About Town: Is Matt Lauer Destroying Small Business in Bronxville?

Opinions on recent retail closings, Bronxville Women's Club hosts Ed Oberhaus, and the Farmers' Market returns this weekend


After our story last week about the , we heard from a few folks about the causes of the recent wave of small business closings.  While most blamed rising rents, one of the more interesting theories came from Adrian East, owner of , a business neighbor of Andre’s on Kraft. 

She shared a blog post she recently wrote, which lays some of the blame on the decline in small retail business at the feet of the media, especially morning shows like “Today”, who often bring in household budgeting experts to extoll the price advantages of big box and warehouse stores.  East writes:

"With profit margins already low, and most small business owners struggling, I have to wonder if these gurus and experts are thinking about the long term implications of their advice.  With stores in towns across the country closing, main streets become ghost towns, sales tax revenues go down and property taxes go up.  With no viable downtown area, home values are negatively impacted and REAL loss is then experienced by those very same viewers who were initially and ostensibly trying to save a buck."

We think Adrian is onto something here – by saving a dollar or two by shopping at Costco (which we freely admit to doing regularly) are we jeopardizing our longer term financial stability?  What do you think?

On that note, Bronxville does seem able to support two coffee houses – the monster chain of course, and independent shop .   If you’re a big coffee aficionado, you might want to stop by Starbucks on Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m., when they’ll be hosting a tasting and pairing of their reserve coffee, Malawi Lake of Stars.  We’ll stick with our “Jamaican Me Crazy” beans at Slave. 

On Wednesday evening, continues its efforts to champion the arts in our community.  They’ll host Ed Oberhaus, the skilled local painter, for a discussion about the copies of twelve art masterpieces he created.   The event starts at 7pm, and is free, with refreshments provided. 

And don’t forget that this Saturday sees the return of the outdoor down on Stone Place.  If you’re new to the area, it’s right off Paxton Avenue, just south of Rosie’s Italian Bistro, and is one of the real treasures of our community. 

You can find anything from fresh produce, grass-fed meats, dayboat fish, and handspun yarns at the market, all at quite reasonable prices – in fact, often much better than what you’ll find at chain supermarkets and warehouse stores!

Josh Semendoff May 21, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Fun question Jay! I think the word is out though about the savings that some of the big box stores can have for a family. It's really just a lifestyle commitment regarding shopping locally and having a sense of obligation towards it.
Bronxville Chamber of Commerce May 21, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Thank you for this important discussion. I think some people don't realize what the ramifications are of not supporting local merchants, so awareness is the first step. Some people who are aware might minimize the effects of their individual spending habits. We, as a community, have to support each other and not take our assets for granted.
Josh Semendoff May 21, 2012 at 09:16 PM
I'm not convinced it may be a taking for granted as it may be some of the cold hard realities of life in the 21st century. Perhaps the recession, coupled with societal demands for bigger and better have turned people towards the big box stores, comforted by the size of the store, the size of the product and again, dollars and sense. Is Bronxville socio-economically capable of rising above this?
hamptonsrob May 25, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Don't forget the tax breaks these big box retailers squeeze out of the local politicians.


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