Times are tough all over, but they are especially hard on small, family-owned businesses like those lining Main Street, Park Street, Broadway, Saranac Avenue or Demars Boulevard. High taxes and decreasing retail traffic are shuttering stores all across New York state. No downtown is immune, including ours.
Last year the New York Press Association, the New York Conference of Mayors and the New York Economic Development Council collaborated to do something about it. There was so much buzz about the "Spend $25 on the 25th" promotion that we decided to do it again this year.
This citizen initiative is intended to put a few extra dollars into the cash registers of Main Street merchants across New York - and to remind all citizens how much charm, character, value, sales tax revenue and community support these shops provide to our communities.
It's a simple concept, and it has helped to pump up business: We're asking you to spend $25 at a local store on Thursday, Aug. 25.
Many shops are offering special discounts that day, which will be noted with "Spend $25 on the 25th" logos affixed to their store windows. Check today's newspaper to see the special deals being offered by participating local merchants, although even non-participating stores are worth supporting.
The "$25 on the 25th" campaign will not solve all of New York's problems - that's going to take a far bigger plan - but it may help keep some Main Street doors open just a little longer, until the economy gets stronger and they can get back on their feet. And it will serve to remind us how precious our downtowns are. Without them, Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Tupper Lake and the surrounding hamlets would lose a lot more than stores.
We thank you in advance for patronizing our local businesses, not just on Aug. 25 but throughout the year.