As a small business owner in this economy, it's certainly hard to survive.
In support of small businesses nationwide, American Express declared Nov. 26 Small Business Saturday, urging shoppers to support their local independent merchants by offering a $25 credit with American Express purchases.
Such businesses make up a large portion of the Wantagh-Seaford community, from restaurants and pubs to specialty shops and clothing boutiques. Area business owners spoke with Patch this past weekend, expressing their gratitude for Small Business Saturday and the benefits that independent merchants bring to the local economy.
Merrick resident and Seaford business owner Jessica Rosner felt that small businesses are invaluable to any community, offering impeccable service that can't be found in a large commercial location.
"They are the heart of any town," said Rosner, owner of on 3501 Merrick Rd. "Customers are offered personalized service and are welcomed with a feeling of warmth and intimacy. Shoppers become friends and a small business becomes part of the community."
Since opening its doors just one year ago, Rosner and her small business team have strived to offer just that.
"We have developed a great customer base, we're now friends with people in the area," Rosner said. "We listen when people tell us what types of merchadise they are looking for.
As a new small business owner, Rosner feels that Small Business Saturday is a terrific way for such a large company to honor independent stores.
"Black Friday is synonymous with great deals from larger department stores," she explained. "By designating a day specifically geared to smaller businesses makes the consumer aware that the mall isn't the only place where bargains can be found...It’s really gratifying to know that a day exists to give back to our loyal customers for shopping with us."
owner and Wantagh Chamber of Commerce president Christopher Brown also felt strongly about the important role small businesses play in the community.
"These are the businesses that help offset costs of tax dollars to schools," explained Brown. "They also help keep storefronts open and generate more business in general for the community."
Brown, a frequent small business shopper, thinks it's vital to hit a small business first before heading to a commercial store or shopping mall.
"It's important to support the small businesses in your area" he said. "You can find some great deals with small vendors, it will save gas money and you don't have to worry about parking."