Minutes: June 2, 2021

Meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM at Vernon Municipal Building.

Statement of Compliance was read by Jennifer Lubliner.

Salute to Flag.

Roll Call: Jennifer Lubliner-Ron Williams-Jennifer Rodriguez, Dan Segal, Debbie Coulson.

At 7:21 Nick Pirro joined the Committee.

Ron Williams made the motion to open the meeting to the public, second by Dan Segal-all in favor.

No Public in attendance

Jennifer Rodriguez made the motion to close the meeting to the public, second by Ron Williams-all in favor.

Minutes of the May 4, 2021 meeting minutes presented. Jennifer Rodriguez made the motion to approve, second by Jennifer Lubliner, all in favor, one abstain-Dan Segal.

Jennifer Lubliner asked if there were any comments on the ZOOM meeting “Shop Vernon Program” of May 25, 2021. (Minutes of said meeting were e-mailed to all committee members).

Ron Williams was disappointed that more business owners were not there.

Jennifer Lubliner stated that ZOOM is hard for some people. The program has great potential but lacking marketing material. Local businesses need to buy in to the program. Also there is the advantage of sharing the program with other towns participating. The “cash back” at the end of the year has potential for return customers. We need more businesses to participate. Looking into why people rejected it: not enough businesses were involved and it was an election year when the program started.

Dan Segal stated that the township supported the program but never scratched the surface of what we could do with the program.

Nick Pirro stated that small businesses are encouraged to participate.

Nick Pirro added conversation on subsidized cost/grants.

Jennifer Lubliner said that grants may become available for the town to apply for, which can cover costs of program.

Jennifer Lubliner also stated that small business in Vernon competing against area businesses need an advantage. Some customers will use businesses that take the card versus the ones that don’t.

Jennifer Lubliner commented that there is a new candy store in Highland Lakes that had a grand opening but told us the day of the event.

Jennifer Lubliner asked about an Action Plan for getting sign-ups for the Shop Vernon program.

Jennifer Rodriguez said we need marketing materials

Dan Segal stated that when the program started we had all the materials and ads.

Jennifer Lubliner commented that we need a flyer for the program.

Dan Segal stated that when the program originated we had the Chamber, Council and EDAC together working on it. We do not have that now. We need a Town Liaison to the council. Carmine said we have to own the program. Businesses are not Community minded, they need to give something back. For $10 a month you get a rebate on your taxes.

Jennifer Lubliner stated that having customers statistics are a plus.

Dan Segal stated that Vernon is unique and the Chamber is not retail focused. Residents would love to use a card to get a rebate. We need a lot of discussion on this subject with the Council and Chamber. What is our budget?

Jennifer Lubliner stated $3000

Dan Segal said it was not enough.

Jennifer Rodriguez asked if that covers the Community Guide and Shop Vernon.

Dan Segal said forget the Guide let the Chamber do it?

Jennifer Lubliner thinks we can do both.

Jennifer Rodriguez stated that we could use a digital version of the guide.

Jennifer Lubliner stated we need to also print it. It will include legitimate businesses, maybe ads.

Jennifer Lubliner asked again what we are going to do about Shop Vernon. We need Shop Vernon, the Chamber and Welcome Wagon to promote business in Vernon.

Dan Segal stated we need a paid Ambassador to promote the program.

Jennifer Lubliner said she can talk to the Mayor. (Jennifer Lubliner had a copy of the program she will e-mail everyone a copy). Our objective this year is to revamp Vernon’s reputation, Community involvement. We are trying to fix root issues.

Dan Segal stated to get the Mayor and Council to go out to the Public, shake hands, etc.

Jennifer Rodriguez stated that Vernon is disjointed as a community.

Jennifer Lubliner mentioned Michele Downtain involved with Community Outreach. We need better communication.

Discussion

Jennifer Rodriguez said the ZOOM meeting did not have a great turnout of people. That should be an indicator of what the interest is in the program.

Nick Pirro stated we should work on the Community Guide.

Nicholas Pirro made the motion to table the Shop Vernon Program for now, Jennifer Rodriguez second the motion, all in favor.

Shop Local Directory/Community Guide:

Nicholas Pirro is working on the cover

Committee had a discussion on what all should be included in the guide.

We need to partner with the chamber on getting this together and put out.

Clubs and Organizations with their websites.

Schools with addresses and phone numbers

Dan Segal said it should read “Support Business Locally” “Thank You EDAC” with address and website.

Dan Segal and Jennifer Lubliner discussed the Marijuana Legalization. Township has not voted on it yet August 21 is deadline to opt out for five years.

Dan Segal made a motion to draft a letter about Legalize Marijuana with no caps on adult use cannabis. Nick Pirro second. All in favor -one opposed Ron Williams.

Respectfully submitted:
Debbie Coulson
Recording Secretary