Economic Development

Hoboken Business Alliance Unveils Strategic Economic Plan

The Hoboken Business Alliance (HBA), a special improvement district dedicated to enhancing Hoboken’s business landscape and bolstering the local economy, has announced the Hoboken Business Alliance Strategic Plan. This first-of-its-kind long-term plan for the HBA will guide the organization’s next three to five years as a leading advocate and business resource in Hoboken.

Developed with Streetsense, a global creative collective, and with input from business and property owners, Hoboken leaders, government officials, and residents, the Hoboken Business Alliance Strategic Plan includes key findings and recommendations for how the organization can implement improvements across the city to kickstart the next phase of Hoboken’s economic evolution.

“As Hoboken emerges from the past years’ economic uncertainty, we are excited to share a clear roadmap to usher in the city’s next chapter as a shining example of urban economic resilience,” said Roxanne Earley, executive director, Hoboken Business Alliance. “The Strategic Plan marks a defining moment for the future of this vibrant community of residents and businesses, and for millions more who visit and enjoy all that the Mile Square City has to offer. It embraces Hoboken’s strengths, identifies solutions to shared challenges, and delineates a long-term vision that is brought to life with both immediate and sustained improvements to create a vibrant and inclusive business district where everyone can shop, dine, play, and stay.”

While the HBA will continue to offer the core supplemental services they have become known for, the 17 strategies and policies outlined in the Hoboken Alliance Strategic Plan identify solutions to shared challenges within the business community, such as lighting and sidewalk improvements, unifying streetscape designs, streamlining permitting processes for signage and outdoor dining, updating micro-mobility plans, and more. Existing and new programs will all align with the five guiding principles identified by the plan.

Improve Organizational Capacity

Ensuring the HBA is well equipped to manage its programs and provide technical support requires sufficient investment in building staff skills to maximize capacity. The HBA will build and expand partnerships with city institutions and businesses to advance placemaking initiatives that make Hoboken an attractive place for businesses and visitors to be. Implementing a customer relationship management system to track business interactions will contribute to the HBA operating with greater accuracy and efficiency.

Grow Awareness of Hoboken

Amplifying Hoboken’s unique offerings to people in the region and beyond will help increase visitation and drive spending in the district. Placemaking activations like live music will build the city’s reputation for ambiance along key corridors like Washington Street. A new citywide event partnership program will help the HBA expand and execute a diverse set of local events to increase foot traffic throughout the City, while regional marketing campaigns will help promote the HBA’s services and events to new and existing audiences.

Improve HBA’s Value Proposition

The HBA will continue to strengthen the local business network through regular convenings, facilitated workshops, and training on important issues impacting business operations. The HBA will also build upon its data collection and analysis to inform how Hoboken and its businesses market the city as an attractive place to live, work, and play. Analysis of resident and visitor demographics, pedestrian and vehicular traffic, parking availability, public transportation ridership, and real estate will better equip the HBA as a resource for business and investor decisions through data-driven insights.

Support Existing Tenants and Improve Tenant Mix

The HBA will help small businesses thrive by cultivating partnerships and programs to improve the business owner experience in Hoboken. Further support for current and future tenants will be accomplished by working with the City to update zoning that allows for experiential retail and outlining clear, updated pathways for businesses to move through permitting and operation processes, making it easier to open and expand businesses. Additionally, establishing a loyalty card program will encourage local shopping.

Create a “Best-in-Class” Environment on Washington St.

As Hoboken’s primary shopping district, Washington Street has a distinct, lively retail and dining scene. With 26% of the city’s retail space dedicated to food and beverage, implementing improvements to create a vibrant, welcoming environment builds off of the area’s reputation as a destination in the region. In the coming years the HBA will expand bistro lighting from Newark to 15th Street, provide support to make signage approvals accessible to independent businesses, and expand and improve entry to the community’s current and future micro-mobility network. In line with improving the district’s visual identity, the plan calls for the standardizing and repairing of Washington Streets sidewalks and design elements along the streetscape for an improved experience of Hoboken’s primary commercial corridor.

“It’s been an honor to be part of the Strategic Plan process from its inception to its adoption,” James Runkle, President, Hoboken Business Alliance. “The insights and solutions in the plan demonstrate how we can elevate Hoboken by adapting to the city’s evolving needs and attract more visitors to experience the Mile Square City. I look forward to continuing our work with our board of trustees, the City, partners and residents to help bring this plan to fruition to support the incredible businesses that make Hoboken special.”

Established in 2019, the HBA has since been a powerful voice supporting Hoboken businesses thrive by providing services, guidance, partnerships, and collaboration to ensure economic prosperity. Expanding its services through the strategies outlined in the Hoboken Business Alliance Strategic Plan will allow the HBA to bring Hoboken residents and visitors together to enjoy all the city has to offer through public realm activations, like the Electric Dandelion installation at Pier A Park and Monroe Plaza. Public artwork like this gives visitors an opportunity to take advantage of the Mile Square City’s waterfront views at a photo-ready destination that brings the tight-knit community together to celebrate the city’s cultural offerings. The installation is on display until May 24.

Known for its dense population, walkability and bikeability within a square mile, Hoboken is home to a dynamic community that exemplifies urban success. A transit-rich locale one stop away from Manhattan, Hoboken’s diverse offerings make it a resilient, vibrant city that attracts visitors across the region.

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