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‘Shop Long Branch’ Program Gives Student Discounts

The City of Long Branch has partnered with Monmouth University to form the Shop Long Branch Property Tax Reward Program, which will provide cash rebates to students when shopping in Long Branch at participating locations. 

This program is managed by a third-party company which is currently implemented in 26 municipalities throughout New Jersey.

Roberto Ferragina, Assistant Director of the Office of Community & Economic Development for City of Long Branch, believes that this system will benefit students by allowing them to buy preferable food based on the discounts from participating locations. The only challenge this program will face is making it known. 

Ferragina and the City of Long Branch are confident that this program will last as long as the participating businesses and customers are engaged with it. A total of 35 Monmouth students and 22 local businesses have registered for this program. Businesses currently participating include Bacon Beach Grille, Bella’s Pizza, Butcher’s Block Restaurant, Caputo’s Italian Pastry Shoppe, Norah’s Irie Jamaican Restaurant, The Peddler Bike Shop, Natural Healthcare, Ace Hardware, and V&S Auto.

Long Branch Mayor John Pallone is certain that the program will be beneficial for all parties involved. “This program is a win-win for both businesses and the customers who use a Shop Long Branch card. Our hope is that participating businesses will see an increase in exposure, customers, and therefore more profits. We hope a lot of students take advantage of this program,” he said.

Each participating business decides on its own discount percentage and regulations. The average student discount is 7.5 percent. They are managed by which is a third-party entity that receives a portion of the discount for processing the transactions. 

The third-party company receives the transaction information from the participating businesses and transfers the data to the municipality. From then on, the correct percentage is abstracted to the consumer’s property taxes or calculated and distributed in the form of a check at the end of the year to those who utilize the card, but do not live or own a home in Long Branch. 

The discount is ineffective to the customer at the register and is recorded and passed on to for processing. Businesses may enter or exit the program at any time without penalty. Businesses may increase or decrease their discounts at any time without penalty.

Ferragina explained that “Restaurants typically do very well with these types of programs since we live in a society where eating out is sometimes a daily or weekly activity.”

“Any discount program affects profit margins for the business establishment offering the discount. We do not see any direct disadvantages. Rather, the challenge is to engage in effective and repetitive communication by promoting the program and educating both the business community and the shopping base about the program,” he continued. 

Grant Rataski, a senior student business student, predicts that this program will become an asset for business. “Businesses will generate more revenue due to more consumers going to each establishment. It would be an advantage for students if they can just show their if,” he said.

In order to participate, go to, and check the box “Monmouth University Students Select This” to complete registration.

When visiting a participating merchant, a list of participating businesses and their offers is on the website, provide them with your registered phone number. QR codes can also use.

IMAGE TAKEN from City of Long Branch