SPARTA — The Sparta Township Economic Development Committee met Monday night at the Mohawk House to discuss a new initiative to provide local business owners with a stronger voice in the community. The EDC consists of fifteen members, including Deputy Mayor Joshua Hertzberg, who serves as Co-Chairman alongside James Hammond of Verizon.“We want to know what we can do as a township to help businesses be successful,” said Hertzberg, who added that the members of the EDC provide only a “small cross-section” of Sparta business owners. “We want to get everybody’s input.” Sparta’s first Open Business Development Forum is designed to do just that. The forum will be held on October 25, and is open to all local business owners wishing to offer their feedback and discuss their concerns with the committee.“We just started hand-delivering invitations on Main Street today,” said Hertzberg, who added that the plan was to continue to meet face-to-face with business owners throughout Sparta over the next two weeks. Hertzberg said that some of the major issues on people’s minds include “restrictiveness of signage” and zoning concerns.“Maybe there are rules that need to be updated,” said Hertzberg, adding, “We don’t just want to listen. We want to be able to say, ‘We heard you, and here’s what we’re doing.’” “It’s about building a better Sparta,” said Steve Scro, owner of the Mohawk House and fellow member of the EDC. “The Mohawk House is proud to be part of this and making a difference. We’re coming together to create something special.” The Open Business Development Forum, which Hertzberg hopes will be “the first of many,” will take place on October 25 at the Mohawk House, from 6 PM to 8 PM. Local business owners wishing to attend can RSVP by e-mailing the EDC at email@example.com, or calling 973-729-8093.