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Metro Creative Connection

State encourages New Yorkers to shop locally


Fri, Nov 27th 2020 07:05 am

Supporting local businesses this Saturday and year-round strengthens communities & boosts local economies

Watch Department of Labor’s Small Business Saturday video here 

Read the COVID-19 guidance for retailers during the holiday shopping season here

Small Business Saturday 2020:

>> Celebrating homegrown merchants - Warren's Village Hardware

>> Celebrating homegrown merchants - Greg's Pools

>> Celebrating homegrown merchants - Hibbard's Old Portage Shop Wines & Liquors

>> Neat holiday shopping experience in NT

Shop Small for the holidays:

>> Holiday Market going virtual

>> Downtown Niagara Falls unveils free DNFBA winter savings card

This Saturday, Nov. 28, is “Small Business Saturday” in New York and, on Wednesday, Empire State Development, and the departments of Labor, Taxation and Finance, and Agriculture and Markets encouraged all New Yorkers to safely support their local small businesses, which are in need of help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They said, “Small businesses generate millions of jobs throughout the Empire State and, by choosing to shop locally Saturday, and every day, New Yorkers are investing in their neighborhoods, strengthening their communities, and keeping tax dollars within New York state.”

 “We encourage all New Yorkers to help support struggling small businesses now and throughout the holiday season,” Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our businesses and our residents, it’s important to support local, small businesses in our communities. With Small Business Saturday and the holiday shopping season, there are many safe ways to support businesses by shopping online, buying gift cards, or posting on social media. We are committed to helping our small businesses with the ‘New York Forward’ Loan Fund, Empire State Digital and other initiatives to raise awareness and lift each other up during the holidays and year-round."

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner, President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “Now more than ever, it is imperative that we support New York’s small businesses, because the health and well-being of our small businesses is of paramount importance to the overall economic vitality of New York state. During this trying time, ESD has devoted substantial state support to ensuring that small businesses can recover and thrive, but we cannot do it alone – the support of everyday customers is integral, and we encourage New Yorkers to shop at their local small businesses this Saturday and every day.” 

State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “Small businesses are the catalyst in fueling our local economies and it is more critical than ever that we support them on Small Business Saturday and every day. They are playing a vital role in New York’s economic resurgence as we move our state forward and through this pandemic. We should all do our part to ensure that they remain prosperous and at the epicenter of our neighborhoods.”

Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Michael Schmidt said, “Small businesses, which drive economic activity, employment and innovation in communities across the state, have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. By shopping local, New Yorkers can help these businesses persevere through this unprecedented period and thrive in the economic turnaround to follow.”

State Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “New Yorkers have certainly answered the call to buy local from our farms and small food and beverage businesses, understanding that they are crucial to our local economies. This Small Business Saturday and this holiday season, we have an opportunity to give these small operations our support and provide a real boost during what has been an extremely difficult year. I encourage everyone to seek out Taste NY products at our welcome centers or online at ShopTasteNY.com for unique gift ideas, shop at a local farmers’ market for delicious holiday meal ingredients, or visit a local tree farm to find the perfect Christmas tree to bring home.” 

Small Business Saturday celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit of small business owners and invites shoppers to visit local stores at the beginning of the busy holiday shopping season. The small business sector is a major contributor to the foundation of New York’s economy, accounting for 98% of all businesses in the state and employing more than 52% of New York’s private sector workforce. New York has more than 600,000 small business proprietors, employing more than 4 million people. 

New York State’s Support for Small Business During COVID-19 Pandemic

While ESD can provide assistance through an array of programs and initiatives designed to support small business growth and help entrepreneurs maximize their opportunities for success, it also has created several programs to help small businesses, nonprofits and small residential landlords navigate through the COVID-19 crisis. This includes: 

√ The $100 million “New York Forward” Loan Fund, a public and private partnership that allows community development financial institutions (CDFI) to scale and support small business on their road recovery by offering affordable loans with favorable terms to eligible applicants with 20 or fewer employees with revenues of under $3 million.

√ Empire State Digital provides quick solutions to address the urgent needs of small businesses that are looking to for new markets or opportunities by partnering with leading global e-commerce enablers. This is a first-in-the-nation program with the partners offering education, training, marketing support, and discounted pricing.

ESD has also provided:

√ Financial support to 70 nonprofit organizations to help small businesses receive assistance in response to the pandemic.

√ $15 million of loan capital to CDFIs to provide Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

√ $300,000 in research and development grant funding to small businesses to increase manufacturing of ventilators, personal protective equipment, and new technologies in the areas of diagnostics and vaccine.

√ Created the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership COVID-19 Recovery Initiative offering $2.3 million in grants to support New York manufacturers manage challenges created by COVID-19. 

