'You've got to shop local'

F.S. chamber promotes area businesses at expo

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Fifteen local businesses were highlighted at a business expo held by the Franklin Square Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 18 at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2718.
“We wanted to do another event besides the fall fair to promote our members’ businesses,” said Franklin Square Chamber of Commerce President Lisa DelliPizzi said. “This is just another creative way to promote our businesses.” She added that the pandemic prevented the chamber from holding many events last year.
The event was held at the VFW hall rather than the larger venue of Plattduetsche Park, DelliPizzi said, because the goal was to give it a more tight-knit feel for residents and local businesses alike. The expo, which was free, also featured a live DJ and food provided by five local eateries.
Owners and representatives of local businesses were eager to get to know members of the community. “I just like to be with the community and see people,” said Sasan Shavanson of One In A Million Inc, a screen-printing and embroidery company off Franklin Avenue in Valley Stream. “Obviously we haven’t been out because of the pandemic, and I’m looking forward to hanging out with the community and seeing people.”
“I’m looking forward to meeting people and trying to see if I can help anyone or any of the companies here,” said Bill Sonner of the Sonner Agency, a Franklin Square-based insurance company he has managed since 2016.

Participants stressed the importance of small businesses to the American economy. “We’re here to encourage small businesses because they hire the local work force, so it’s very important to help local business,” said Peggy Paulson of the Franklin Square branch of Valley Bank, which offers loans to small businesses. “Small business is what keeps this country going,” Paulson added. “This country is built on small business.”
Joanne Kreuscher, chamber secretary and the organizer of the expo, emphasized the importance of buying local and the relationships among residents and local businesses. “You buy things online on Amazon, you’re anonymous,” she said. “… You’ve got to shop local. It’s important for people to come in and meet and know our businesses in the area.
“You need to know Sasan, you need to know Bill, you need to know these people…,” Kreuscher added. “They’re the ones who are going to look out for you.”

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