Events & News
Small Business and Employment Opportunity Fair
May 23rd, 2018
8:00 am to 12 pm
Mercy College — Yorktown Campus
2651 Strang Blvd., Yorktown Heights
Sponsored by PCSB and Steve Giordano
We are happy to invite you to one of our major events of the year. Our Small Business and Employment Opportunity Fair is being sponsored by PCSB and Steve Giordano Builders, hosted by Mercy College Yorktown and supported by the Westchester County Association. Download the flyer here.
NEWS: Letter from the Editor
Date: October 14th, 2016
Struggle Between Local Small Businesses and Big Box Retail
There is a struggle taking place today between local small businesses where everybody knows your name and big box retail and national chains where the customer is an anonymous entity (nobody knows your name). Much has been written lately about local small businesses, their importance to our economy, the feeling of community that they create, the critical role they have in a healthy vibrant community. Whether you live in a village, town or city, local small businesses are the backbone of the community. They are the risk takers and job creators that boost the local and regional economies. Becoming a go to-place, a destination in large part, is the result of risk taking by local small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The memories that many of us have walking down Main Street, in Small Town USA (my Main Street was Columbus Avenue, Tuckahoe circa 1950) is something we cherish and many of us have a longing to experience again. I remember walking down the Avenue (Columbus that is) with my mother and brothers, my mother would greet by name just about everyone we encountered. A trip for some milk and bread could take an hour (walking). We could get anything we needed on Columbus Avenue. Milk, bread, haircuts (Johnny Bambace), soda/beer (Leewood, Coca Cola) fresh pasta, pizza (Roma's, Salerno's) clothes (Epstein's) fresh chicken. If there was not much foot traffic on the street we could stop in any shop along the way, walk in and be greeted by or greet the shop owner by name.
This was a time when people not only knew each other's names, but where they lived, worked, and the conversation was more like one that you would have with a family member or neighbor, than with a stranger. Layaway plans and store credit were the norm then. In many shops after the owner added up the bill (often no cash register, just pen and paper); my mother would pay cash for nearly everything. On occasion she would just say, "Put it on my bill". The owner would just say, "Ok Rose". No credit cards then, just a pen in hand and a notebook.
Payday was a big event for us. As most cases then, Friday was the big day, pay day. During the next few days my mother or father would drop in on the local shops and settle up their accounts. It always seemed to be a happy and positive time for both my parents and the shop keepers. Making good on credit that was extended to them on a hand shake and the good feeling that came from paying a debt owed (settling up).
Change is in the wind, you can smell it, you can taste it and you can feel it. People are talking about it, reporters and bloggers are writing about it. Yes we can bring back the sense of community, a vibrant local economy and that cozy down home, good feeling of years past, if we set our minds to it. One town, one street, one store front at a time.
The way forward is to assess our town's assets and attributes to understand our strengths and weaknesses. With that information we can put a unified strategy together (nonpartisan, nonpolitical) that will help us weave the fabric of our community's future. With our rich history dating back to the revolution, significant historic landmarks, a fantastic park system, a trail system unmatched in the area, growing interests in the arts, many cultural activities, we can become a destination. Improving, enhancing and creating a lasting, vibrant Yorktown community has become a priority.
Newsletters and E-Blasts
Beginning in June we began our bimonthly newsletter highlighting our activities and new members. We also began to email information on our member’s offerings and discounts which have been very well received. We are reaching hundreds of local residents and businesses on a regular basis.
Our membership has grown from 0 to 60 in less than 1 year. A great accomplishment. With few exceptions our members operate their businesses from Yorktown and reside in Yorktown. They are local and small in every sense of the words.
Meet and Greets
Established at the beginning of the year, all were held at member’s places of businesses. A low key way to meet other business owners and residents to network, plant seeds for future business and exchange business cards for new opportunities. Events were held at Yorktown Deli, First Niagara Bank, Turcos, Northeast Dental and Trailside Café.
A number of members in the Front-Kear-Underhill area who are dependent on street parking for their businesses brought to our attention their concerns. We met with the town board and highway department Superintendent Dave Paganelli. Within a few weeks working with the highway superintendent we were able to provide relief to those businesses. Missing and damaged 2 hour parking signs were replaced, lines were painted on Front Street delineating parking spaces and neighboring businesses and town employees were asked to insure their employees were not parking in areas of concern by our members and their neighbors.
Through our fund raising activities were able to donate funds/volunteer for the Yorktown Grange, Railroad Park Rehabilitation, Community Day and Garden of Hope initiative.
YSBA Logo Design Contest
Working with Chase Media graphic artist and designers a number of logos were submitted and reviewed. The Chase experts working with the YSBA, combined several of the logos resulting in our official logo. Our logo has the look and feel of an old time walkable community. The single story store fronts allows one to imagine meandering from one shop to another, under the awnings and trees (offering shade) passing the planters and lights which gives the feel of what a local small town business district used to look like. A feel that many would like to see return to our town one day.
Letters to the Editor, Press Releases, Seminars and Contests– Numerous letters and press releases were written to and published by our 2 award winning local papers (Northern Westchester Examiner and Yorktown News). We held seminars and fund raising contests.
First Say No, Then Say Yes (May 2014)
Intended to discourage political parties and other business organizations from intimidating local small businesses into openly supporting their candidates. Hoping to make the businesses and residents realize we need each other regardless of our political affiliations.
Meet and Greet Month
Yorktown Small Business Association announces August as YSBA Meet and Greet month. Five well attended events were held at Trailside Café with lively discussions on 202 corridor development, possible Front Street initiatives, visions of the town 5 and 10 years out and how the town could help local small businesses compete with new competition. Meet and greets were continued through the rest of the year at various members locations.
YSBA Pizza Contest
Six of our 18 pizza restaurants participated in this October event. The winners in order were 1st Calabria (Shrub Oak), 2nd Nonna’s (Yorktown Heights), 3rd New York Pizza Company (Crompond). It was held at the Yorktown Fair grounds and benefited a number of community service organizations and good causes.