The New York State Department of Labor offers a multitude of no-cost services for businesses of all sizes, including 117,000 job postings on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Jobs Express” website, access to tens of thousands of qualified candidates in a talent pool, virtual career, and even human resources consultation services. More than 25,000 businesses each year work with DOL to list their jobs, find the right candidates, access hiring and training incentives, obtain business tax credits and incentives, get help with one-on-one labor law and safety and health compliance services, and find layoff aversion resources. For more information, visit https://www.labor.ny.gov/business. See how to make a difference on Small Business Saturday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tU4be3m2GUI.

New York State offers dozens of beneficial tax breaks to help small businesses. The Tax Department’s dedicated business incentives webpage is a one-stop shop for details about tax credits and incentives for a variety of enterprises in various industries – from farming and agriculture to research and development to manufacturing. Businesses may also qualify for dozens of job credits and incentives for hiring and training local workers, or for tax credits and exemptions intended to encourage property improvements. The Tax Department’s website, www.tax.ny.gov, offers businesses and their representatives a way to meet their tax obligations. The online services for businesses webpage provides ways to make payments, view filing information, or otherwise interact with the Tax Department. 

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets supports New York’s nearly 33,000 farms, 700 farmers’ markets and farm stands and thousands of small agribusinesses across the state through its various programs. More important now than ever before, the department continues to promote New York growers and food producers through its marketing programs, NYS Grown & Certified and Taste NY. NYS Grown & Certified now has over 3,000 farms participating on 750,000 acres of land, all committed to sustainability and food safety. Taste NY has grown to more than 1,800 participants while its stores and markets at New York’s welcome centers have implemented creative options to encourage consumers to buy local during the pandemic, including piloting online, call-ahead, curbside pick-up and produce box programs, and hosting a virtual business-to-business event, all to further maintain and grow business for New York producers. 

This holiday season, welcome centers and Taste NY locations are offering a wide variety of gifts and gift sets filled with local products made and produced by New York farms and food and beverage producers. Additionally, an online marketplace, https://shoptasteny.com/, launched in spring 2020, allows consumers to shop for New York agricultural products and gifts from the comfort of their own homes. ShopTasteNY.com has holiday gift sets available for purchase in addition to a regular selection of products that highlight the quality and diversity of New York products. Orders can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, and those placed by Dec. 17 will arrive by Dec. 24. Find a local welcome center and Taste NY store here https://taste.ny.gov/

In addition, the department’s divisions assist small agribusinesses and farmers by providing a variety of support services that enhance their business, increasing productivity, profitability and competitiveness. 

How to Support Small Businesses Safely During COVID-19

√ Purchase gift cards: Most small businesses, from one’s favorite restaurant, bar or coffee shop, a neighborhood specialty retailer, or local hair salon, offer gift cards or gift certificates. By purchasing gift cards, it will inject needed investment into these businesses well past the holiday season.

√ Order take out or delivery from a local bar or restaurant: Don’t forget to tip well. Restaurant workers have been hit among the hardest by the pandemic. Many restaurants are offering curbside delivery.

√ Shop online: If a favorite local business has a web presence, shop online to avoid crowds. Many businesses will ship or offer curbside delivery.

√ Give positive reviews: Found a great product, meal or service, or even a great promotion or sale? Let your friends and family know. Don’t forget to leave a great review on social media. The best advertising is word-of-mouth.

√ If you have to make a return, take a store credit over a refund – if possible: This keeps the money within the small business and every little bit helps. 


The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce encourages people to “Shop Small” with their favorite businesses, because it not only boosts local economies, but also makes a big difference in communities around the world.

It said, “Businesses in our communities are doing everything they can to remain open and follow New York state guidelines for your safety. Please adhere to occupancy limits, mask wearing and social distance guidelines when shopping. Many of our business also offer contactless pick-up options for your convenience.”

President Jennifer Pauly said she knows this year is different for everyone.

“Our businesses are gearing up for the holiday season and need your support more than ever,” she noted. “Some of our businesses are offering an extra incentive for you to stop in. Please think about spending your funds locally. Many of our businesses also have online options, delivery or contactless pickup.”

The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce is offering a free $15 River Region gift certificate to the first 75 people who stop by the office (895 Center St., Lewiston) beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 28.

There is one catch: The $15 gift certificate is only valid that day at participating businesses. The full listing is available online at www.NiagaraRiverRegion.com.

This promotion will have the potential to immediately put more than $1,000 back into member businesses on Small Business Saturday.

Niagara County merchants with Small Business Saturday Specials include:

•A-1 Land Care – 1527 Ridge Road, Lewiston: Fresh-cut Christmas trees, wreaths and poinsettias.

•Anchor Spirits Wine and Liquor – 113 Lockport St., Youngstown: Celebrating Shop Small Saturday since 2010.

