To spark new ideas to drive business-sector growth, 10 business leaders in Cinnaminson have been tapped by the township committee to serve on an economic development panel.
According to Dan Caldwell, principal of Cinnaminson-based Stout and Caldwell Engineers and chairman of the group, the panel members will leverage public-sector incentives — like Burlington County's funding for on-the-job training and the township's payment in lieu of taxes program — with their private-sector expertise to attract new businesses to the area and expand existing companies.
"Our goal is to spur economic development — period," Caldwell said. "Each of us has our specialty, and we have people in our offices and networks with other areas of expertise, so we'll tap into everybody we can. There is nothing that can hold us back."
According to Cinnaminson committeeman Anthony Minniti, who also serves as director of economic development, the panel will focus on growth in the township's industrial and manufacturing sectors, while potentially rebranding and reselling retail space along Route 130 for medical office use, since it is in proximity to Cooper University Hospital and Camden's medical centers.
"It's about branding the town … to market ourselves to university hospitals and bring them into the area," Minniti said. "We've maxed out our potential for retail on Route 130, so we're working on a strategy to feed into the Camden university systems."
From 2002 to 2007, Cinnaminson's economic development committee was composed of volunteer residents who developed roadway and architectural standards and an in-depth vision for the township's retail space. While the new business-focused panel can propose any development plans to the township committee, Cinnaminson's governing body will make the ultimate decision if ordinances must be altered to bring in new companies, Minniti said.
"As you achieve redevelopment, you lose the original purpose of it," Minniti said. "Instead of dismantling the committee, this year, we decided to take it to the next level. But the citizens on the board for five years had a vision for the retail space, and we don't want to impede on that too much."
According to Caldwell, while all of the 12 towns situated along Route 130 offer great locations for a new company, Cinnaminson has the most business-friendly environment, with supportive local government and roadways with high traffic counts that promote increased visibility. Mayor Don Brauckmann said the township has already achieved growth in the business sector, highlighting Sea Box Inc.'s new headquarters, which were transformed from a boarded-up glass factory site to a solar-powered facility.
"It's been a phenomenal success, (and) we want more of that in town," Brauckmann said in a statement. "We're positioning Cinnaminson to be the most business-friendly town in the region."