While the first snowfall of the season may have left many residents annoyed and irritated and looking for ways to relax, it seemed only fitting the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce spent the afternoon at Relax on Cloud Nine to help kick off the holiday shopping season and promote Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24.
The day — which is held annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving – reminds customers the impact to support their favorite small businesses and “Shop Small.”
“For every $100 that is spent in the community, $68 comes back to the local community,” said Chamber President and CEO Linda Baran.
“It’s important that we as a community realize the impact those dollars have that are spent in small businesses,” said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-East Shore/Brooklyn), who attended the press conference at the West Brighton spa. “It is not only reinvested in the businesses allowing them to expand and create more jobs for our neighbors, but they are also the ones who support our Little Leagues, cultural institutions, and nonprofits.”
Small businesses build strong bonds and friendships with their customers to create quality connections allowing them the opportunity to cater to their desires.
“Staten Island is a very strong community. A very loyal community. We’re seeing second-generation clients now,” said Doreen Zayer, owner of Relax on Cloud Nine. “A lot of it is listening to them, and as their needs change, we change. We create new services around the needs of the people.”
Small businesses play a vital role in local neighborhoods since they account for 99.7% of all registered businesses in the United States. Also, the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy says that United States small businesses employed 58.9 million people, or 47.5 percent of the private workforce, in 2015.
“With the Chamber, about 90 percent of our 700 members and about 9,000 businesses on Staten Island are small business owners. So, it’s really important that people spend money in our local community,” said Baran. “We really want to encourage everybody to shop local all year long, but especially this time of year.”
Zayer said Relax on Cloud Nine will offer specials for that day only and inform customers about new services.
The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, which is one of over 7,000 Neighborhood Champions across all 50 states, is encouraging businesses to take selfies of shoppers on November 24 with them, their staff, signage, or unique finds and share their photos on social media using #shopsmallstatenisland & #shopsmall. At the end of the day, the social media push helps spread the word about all small businesses on Staten Island and nationwide.
“I would encourage people to shop old school. It’s a wonderful thing. We have some great shops and great businesses here on Staten Island,” said Chamber chairman Glen V. Cutrona.
In addition to Relax on Cloud Nine, several Chamber members will participate in Small Business Saturday with special offers. Those businesses are: Harvest Cafe, South Shore Eyecare Associates, Boutique Boutique NYC, Expedia Cruiseship Centers, Cape House Gallery, Mrs. Rosemary’s Dance Studio, Garber’s Do It Best Hardware, Pastosa Ravioli, and Moravian Florist. Also, Casale Jewelers, Rab’s Country Lanes, Spare Pair Vision Center, Transfer City USA, La Strada Restaurant, Flowers by Bernard, Williams Eye Works, Alfonso Pastry Shoppe, South Fin Grill, Stop & Stor, Post Exterminating, and Alluring Eyez Optical.