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Downtown New Jersey Annual Conference Focuses on Recovery, Creativity, and Adaptability in the Face of Covid-19

Downtown New Jersey's annual conference has gone virtual this year, but New Jersey's premiere economic development event will continue to offer insights and lessons into downtown management best practices, as well as development, business, and retail market trends. The public and media are invited to participate in this year's conference, Downtown Recovery: Survive and Thrive in 2021, a three-day celebration and networking experience that will take place on Tuesday, January 19, Thursday, January 21, and Friday, January 22.


While Covid-19 has changed the conference venue, it has further reinforced the value of downtowns as vehicles for providing enormous economic, cultural, and social benefits to communities throughout New Jersey.


New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy will give the opening address on Tuesday, January 19 by, kicking off the conference's first day with a focus on economic recovery. Strong Town's Chuck Mahorn will then give a keynote address highlighting the critical ways local leaders are on the front lines, grappling with the challenges of our times, and how our communities can be stabilized. The panelists in the afternoon discuss ways the pandemic informs new strategies to build stronger and more diverse local economies that are better equipped to manage the impacts of future disruptions.


Placemaking is the topic of the conference's second day, Thursday, January 21, with discussions about ways downtowns can thrive by capitalizing on community assets, the role of the physical retail store in our new retail reality, and an awards ceremony recognizing excellent placemaking projects and initiatives intended to help small businesses survive and thrive during the pandemic.


The conference's final day on Friday, January 22, includes discussions about ways in which various crises – from terrorism to climate change to economic uncertainty to Covid-19 – have disrupted downtown development and how developers have had to adapt. The day will conclude with a panel of New Jersey mayors sharing thoughts about policy initiatives needed from state and federal government to foster recovery and better support downtowns.


For more details about the 2020 Downtown New Jersey conference and to register, visit


About Downtown New Jersey

DNJ is a non-profit membership organization of individuals, businesses, developers, government agencies, and local and regional entities that are passionate about downtowns. DNJ provides advocacy, education, and technical assistance resources dedicated to ensuring the vitality of our downtowns. For more information, visit

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