Kicking off the holidays
Bayonne joins American Express in Small Business Saturday
by Al Sullivan
Reporter staff writer
Nov 21, 2012 | 5257 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print

After a year of slow but steady progress in the national economy, shoppers in Bayonne will have a chance to support local small businesses along Broadway and at the same time get bargains on their Christmas shopping.

With all the talk of stimulus packages among federal legislators, the best way to stimulate the local economy to help create jobs is to shop locally. According to the Federal Small Business Administration, small businesses provide more than half the nation’s private sector jobs, and over the last 17 years have generated more than 65 percent of all new jobs.

“Small business drives the American economy,” said Dr. Chad Moutray, chief economist for the Office of Advocacy in a release issued by the SBA. “Main Street provides the jobs and spurs our economic growth. American entrepreneurs are creative and productive, and these numbers prove it.”

With Christmas season starting up in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, local shoppers have even more incentive to shop along Broadway.

Like last year, American Express will team up with local business organizations to encourage people to shop locally in an event called Small Business Saturday.

Situated between Black Friday, a traditional shopping venture the day after Thanksgiving, and the more recently promoted Cyber Monday on the following Monday, Small Business Saturday was instituted in 2010 by American Express to support the local businesses that create jobs and boost the economy.

In order to promote the event, American Express gave $25 to 100,000 card holders to shop at local businesses that accept American Express. The company also gave $100 worth of free Facebook advertising to 10,000 business owners.

For every $100 spent in locally-owned stores, $68 is returned to the community through taxes, according to the 3/50 Project, a small business advocacy group.

Bargains for shoppers

Shoppers along Broadway have a wide variety of stores to choose from, which offer everything from chocolate to lingerie.

Al Richard’s handmade chocolate has long been one of the most popular stores in Bayonne, offering items that are unusual and new along with many classic holiday staples.

Located at 851 Broadway, Al Richard’s seems like an upscale boutique, and yet always offers bargain items that its owners have scrupulously searched out, as well as new products that will satisfy the most intense chocolate lovers. This year the trend is leans toward fresh items such as chocolate-covered fruit, but you can also find many of the traditional holiday items as well.

Barney Stock has been offering bargains on Broadway for more than half a century, and its owner, Mel Stock, quickly embraced Small Business Saturday. He is not only offering the store’s usual deep discounts, but also discounts from the credit card company, which, combined with the store’s annual bonus bucks, provides ample reason for people to shop there.

Bayonne has a number of quality stores on and off Broadway that include Aaron’s Gold, Kodak Jewelers, Jerry’s Drugs, Triangle TV and many other small businesses that would benefit from this promotion.

Boost for local economy

Launched in 2010, Small Business Saturday was meant to encourage shopping at small businesses during the weekend following Thanksgiving, helping remind residents to save some of their holiday shopping for local businesses.

“Small business is the engine of job creation in the U.S. economy,” said American Express Chief Executive Officer Ken Chenault. “By spreading the word about Small Business Saturday, we can help raise awareness about the critical role small businesses play in cities and towns across the country.”

“Small business is the engine of job creation in the U.S. economy.” – American Express Chief Executive Officer Ken Chenault
Good food too

Dining on Broadway is also a treat as Bayonne’s long stretch of a shopping district provides some significantly attractive eateries, including historic Hendrickson’s at 671 Broadway, which offers good food, friendly people, and a generous sampling of drinks.

Established about five years ago, LaGuardiola at 819 Broadway has become a popular pizzeria in a town known for quality pizza and classic Italian items, joining places like Pompeii Pizza and The Big Apple, which were voted as top eateries for pizza earlier this year by readership of the Bayonne Community News, and the always popular pizza of San Vito.

Adding to the already ample choices of menu items offered by Broadway is the soon-to-arrive Planet Wings, which clearly shows confidence in the growing local economy.

Uptown miracle

Meanwhile, uptown Broadway merchants are kicking off the fourth year of what they are calling Miracle on 34th Street, which will include a food, toy, and clothing drive.

“The drive in essence started a lot earlier this year. Basically the day after Hurricane Sandy,” said Vincent Virga, president of the Bayonne Chamber of Commerce. “It will all culminate with a ‘Photo with Santa Day’ on Saturday, Dec. 15. We will have Santa here taking photos and giving out goodies such as hot chocolate, coffee, candy canes, donuts, and cookies from Judicke’s Bakery from the hours of 10 a.m. to3 p.m. We will continue to have collections up until Christmas Eve. This year’s benefactor of the collection will be the Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation. Ana Quintela is doing such an incredible job over there that we wanted to help in any way possible to try to ease her burden post storm and pre holiday season.”

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