The Hicksville Business Expo hit the Broadway Mall this past weekend as the Hicksville business community showed off its best and brightest.
At the Hicksville Business Expo '99: Patricia Conway, president, Hicksville Chamber of Commerce and Ella Marie Columbo, vice president receive congratulations from (left to right) County Legislator Edward Mangano, County Executive Thomas Gulotta, Town Supervisor John Venditto and NYS Assemblyman Marc Herbst.
"I thought it was a great success," said Ella Marie Columbo, vice president, Hicksville Chamber of Commerce. "We had more tables this year than last year, and more business people seemed to participate this year."
Sponsored by the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce, over 30 Hicksville businesses set up shop in the galleys of the mall to educate the public about their varying products and services. According to Columbo, the expo also affords business owners the opportunity to interact and establish a relationship with the people who reside in the communities surrounding their business.
"I honestly think that it does [create a greater sense of community spirit between the business sector and the residents]," said Columbo. "The people get a chance to talk to the business owner, to the post office, to the water district, to their politician and it affords them the opportunity to ask questions of some businesses they might otherwise not."
She continued, "I think its benefits are twofold. I really feel it is a great idea for the community and the [business sector]."
The day-long schedule of entertainment included a free autograph signing by Wayne Merrick, a member of the four-time Stanley Cup Champion Islanders team of the early 1980's, and Buddy Dreimann, "Mr. USA".
The students of the Ella Marie Dance Studio performed two dance numbers during the day, and Jump for Joy and Stillness in Motion each staged exhibitions.
"I really think that things like this do help the community; it makes people proud of their community, said Columbo. "To keep your community going, to keep everything clean and prospering, you have to be proud of the community in which you live or work ."
The county and town each presented citations of recognition to the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce for their work in putting together the 12th annual staging of the event. Nassau County Executive Thomas Gulotta and Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto each praised the success of the expo. Nassau County Legislator Edward Mangano, who had a booth along with Assemblyman Marc Herbst, indicated that the expo allows him an opportunity to get in touch with people in the business sector and the residential community.
"It provides me an opportunity to interact with both the business community and the residents." said Mangano. "Here I can expose both segments of the community to various county programs that can assist in the common goal of making Hicksville a better place to live and work."
Assemblyman Marc Herbst said, "I think it promotes community spirit and involvement The residents and the businesses have the opportunity to meet and talk, not only about commerce in the community, but social concerns and activities."
Mangano continued to express his admiration of how the Hicksville business community and the Broadway Mall co-exist and almost seem to thrive off each other.
"What this event does is it exemplifies how a mall and local hometown storefront businesses can find innovative ways to co-exist and help each other," said Mangano. "It is unique because tension usually exists between a mall and hometown businesses. Hicksville has decided to concentrate its energy on building each other's businesses up as opposed to knocking each other down."
The Broadway Mall, which hosts the expo annually, has always been an integral part of the Hicksville business community.
"Besides increasing traffic it fosters our ties with the community," said Tricia Clark-Robbins, marketing director, Broadway Mall. "It also gives the local businesses an opportunity to see what the mall and each other has to offer."