MODC Celebrates 50 Years of Advocating for Shore Businesses
The economic outlook for the shore area appears to be very positive. That's the word from
the head of business advocacy and networking group, Monmouth Ocean Development Council (MODC) during WOBM A-M's Townsquare tonight.
Listen to the Full Interview:
MODC Executive Director Ben Waldron said that even though there's a lot of uncertainty out there, the business outlook is positive.
"After we got past the aftermath of Sandy and started to come out of the recession period, there's been a lot of growth taking place within businesses, " said Waldron. "There's still a little bit of hesitancy about bringing back employees."
Waldron said the MODC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and continues to serve businesses in the bi-county region in a number of ways. He said chief among them is through education, so that business leaders know what obstacles lie ahead that would inhibit business growth.
"We've tried to be that educational arm for the business community so that we can bring some of that information out from the state and from the county and from local government and help them overcome some of those challenges and allow them to grow their business and spend more time in their business and working the business, than having to deal with some of the issues that are impacting their business," Waldron explained.
In the aftermath of Sandy, not only did the MODC open up its Wall Township offices to businesses that were severely impacted, they put on a number of programs that they thought would be beneficial, like workshops about the recovery process and keeping business continuity going.
Waldron describes this summer tourism season as great, mainly because of the favorable weather conditions.
"Most every municipality that we talked to, beach front municipalities, have indicated that their revenues are up, their beach badge sales have been way up most of the summer, we saw a lot more activity at the shore. I think this is the second year ... after the storm people realized that the Jersey shore is open and that we're not handicapped down here by anything that took place."
Waldron said they did notice one big change. He said people seem to be staying at the shore for shorter periods of time. Instead of staying for one or two weeks, He said they're only staying for a few days. Waldron attributes that to economic reasons but he also said Sandy played a big role in reducing the number of rental units available.
As far as the business outlook, business owners appear to be approaching the future cautiously and are reluctant to dive in with both feet, explains Waldron. He also said that we haven't seen the real impact yet that the minimum wage increase will have on businesses.