentown (and possibly a little outside of Bordentown – literally Breaking out of Bordentown) I take on my cellphone that I find interesting or funny and it will certainly be more light hearted/more personally biased.

I’ve met some extremely wonderful people in this small town and it has been a pleasure getting to delve a little deeper into it.

Here are my top 5 greatest hits

Square Peg Round Hole Emporium offers a safe haven for artists and addicts alike

John Chrambanis, owner of the Record Collector, talks about adapting to the ever evolving music industry

Mummies take to Thompson Street for the annual Halloween decoration display

Restaurant review: Mastoris Diner 

Hurricane Sandy aftermath in Bordentown, New Jersey

Enjoy your holidays, folks. Be safe, take care, and I’ll possibly see you in spring.

 

Bordentown adapts to the recession

The economy in New Jersey is, without a doubt, struggling. With one of the worst recessions in recent memory, the state is attempting to adapt to the unstable economic climate in any way possible. The state senate recently proposed a bill to increase the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour. How this will effect the state is still unknown with some sides arguing it will help ease the economic tension and others arguing it will only cause businesses to inflate their prices to compensate for paying workers higher hourly wages.

Bordentown itself is not immune to the recession. According to City Data, the state’s unemployment rate is at 9.7% with Bordentown’s unemployment rate shortly under the state average at 9.5%. Bordentown’s retail trade makes up the second most common industry in the town. This begs the question, in the light of economic hardships, what does that mean for the average small business owner?

Adaption or extinction

The Record Collector in Bordentown is an example of how small businesses are attempting to take on more facets than just “retail” in order to maintain a steady business model.

Photo courtesy of the-record-collector.com

Photo courtesy of the-record-collector.com

Whereas record stores used to be able to only sell music and music related items with the recession and the plight of the vinyl record store at the hands of digital media, John Chrambanis has adapted his business to suit those seeking live entertainment as well as CDs or records by holding concert events in the store itself. The racks are all on moveable shelves to make room for a stage. Chrambanis hopes to expand his business even more so to create a small cafe setting where people can relax and listen to live music. Though he does not plan on investing money in a liquor license not only because they’re expensive but because of the way alcohol could alter the chilled out environment.

Chrambanis is only one example of ways businesses in Bordentown are trying to retrofit themselves into the overall feeling of hardship in the state.

photo courtesy of city-data.com

photo courtesy of city-data.com

April Sette, in charge of public relations for Downtown Bordentown (an association of local businesses) suggested that new businesses hoping for exposure get involved in the community. “Small business owners that get the most exposure,” said Sette, “are the ones that get involved in the community. If they take part in charity or a park project they get their name out there.” She suggested that it’s important to be active in a community because it reflects back on the small business. If a community is aware of business owner and their good deeds for the local community it helps garner new clientele and most important of all, according to Sette, “It’s free exposure.”

With all this in mind, the state small business sector has shown some hesitant signs of improvement. According to Charles Steindel, an ecomonist for New Jersey, the state’s recovery hasn’t been spectacular but it has been steady. Though according the state data jobs in the fields of manufacturing and construction has fell those in wholesale and retail trade as well as professional and business services have grown which indicates high hopes for Bordentown’s economic future it stays steady with the state average.

Below is an interactive Google map of some of the shops located along Farnsworth Avenue in Bordentown.

Bordentown City lights up Farnsworth for the upcoming Holidays

As always, the shops and restaurants that line Farnsworth Avenue have decked their storefronts in lights, wreaths, garlands, and other Christmas decorations to bring in the 2012 holidays. Below are a few shots of the town all lit up.

Toscano’s

Toscano's

 

The Farnsworth House

 

The Farnsworth House

 

Shoppe 202

Shoppe 202 side

Shoppe 202 front

 

Personables

Personables

Personables

 

Under the Moon

Under the Moon

 

Marcello’s

Marcello's

 

The Bordentown tree

Tree front

Tree