Small business is the backbone of our local and regional economy, and Community Development at the microeconomic level holds the key to more vibrant downtowns and more viable businesses. On a recent visit to Mahopac, Congressman Sean Maloney, Assemblyman Steve Katz and State Senator Greg Ball, County Executive Maryellen Odell and Town of Carmel supervisor Ken Schmitt joined local business leaders and executives of the Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber and Putnam County Chambers of Commerce in advocating for a fresh approach to enhance the quality of this vital community.
Clearly our elected leaders realize that an improved business climate in Mahopac can reverberate not just through Putnam County but throughout our neighboring counties as well. We all agreed that pending and upcoming projects in the County may also be better received if we work to make existing commerce districts to be the best they can be and get occupancy rates to 5% or below. Throughout the Hudson Valley, efforts are under way to eliminate government red tape and give the businesses the tools they need to grow, create jobs, and jump start our economic recovery. In my opinion projects such as “Envision Brewster” are exactly what this county needs to compete with surrounding counties and Connecticut.
To that end, a new Downtown Business District Development Committee/Alliance has been formed to investigate the possibilities and recommend immediate action to the Town Board on various initiatives including parking, safety, vehicular traffic, pedestrian and bike-friendly access, and other issues. Committee members include business and property owners Marc & Tonya Anthony from South Side Grille, Dawn Brown, XPress Printing, Michael Bothe, Mahopac Florist, Paul Vassallo, Mahopac Launderaid & Dry Cleaner, David Nicholas , Mike Gao, Kobu ,Nick Lupinacci, Charles Melchner, Jr. who also owns a runs Mahopac Marina plus chamber of commerce leaders and local government officials. This committee has high hopes. Says Mike Bucci, CEO of the Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce, “Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you have to think small. Be awesome!” By standing up and working together, this committee expects to produce some truly awesome results for downtown Mahopac.
The Putnam County Chambers of Commerce is supporting projects such as this throughout Putnam. We will continue to report on our progress. The purpose of our annual Trail blazer “Success” Awards event which will be held this time on January 31st at Villa Barone is to celebrate and support our efforts in community development. Save the date and stay tuned!
-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce