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Shop Locally, Shop Garden City

With nearly 10 days left to shop-until-you-drop, residents still have an opportunity to help support local businesses this holiday season. Shop local and shop in Garden City was the passionate message from John Wilton, the chairman of the Merchant Professional Retailers Group, who spoke at the most recent board of trustees meeting.

Wilton, who said he sometimes feels like the town psychiatrist, emphasized that village merchants have voiced a need for support in this sluggish economy. “I need everybody to clearly understand, times are still tough out there at the retail level...This is the last shot; this is it. This is the shopping season,” Wilton said.

“Any infusion of capital that you can expend in our village, in our stores, in our shops. Do all your catering, do all your Christmas parties; do all your purchasing locally. This is the time because this is their last shot for net profit for this year,” Wilton said, adding “Let’s keep the hospitality in Garden City and let’s keep the bucks in Garden City.”

In this week’s mayor’s column, Mayor Robert J. Rothschild also encouraged residents to make a “conscious effort” to choose Garden City as the place to shop and dine. “Many residents consider shopping and dining in our business districts as ‘experience shopping’ because they meet friends and neighbors along the way and have an opportunity to interact with them. This is in stark contrast to frantically dashing through the crowds in the mall or the big box retailers,” the mayor wrote.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano spearheaded the effort to bring awareness to the importance of helping local neighborhood stores at a recent press conference. Mangano, who was an owner of a small business, encouraged residents to shop in their own neighborhoods. “Our mom and pop stores are the lifeblood of Nassau’s economy and the foundation of our communities,” Mangano said. “They need our support.”

Garden City’s Merchant, Professional and Retailers Group, a Committee of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce, is a coalition of local merchants, shopkeepers, business, medical and professionals. The Group’s collective goal is “to continue to develop an ongoing advertising and marketing campaign to encourage Garden City residents and members of the business community, to direct their consumer dollars to core village businesses; additionally, to create a marketing campaign to draw consumer dollars from neighboring communities,” according to its website.

For a list of village merchants, visit www.gardencity