RYE, N.Y. – Representatives from local Rye merchants, businesses and nonprofits gathered at the Wainwright House in Rye for the chamber of commerce's annual luncheon. Guest speaker and American Express Senior Executive Laura Fink spoke about something poignantly specific to Rye, the importance of small businesses.
"Small businesses are critical to local economies," Fink said. "More money stays local when people shop at small businesses."
Fink delivered a presentation on Small Business Saturday, a nationwide campaign launched by American Express in 2010 that raises awareness and support for local small businesses.
According to Fink, in 2011, Small Business Saturday's second year, it drew 103 million shoppers to small businesses in all 50 states.
"Small Business Saturday is sort of the big day within our shop small movement, and we are continuing to build that," Fink said. "The need is broader, and that the more we can serve small businesses every day, the better."
Chamber of commerce President Sally Wright said that some small "mom and pops" located on Purchase Street in downtown are continuing to struggle and that initiatives like Small Business Saturday go a long way.
"We need to encourage our citizens to come downtown and enjoy downtown, enjoy our restaurants, shop in our stores and Rye will be a much better place," Wright said.