Downtown Bernardsville is a 501(c)3 non profit organization dedicated to revitalizing, enhancing, and promoting the commercial district of Bernardsville, New Jersey. Engaging the community through local events, supporting local businesses, and maintaining the charm of Bernardsville’s historical structures are the focus of every project and program.
Downtown Bernardsville will continue to grow and develop as a result of continued support from our volunteers, local businesses, partnering organizations and our Sponsors, who all share a belief that a strong community is an integral part of maintaining a vibrant downtown, unified from Borough Hall through Madisonville Road and streets in between.
The commercial corridor of Bernardsville is a Main Street New Jersey Community. Downtown Bernardsville is a member of Downtown New Jersey and the National Main Street Center. We follow the Main Street Approach to commercial district revitalization.
What Do We Do?
Downtown Bernardsville follows the 4-Point Approach as set forth by Main Street America, a national, grassroots-led network, with State level coordinating programs that assist local communities in their revitalization efforts.
Downtown Bernardsville is formally designated with Main Street New Jersey (MSNJ), as of September 1, 2021. This designation allows us to receive an array of intensive assistance designed to advance its local revitalization efforts. Customized design assistance, access to state and national specialists, training on key downtown issues and ongoing marketing and promotions support are among the range of services provided to MSNJ communities.
Becoming a designated New Jersey Main Street district signifies a historic NJ downtown which is being managed by an organization that is successfully using the Main Street Approach® as the basis for its downtown revitalization efforts. Communities at this level are recognized by Main Street America™ and are eligible for National Accreditation.
While commercial district revitalization can be addressed in many ways, the underlying premise of the Main Street approach is summed up in the program goals – to encourage economic development through historic preservation and active management in a way that is appropriate in today’s market place.
The Main Street approach advocates a return to community self-reliance, empowerment, and the rebuilding of commercial districts based on traditional assets: unique architecture, personal service, local ownership, and a sense of community.
Watch a Review of the 4-Point Approach
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Frequently Asked Questions
A separate 501 (c) 3 Non profit organization solely dedicated to the growth and enhancement of Bernardsville through the improvement and promotion of our commercial district.
No. However, the work we do aims to relieve some of the burdens of our local government, privately creating projects and campaigns, organized and supported by members of the community to achieve the common goal of creating a thriving town.
Downtown Bernardsville is 100% community led, welcoming residents, business owners, public officials, and others onto our committees. Together, we gather ideas, create and execute projects, organize events, apply for grants, and so much more. Additionally, supporting businesses is only a quarter of the work we do to revitalize the community. A Chamber of Commerce is a business focused organization that organizes events for the community with the intention of helping to promote those businesses within the community.
As a community led organization, the more involved you are, the more successful we can be. Here’s how you can help:
- Volunteer on one of the 4-Point Committees.
- Sponsor an event or program.
- Participate in community surveys, quarterly meetings, and other engagement activities to provide your input.
- Shop locally!
- Share events, promotions, and other messages via your social media channels and personal networks.
- Attend events or participate in a local program.
This is a national and state level program that recognizes Bernardsville's commercial corridor as designated "Main Street" and, therefore eligible for resources, assistance, grant funding and more.
Designation with Main Street New Jersey comprised of a lengthy application process and several years of preparation, including establishing a board of trustees, widespread support, and other specific criteria. An application to New Jersey's Division of Community Affairs was submitted on March 31, 2021 and designation was established on September 1, 2021.
With this designation, Downtown Bernardsville will now strive for accreditation with the National Level Main Street program, following key criteria for a minimum of two years to be considered.
The Main Street program follows a 4-Point Approach, consisting of 4 key committees that create projects and programs in the areas of Design, Economic Vitality, Promotion, and Organization. Each of these volunteer committees work independently but also come together at key moments to focus on the revitalization of Bernardsville and maintain a thriving community. To learn more about these 4 committees, click here.