•Buffalo Coffee Roastery – 5844 Buffalo St., Sanborn: $2 off a pound of coffee; $1 off any flavored coffee. (Friday and Saturday)

•*Canterbury Place – 547 Center St., Lewiston: Free gift with purchase. Coupon available Nov. 28 through Dec. 4 for Stonewall Kitchen and gourmet food.

•Cathy’s Hair Port – 777 Cayuga St., Lewiston – Product special – buy two, get one free.

•*Chéri Amour – 522 Center St., Lewiston: Small Business Week runs Nov. 21-29 with in-store promotions on all your favorites, including Kendra Scott, Vidda and T Jazelle.

•Como Deli on Center Street – 555 Center St., Lewiston: Homemade Italian dishes, soups, salads and subs.

•Gentlemans Club Barber Shop – 5839 Buffalo St., Sanborn: $10 haircuts. (Friday and Saturday)

•Gleam & Glimmer Stained Glass Studio – 34 Webster St., North Tonawanda: On Small Business Weekend, our popular pick-a-candy-cane sale. Discounts between 10% and 50% off one item under $50 (exclusions apply); gift certificate special: purchase $100 in gift certificates, get a $25 bonus certificate.

•The Great Foodini Pizzeria – 2564 Academy St., Ransomville – Everything fresh and made in house, including subs, chicken tenders and fish fry.

•Greg’s Pools – 840 Seneca St., Lewiston – Everything for your pool and spa; Abbi’s Toy Corner; puzzles for the holiday shopping season.

•H.A. Treichlers Greenhouse – 2687 Saunders Settlement Road: Poinsettias available for the holidays. (Friday through Sunday)

•Hurtin’ 4 Curtains – 469 Center St., Lewiston: For all your custom drapery needs.

•*Inspirations on Canvas – 449 Center St., Lewiston: Take 10% off all in-store purchases (not including purchases of commissioned art or gift certificates). Enter to win one of five necklaces or a chance at one grand prize of a $50 store gift certificate.

•Kuntz Sanborn Mill – 5890 Ward Road: Take 10% off each item more than $1 (cash or check only). (Friday through Sunday)

•Lewiston Antique Mall – 2692 Saunders Settlement Road, Sanborn: Visit our vendors, who will offer discounts at their booths. (Friday through Sunday)

•*The Lewiston Museum – 469 Plain St., Lewiston: A sneak peak of baskets raffled off Dec. 5-6. Items in the gift shop will be ready to fill your gift needs for those “Hungry for the History of Lewiston.” Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

•Master barber Aaron Stevens – 744 Center St., Lewiston: Visit me at my new location.

•Niagara Records – 5833 Buffalo St., Sanborn: Take 10% off all records. (Friday through Sunday)

•The Niagara Sausage Co. – 5611 Lockport Road, Town of Niagara: Holiday roasts and hams available.

•Patti’s Cut Above – 2568 Youngstown-Lockport Road, Ransomville: Gift certificates available.

•*The Rose Hanger – 480 Center St., Lewiston: 15% off storewide! Some exclusions may apply. Free Rose Hanger individually packaged cookies from Just Desserts by Aimee (while supplies last) and a raffle to win a $25 The Rose Hanger gift card! Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit www.therosehangershop.com.

•Sanborn Old General Store – 5856 Buffalo St., Sanborn: Open house. Take 10% off each item. (Friday through Sunday)

•Shawnee Country Barns – 6608 Shawnee Road, Sanborn: Open house. Take 15% off anything. (Friday through Sunday)

•Sue’s Frame of Mind – 748 Center St., Lewiston: Expert framing of treasured memories, keepsakes and art; gift certificates available.

•Tortuga Sandwich Shop – 5835 Buffalo St., Sanborn: Come visit our restaurant.

•Tracy Gillick’s Hill-Vue Café & Catering – 1439 Ridge Road, Lewiston: Home-cooked specials for breakfast and lunch; best burgers in town.

•Wagner’s Farm Market – 2672 Lockport Road, Sanborn: Homegrown apples are $12 per ½ bushel. Homegrown squash is $15 per ½ bushel.

•*Warren’s Village Hardware – 185 Portage Road, Lewiston: Your year-round grilling headquarters. Take 10% off Melissa & Doug toys and educational products.

•Wilco Auto Care – 5882 Ward Road, Sanborn: Your “Sanborn Tire Headquarters.” Call us for a great deal. (Friday through Sunday)

•The Winery at Marjim Manor – 7171 E. Lake Road, Appleton: Double-discount day on Friday, Nov. 27. Take 8% off four bottles, or 12% off six bottles; or 24% off 12 bottles. Free holiday wine gift bag with the coupon on Page 11.

*Denotes participation in the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce member promotion.

Visit the chamber website, www.NiagaraRiverRegion.com, for an up-to-date list.

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