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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Jersey all around us -

what we can do to help.

Our Environment:

One of the primary categories of interest to AwareNewJersey is our environment.  It's where we live, after all.  Our directory includes a variety of environmental organizations through the state.  There are nature and environmental centers that provide information, programs, hiking, and preservation of local flora and fauna.  There are research and politically active organizations aimed to preserve our environment.

The Tenafly Nature Center provides information on their web site about New Jersey flora and fauna, and has hiking trails, and a variety of activities to offer.

The Wetlands Institute is similar but focuses on a different environment within New Jersey.  They also partner with other organizations to do important environmental research.

The Lakota Wolf Preserve in Warren County, while listed in our Animals category, is also an environmentally important business in New Jersey.  They have a great educational program.

The Delaware River Keeper Network, while located in Pennsylvania, is important for New Jersey as well since the river is our western border.  Having grown up on the East Branch of the Delaware in New York State, I'm very interested in the river and in this organization.  Their aim is to keep the river free-flowing, clean and healthy.

Environment New Jersey is an activist organization to protect the state's environment.  They provide updates on environmental issues throughout the state.

To our Business Friends:

I spend a lot of time searching on the Internet for new and interesting small, independent businesses throughout New Jersey.  I have a couple of thoughts to share with you:

First, Website design is important - what you look like - layout - information you provide about your business.

If you're a brick-and-mortar business, why would you not, on your home page, have your address and phone number and hours of business?  You want people to come to your shop, don't you?  Please make it easy for your customers to find you.  I can't tell you how many often I have to search from page to page to find out how to contact you, where you are.  If someone is in a hurry, they're not going to take the time for that, especially if there are other, similar businesses that make it easier for them.  So, standard information:

Who - Who are you?

What - What are you selling?

When - When are you open?

Where - Where are you?

Why - Why should someone come to your shop instead of some other shop?

All of that should be on your home page.  Please.

Second, Support each other - I know that many of you already do this.  Some of you do not

Our directory currently contains over 300 businesses and organizations throughout the state; we're just beginning.  I've recently found half a dozen small businesses finished, closed.  For us, if you fail, it affects us, our business, our directory, our potential.  It may be the same for some of you.

If you're in a shopping area where there are several small shops, if enough of them begin to fail, your shopping area will be less attractive to shoppers and eventually that downward trend will affect you.  

If you rely on other local businesses for supplies, shipping, advertising, etc., if they are in jeopardy, you may be too.  

What I've found among many of the entrepreneurs I've met is a different mindset than that of large corporations.  I may share my opinions about that some other time.   The small business community is better off learning from each other, supporting each other and cooperating with each other.  In my humble opinion.

In terms of our Environment, the small business community has an opportunity in New Jersey to protect and preserve our environment.  EarthShare New Jersey is a coalition of organizations.  They have workplace contribution programs, scholarship programs, and aim toward larger contributions than the average citizen is able to make.  They have excellent opportunities for New Jersey businesses to make a difference in our state's environmental health.

You might be interested in SituatioNormal, a New Jersey "...full-service creative agency ready to take your idea to the next level."  They provide video, writing, advertising, social media, etc. services aimed to promote your business.

New entries in our directory:

Animal Welfare:
        Safe Haven Rabbit Rescue
        New Jersey House Rabbit Society
        Little Miracles Rabbit Rescue
        For Bunnies Sake Rabbit Rescue
       New Jersey's Environmental Lobby
       Cattus Island Park/Cooper Environmental Center

The Arts
       Two River Theater Company in Red Bank

       Next Step Strategies provides a variety of holistic wellness therapies

       Gillian's Funland of Sea Isle City

      Solar Industries provides solar pool heating systems

      Allaire Village provides a glimpse into life in a historic village.

Have a great day.

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