With local stores and eateries gearing up for the holidays, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, the county Industrial Development Agency and the Nassau County Council of Chambers of Commerce are partnering to encourage residents to explore, shop and dine at small businesses in their local communities.
With Small Business Saturday approaching on Nov. 30, Curran appeared on Monday with representatives of the IDA and NCCC at TrainLand in Lynbrook to announce the first countywide Shop Small Scavenger Hunt — a competition in which people will vie to be the first four residents to snap pictures of themselves buying or paying for services from small local businesses and then upload them to Facebook or email them to the chambers council before 10 p.m. on Small Business Saturday.
To participate in the Scavenger Hunt, people must complete any four of eight tasks outlined on the website www.nassaucountyny.gov/shopsmall, including purchasing a beverage or snack from a local coffee shop, bagel place or deli; getting a haircut at a local barber shop; getting your nails done at a local salon; or purchasing clothing and other items at small local stores, among others.
“Ninety percent of all Long Island companies are small businesses, so shopping small makes a big impact,” Curran said. “Small businesses employ our neighbors, family and friends, and choosing to buy local helps keep our communities vibrant and strong. That is why we’re introducing the Shop Small Scavenger Hunt, encouraging residents to have some fun, while supporting and exploring the mom-and-pop shops in their communities.”
According to Curran, for every dollar spent at a small business, roughly 67 cents stays in that local community.
TrainLand owner Kenneth Bianco, who has owned his shop for about 50 years, said he supports the Scavenger Hunt because he believes small businesses are critical to allowing local residents to connect with one another and their communities.
“Shopping at your local business leads to friendships and caring for each other because we all live in the same world,” he said. “Small businesses have to keep flourishing and growing because when you shop local, it’s better for the economy and better for Nassau County, Long Island.”
Members of the IDA and NCCC also support the initiative and hope that businesses will provide pleasant experiences for their customers to help the Scavenger Hunt succeed.
“It’s important that we continue to support our small businesses who are the backbone of this county and nation,” IDA Chairman Richard Kessel said. “We encourage all Nassau residents to shop locally and in their downtowns throughout the holiday season.”
“Merchants must provide an enjoyable experience and personalized service,” the president of the NCCC, Dennis Grossman, said. “Stores must modernize and grow through mixed use and full, well-planned downtown revitalization, and the areas that do this are successful.”