Cranbury’s EDAC seeks to become a business ally with goals for 2022

Patrons crowd Main Street during the festivities of Cranbury Day on Sept 8.

The Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) has announced that plans are in the works to host its first-ever event in Cranbury Township.

The EDAC presented to members of the Township Committee and the public about the committee’s goals for 2022 at the governing body’s March 14 meeting.

There are two goals at the forefront of EDAC’s efforts throughout the year: becoming a business ally, and enhancing the experience in Cranbury.

“Becoming a business ally is what we really need to focus on and starts with advising, doing a real estate inventory, marketing Cranbury and a township guide,” Chair Darek Hahn said. “If someone wants to come to Cranbury and open a business here, who do they go to? We want to become their ally to help guide them through that process and help make it easier for them.”

He added that enhancing the experience in Cranbury would include a focus on foot traffic based on what Cranbury can handle.

“Own an EDAC branded event and survey visitors when they come to town and amplify existing events like we did with the annual Craft Show,” he said.

Lisa Knierim, a member of EDAC and Cranbury Business Association (CBA), stressed during the presentation that EDAC is hosting regular meetings with the zoning officer to understand the ordinances and focus also on simplifying language.

She added that they would continuously audit the ordinances to uncover items and improvements to propose to the Township Committee, and provide transparency towards business information and marketing materials.

There are plans for step-by-step guide to be create for opening a business in Cranbury and how EDAC can the help the process be easier for a current business that wants to make a modification.

EDAC member Delpha Georges said they want to amplify some of the events that happen through the year, which normally do not get as much attention and aren’t as high profile with the committee’s second goal of enhancing the “Cranbury Experience” for residents and visitors.

“We will look to collaborate with neighboring EDACs and compliment these events and not compete. Another tactic we have come up with is an informational kiosk,” she said. “We want to explore the idea of either revitalizing bulletin boards or kiosk space or installing something new for people to see what is happening in town, the points of interest and have a reason to come back.”

EDAC is working on establishing its first-ever event later in 2022. The event would be a food truck event expected to prioritize the local businesses, be an economic driver and amplify Cranbury’s qualities.

“Finer details of the event are still being worked out,” Georges said.

During the presentation, Hahn highlighted what the EDAC has accomplished in the past two years.

“Besides the survey and figuring out who we were and what we were about, we helped with the holiday guide, we did the marketing audit, Realtor roundtable, community workshop, July 4 food truck event, township mailer, Cranbury Business Association (CBA) audit and CBA liaison appointment and helping them revitalize and zoning and review recommendations which has been an ongoing discussion with our zoning officer.”