Nick Bilotta, owner of Final Touch Auto Collision, is not from Seaford, nor does he live there. But his business sits on Merrick Road just west of Seaford Avenue. Bilotta, 29, has only been a part of the Seaford community since opening his business in 2014. However, one would be hard-pressed to find an active community member that has made more of an impact over the last five years, and the Seaford Chamber of Commerce recognized Bilotta’s efforts, naming him Seaford’s Small Business Person of the Year.
“I love Seaford, and I love how everyone in this neighborhood is so supportive of each other,” Bilotta said. “Because of that, I’ve wanted to do more for us as a community.”
Since 2014, Bilotta’s generosity has spread across the south shore community quickly. Final Touch became an official sponsor for the Seaford-based Long Island Broncos youth football and cheerleading organization, the Seaford Little League, the Seaford High School wrestling, cheerleading and baseball teams, and donated the money to provide the custom Seaford Vikings seat cushions for the high school’s sports team’s benches. Bilotta also made donations to the Seaford Lions Club, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and to breast cancer and leukemia research.
In Bilotta’s first year of operations at his auto body shop, Seaford’s own John Theissen of John Theissen’s Children’s Foundation, came in to get work done on his car. Bilotta learned about Theissen’s cause and once again, opened his wallet and heart to help.
That December, he paid to rent a van for Theissen’s annual toy drive so foundation volunteers could drive around the neighborhood picking up donations.
Bilotta was also sworn in as an active member of the Seaford Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in 2017.
“We [at Final Touch] only give back to the community that has given so much to us,” Bilotta said.
Final Touch also supports the local police and fire departments in Seaford, and contributes to the Parent-Teacher Association as well.
Bilotta runs the day-to-day operations with his brother Raffaelle and their father Pasquale, which is where Bilotta attributes the origin of the familial nature in which he treats his customers and community.
“In my family, we grew up where everyone was treated as family,” Bilotta said. “Whether you are here plugging up a tire or had a bad car accident, you will be treated with the same type of warmth and welcoming feel, like you’re family.”
At Final Touch Auto, coffee and desserts are plentiful and are offered to everyone who enters the door.
Bilotta’s move to Seaford almost didn’t happen. In 2014, the businessman was looking at different locations and considered a move to Lynbrook.
“We were looking at a few different locations, and Lynbrook was a real possibility,” Bilotta said. “But as I became more familiar with the area, it ended up really feeling like home to us.”
Bilotta has enjoyed his time so thoroughly in the Seaford community that he opened up a second business just a few years after his first. Best Auto Leasing and Brokering, housed at the same location as Final Touch Auto Collision, Bilotta’s car rental business, opened in 2017.
Bilotta said that he is very happy to even be nominated for the award and that it is a great achievement that speaks to his commitment to his adopted community.
“We try and spend as much time home with our families as possible,” Bilotta said. “But I definitely spend more time here than I do at home, so I treat this neighborhood like I do my home, and I treat these people like I would my family.”