More than two dozen members of the Franklin Square Chamber of Commerce braved frigid temperatures to celebrate a successful 2018, meet with other local business owners and swear in new and returning officers and board members at Plattdeutsche Park on Jan. 30.
“The chamber is about businesspeople working together,” said Liz DelliPizzi, its first vice president, a local real estate broker and business owner. “We want to promote small businesses so that they can prosper and the Franklin Square community can prosper.”
DelliPizzi added that the group tries to hold at least four social events a year to give members a chance to network, make new connections and strategize about efforts to fill vacant storefronts on Hempstead Turnpike. “It’s important to me,” she said, “as a homeowner in Franklin Square and as a broker and owner of my own business.”
“We’re volunteers,” said Second Vice President Patrice Maresca-Sehne of the various efforts that members undertake. “We try to empower local businesses in order to make our community grow and make it better.”
Maresca-Sehne, who runs her own pet-walking and -sitting business, invites speakers to share information at general chamber meetings that may be valuable for members doing business in the area. They have included postal and sanitation workers, Nassau County Problem-Orienting Policing officers and, last year, a speaker representing famed self-help guru Tony Robbins.
In addition to members, a handful of elected officials attended the dinner to show their support. County Executive Laura Curran touted some of her accomplishments intended to make Nassau more welcoming to commerce.
“In Nassau County, we’re really working hard to create a more business-friendly environment,” she said. “We need you to do well so that we as whole can do well.”
Curran spoke of measures such as the elimination of a vendor fee late last year, which had required businesses seeking to do business with the county to pay $125 to issue a bid for their services, as well as progress on the Nassau Hub project, a mixed-use plan to develop the area around the NYCB Live Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which she said she hoped would be a boon to business across the county.
Additionally, Town Supervisor Laura Gillen encouraged residents to reach out to her office for ideas on how to make it easier to do business in the town’s various communities.
“I’m always glad to support our chambers, and it’s good to see the amazing job the Franklin Square chamber has done in promoting business in the area,” she said. “Supporting local business is something we really want to focus on at the town because we want to see downtowns thriving in all of our municipalities.”
Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana, who lives in neighboring Garden City, spoke excitedly before the chamber members about the neighborhood’s business community. “I love Franklin Square,” she said, noting that she knew the area well. “You’ve got the best Italian [food], the best bakery. Everything you have in Franklin Square is great.”
Her remarks elicited applause from the crowd.
Roughly midway through the speeches, chamber members stood up to introduce themselves and their businesses, which included everything from a private investigation firm to web marketing and legal services
Afterward, the chamber’s 2019 officers and board of directors were sworn in before dinner and members looked to new projects in the new year.