As of Dec. 31, after nearly 50 years of advocating for and community among businesses within Hopewell Borough, the Hopewell Business Association will cease operations.

The organization has experienced a steady decline in membership, with the largest drop occurring over the last 10 years. The final meeting of the group will be held on Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Hopewell Valley Inn and Bistro.

The agenda will be less of a meeting and more of a celebration of the many accomplishments and camaraderie shared throughout the years. A few of the most memorable HBA contributions to the community are as follows:

Hopewell Valley Central High School scholarship program: Established in the late 1970’s in memory of Don Allen, the HBA has awarded two seniors with $500 scholarships to help further their educational goals each May, ahead of graduation. Students looking to focus their studies in business would write competitive essays sharing their college plans and goals. HBA members would select the best written essays and award one girl and one boy with the scholarship funds.

Winter Holiday Snowflakes: The beautiful lighted snowflakes that decorate Broad Street from November to February were a community project sponsored by the HBA. For the past several years, the HBA shouldered the expense for the installation, removal and maintenance of the snowflakes. This year, the HBA has donated the snowflakes to the Borough of Hopewell to ensure they will continue to brighten our winter holidays in the years to come.

Parking and Road Rules: The walkable community we enjoy today was threatened by higher traffic and parking volumes during the 1980’s. The HBA was the voice of the local business community, working with the Borough Administration and town council to restrict parking and speed limits to keep patrons, family and friends safe while they were out and about shopping, dining, or taking in a show.

Hopewell Harvest Fair: This wonderful community event was originally known as Fireman’s Day, and then became Community Day in the late 1960’s, when it was run by the HBA. Its original location was the “field” that once existed where the Hopewell Village Square now stands. Hopewell Friends took over the event in 1986 and renamed it the Hopewell Harvest Fair.

The HBA shares its heartfelt gratitude and thanks to the current and past membership for their passion and support throughout the years. They would also like to thank the community for their support. It has been an honor to be part of the amazing story of Hopewell, New Jersey.

— Janice Schroeder

Janice Schroeder is president of the Hopewell Business Association. She can be reached by email at hopewellbusinessassoc@gmail.com.