Business owners were told at the recent SID budget hearing that one of the things the SID did for them was to purchase billboard space on the Turnpike to bring them customers.
Nice. Chefs International should be happy about being featured so prominently. Not sure about the center photo but it looks to me like something that might be served at Brandls. (Personally, when I’m spending $25 for dinner I like to see a little more food on my plate than that…..Maybe somebody already ate some of it.)
Here’s the thing, though. An alert reader, let’s call her Miss S., went to the advertised web address, Come2Belmar.com. Now one would expect it to take you to a page listing all the different fun ways to spend money in Belmar, right? I’ve noticed the billboard on my way home from work and assumed it sent people to the Tourism page.
Well to her and my amazement, the link www.come2belmar.com actually brings people to this, the SID home page!
Where readers are told:
The BBP is here to help you discover why Belmar is a great place to have your business. We will assist you in starting, promoting, and improving various aspects of your business. We provide free advertising to get you noticed. We have Facade grants that assist you in making your physical location more inviting to your customers. We sponsor local events bringing more visitors into Belmar. The BBP also invest in enhancing the towns overall appearance. We make Belmar look good! Contact us and let us be a friend and helping hand for your business.
So actually, the thousands of dollars that business owners in town were forced to put up for this billboard wasn’t spent to promote their businesses to potential customers, it was spent to sell Belmar and the SID to potential business competitors! While it might theoretically help some commercial landlords with vacant space they want to lease, that’s a small percentage of the people who are actually paying the SID tax. All the rest are paying to bring competitors to town who could take customers away from them.
And the town can’t understand why some business owners are less than grateful about all this.