President’s Letter – January 2013
Happy New Year Everyone!
Welcome to 2013 as we ring in another year. As is customary, many folks have their New Year’s resolutions in place before the clock strikes midnight on New Years’ Eve. You know the usual, losing weight, quitting smoking, saving more money…etc…etc. This year with the Chamber we are looking for solutions instead of just resolutions which as many of us know usually become void by the end of January. Our primary goal for this year will be providing solutions to assist our members in not only surviving during these difficult yet helping them thrive in 2013. We plan on hosting more networking events, increasing membership and of course doing an even better job of promoting our current member’s businesses. We will be working on a solution to get all of our commercial property owners more active in taking both better care of their properties and tenants. The Chamber will also look for solutions to help fund and further expand our landscaping programs. So for the Chamber, I would say we’re all about solutions rather than just resolutions for this New Year.
As both a small business owner and President of the Chamber which is comprised of mostly small to medium size businesses, it was refreshing to hear some of the “support small business” commercials that both Optimum and American Express were running during the holiday season. Seems to be that folks are starting to return to their roots if you will with regard to shopping local and patronizing some of the smaller privately run establishments vs. dealing with just the big box stores and national franchisees. Not to say that some of the big stores are not an excellent option for certain purchases, however keeping it local is critical to many of the smaller towns on Long Island like Holbrook. Close to 70% of all monies spent in a small business remain within the same town’s economy vs. only about 30% spent in a national business. Something to consider when looking at your downtown’s vacancy rate or even your own tax bill given the fact that commercial business contributes vitally to a community’s overall tax base. Therefore continuing to shop local should be a solution for your New Year not just another half- hearted resolution.
In the aftermath of one of the most heinous crimes in our history at the Sandy Hook Elementary school just across the sound in Newtown Connecticut, it was truly amazing and touching to see how long the flags in our area remained at half-mast. A solemn and respectful reminder of all of the young and beautiful lives lost. It really provides a new meaning to me when I drive down Broadway or Grundy Avenues and pass our local schools, now pausing to say a little prayer that all or our students and faculty forever remain safe and out of harm’s way.
In closing, the Chamber would like to thank all of our members for their support throughout the past year and we look forward to doing great things for your business in 2013. Again, a very special thank you to the Holbrook Fire Department for their assistance with the holiday decorations and lightings. The Chamber would also like to thank Sachem for their cooperation and support as well.
Happy & most of all a very Healthy New Year to all!
Rick Ammirati, President