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Turkish Business Owner Aims To Boost Cliffside Park Businesses

Cliffside Park Chamber of Commerce President Vedat Alp at his commercial insurance business on Anderson Avenue.
Cliffside Park Chamber of Commerce President Vedat Alp at his commercial insurance business on Anderson Avenue. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule

CLIFFSIDE PARK, NJ — A Turkish commercial insurance broker is hoping to help revive Cliffside Park businesses -- and would like to see at least one Fortune 500 company someday emerge as a result.

Vedat Alp, the president of Cliffside Park Chamber of Commerce and owner of Alps Insurance & Financial Services, is hoping a number of events will revive businesses in the borough.

“The rent is reasonable," Alp said. "It’s close to New York and has a nice community. Paramus is five times the cost for people starting businesses in New Jersey.”

After renovating the former Things From England record store space on Anderson Avenue, Alp turned his attention to other small businesses. Several -- Scotty’s Taxi, for instance, have been around for generations.Alp is offering his skills in risk management and business to see them stand the test of time.

“We have value. We want to keep businesses in town," he said. "We’re not like Edgewater or Fort Lee that are somewhat newer.“But we also want to expand. I want to see a Fortune 500 company here."

Cliffside created a chamber in 1940, but it has lay dormant for nearly a decade.

The state chamber "is two hours away in Trenton," Alp said. "They don’t know about the businesses we have here.”

Since he became president in June, Alp has been meeting with other groups at the International Chamber of Commerce's MegaNet event. More than  200 are expected on Nov. 12, when 19 chapters from Bergen and Passaic Counties unite in Hackensack.

Alp's next plan is to help Cliffside students attain higher SAT scores, link them to internships, and connect those of Italian, Korean and Turkish backgrounds descent to help create new businesses.

“The people that live here love Cliffside Park because it is a healthy place to live,” he said. “Maybe one of those kids will start a Fortune 500 company right here.”

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