April 15, 2020

Neighbors,

As of 9:00 a.m. today, our community has 58 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. To put this into perspective, 123 residents have received access to the limited available testing (e.g., they’ve exhibited the required fever and respiratory symptoms), and of that number, 58 results have returned positive and 65 have returned negative. Two members of our community have passed away due to COVID-19 to date. Please continue to keep their families in your prayers.

In Essex County, there are 8,561 positive cases and 589 reported deaths. In New Jersey, there are 69,204 positive cases and 2,861 reported deaths.

Reminders

  • Property tax payments are still due on May 1; this is mandated at the state level.
  • Sewer payments are due May 1; the Board of Trustees has extended the payment date.
  • The Public Works yard and recycling center will remain closed to the public until future notice. This includes Container Day scheduled for Saturday, April 25; Electronic Waste scheduled for Saturday, May 2; and Container Day scheduled for Saturday, May 16.
  • The Governor’s Executive Order requires “customers to wear a face covering when entering any essential business open to the public, with limited exceptions” (e.g. health-related reasons and children under age 2). As you know, this is no longer optional. If you are not wearing a face covering, you can be denied service.
  • You must properly dispose of your gloves/masks in the trash, not our streets. Do not flush “disposable wipes.”
  • The physical operations of all non-essential construction projects ceased at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, April 10. For homeowners or renters, projects already underway with a construction crew of five or fewer individuals and involving individual single-family homes or an individual apartment unit where an individual already resides may continue.
  • STAY AT HOME

Lastly, the Village has a wonderful partner in the South Orange Village Center Alliance, which has been working closely with our small business community. You can find the message to our community below from Julie Doran, SOVCA’s executive director

Sincerely,

Sheena Collum
Village President

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Support Our Small Business Community

Our small businesses are struggling right now, and they need our help. We appreciate the support and concern you’ve shown our businesses by embracing the new normal of curbside pickup, contactless delivery and virtual platforms.

We are proud of the efforts our businesses have made to continue to supply the goods and services we need. Seemingly overnight, they’ve created virtual shopping platforms; pivoted to online fitness, education, and music classes; and added personal delivery services. Their efforts are impressive.

Unfortunately, not all our businesses are able to stay open, but there are ways we can offer assistance to all our businesses.

Support SOVCA

The South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA) is working to keep all South Orange businesses informed about the latest state and federal guidelines, financial aid packages and available business resources. We are also working with community partners, property owners, business owners, and residents to create support programs and tools for our businesses now and after the crisis. Any donation you can make today will directly support these initiatives and are tax deductible. You can donate directly via Paypal.

Professional Service Providers

Many of our smallest businesses could use professional services support right now. If you or someone you know could provide low or no cost accounting, legal, financial or insurance counseling, please contact us at info@sovillagecenter.orgor call 973-763-6899.

Look Local First

Make a commitment to shop local. You’ve no doubt heard these words before, but now they’ve taken on great significance. Before purchasing those essential goods and services elsewhere, ask yourself if a local option exists. In most cases you’ll find it does.

Many local businesses have implemented processes and procedures to allow you to shop local with little to no contact during this period of sheltering at home. If you are unsure about how to access the goods and services you need, visit our Business Directory, which features Take Out & Delivery, Available Shopping, and Wellness and Services.

Shop Online

Most retail goods and services are now available online. Whether it’s through Facebook Live, FaceTime, Zoom, or e-commerce platforms, our businesses are ready for you. And you’ll often find that you can get same day delivery — even faster than Amazon or other online retailers. If you are unsure, check our Business Directory or just call and ask. Our businesses are working around the clock to accommodate your requests.

Buy Gift Cards

Many of our businesses sell gift cards online. Simply visit their websites or call individual businesses to inquire. Buying a gift card now, as a gift or for a later use, helps businesses with much needed cash flow.

Another option is to visit SOMAGeneralStore.com, where you can shop for gift cards from more than 30 local businesses. The selection includes many of our beloved South Orange businesses, including Kitchen a la Mode, Sadie’s, Mod Studio, Jackie and Sons, The Fox and Falcon, and more!  Buying gift cards online is a great way to keep supporting local businesses during this time. SOMA General Store also sells merchandise from these local businesses.

Help Spread the Word

Join our mailing list and follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @SovillageCenter. We’ll keep you up to date on the latest openings and closings, merchandise and menu items, and innovative business practices. Also, remember to share our posts using #SOMAOpenforBiz. It helps get the word out!

Your continued support is appreciated. We hope that by accessing the goods and services available from our South Orange businesses, you’ll feel a little more secure and connected to our community during this uncertain time.

 

Julie Doran
Executive Director
South Orange Village Center Alliance

 

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In addition, residents have the option to subscribe to non-emergency notifications relating to various Village services and issues, including parking issues, recreation sports, classes and activities, and weather alerts.

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