It is generally very quiet on Saturdays on the shopping streets of Great Neck Plaza as so many shop owners are Sabbath observers and their businesses are closed. However, on Small Business Saturday, this past Saturday, Nov. 30, business was up. Some store owners aid that their business was “as usual” for a Saturday in the Plaza, but several were delighted that business was “up” for Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday, developed in 2010 by American Express as an American special shopping day the Saturday after Thanksgiving, takes a typically busy shopping day and adds a bonus to encourage shopping in local “mom and pop” stores. For every local small business purchase of $50 or over, charged to American Express, the card owner receives a $10 bonus.
Walking up and down the shopping streets in the Plaza, Middle Neck Road, the main road in the business district was, as usual, very quiet, but the parking lots were pretty full and shoppers walked quickly into the stores on this cold Saturday.
The toy business was really booming in Fantastic Kids, the popular, well-stocked toy store. In the middle of Hanukah, and with Christmas fast creeping up, the store was full. Stacey, the well-known manager, greeted friends and long-time customers. Extra help was on hand, ringing up purchases and wrapping one beautiful gift after another.
Stacey was happy to report that Small Business Saturday was certainly helping to bring in the customers.
At the “landmark” Lazar’s Chocolates, also on Middle Neck Road in the Plaza, the Great Neck Record talked to owner Richard Lazar, a long-time Great Neck resident with the Great Neck store his first location. Lazar said that the first year Small Business Saturday came about, he saw a real boost in his business; lots of people out buying these special chocolates. Each year since, though, business has gone done more and more on this shopping Saturday. At Lazar’s the Record met up with former Great Neck Chamber of Commerce president Elliot Rosenblatt, obviously out and about support the local businesses he has touted for so many years.
Across the street, at Lonny’s, the place for women to keep their clothing lovely and up-to-date, the sidewalk was quiet, but a peek in the windows showed lots of women (of all ages) trying on new fashions.
Dinner that Saturday evening at Bevanda, the always-bustling Italian restaurant on Middle Neck Road in the Old Village, business was, as usual, busy. Many customers were not aware of Small Business Saturday, but find this upscale restaurant a perfect evening treat all year. Dr. Robert Lynn was unaware of Small Business Saturday, but greeted Bevanda co-owner Vincent Primozic with the words “I liked dinner so much yesterday, I’m back again tonight.”
And for those who shopped with their American Express card, soon after they paid for their purchase, $10 was quickly put in their account.
A nice way to shop locally!