VICTOR, N.Y. (WROC) — December is a big month for revenue for many small businesses. In the Town of Victor, the Executive Director of Chamber of Commerce and the Director of Economic Development have joined together their forces to help them. They say tag-teaming felt natural when the pandemic hit, to combine their efforts for fundraising, and getting the word out to shop local.
One idea they came up with was an extension of Small Business Saturday – to be Small Business Week.
“It’s pretty unique for a chamber of commerce and economic development agency to partner. It’s more than just us working together, we join forces in terms of fundraising, events,” said Kathy Rayburn, Director of Economic Development for the Town of Victor.
“Kathy and I are determined to make sure this community survives, and get through this pandemic,” said Amy DiPrima, Executive Director for the town’s chamber of commerce.
Small Business Week includes raffle baskets, which several businesses have contributed to. “These businesses donated to these baskets and they’re housing them in their stores,” said Rayburn. Residents can purchase a raffle ticket for $1, and all proceeds go to the Victor Farmington Food Cupboard.
One small business owner in Victor, Melissa Sharrow at Busy Bean Cafe, says she is thankful for the extended event, and that she needs all the help she can get, with the fear of having to shut down as COVID-19 cases rise.
“It’s every day, I’m afraid we are going to have to do that again and it hurts,” said Sharrow.
Sharrow says this is the first year the business has been open, and also the first year she has ever run one. With the pandemic, there was twice the learning curve for her. Part of that was learning how to keep everyone safe.
“We wipe everything down, like everybody does, make sure sanitization always up to code,” she said.
Sharrow is just one of many small business owners, who feels nervous heading into a big revenue month as cases continue to rise. Rayburn and DiPrima say for this reason, they’re partnership plays an important role in helping them.
“Kathy and I are always trying to come up with ideas, how to support, come up with little promotions anything we can to do help with small businesses,” said DiPrima.
Small Business Week ends on Saturday with an event ‘Light up Victor.’ There will be open houses for businesses all along main street, a tree lighting with toy donations for Toys for Tots, a drive by parade for this year’s high school senior and a giveaway for the charity raffle baskets. ‘Olaf’ from Frozen will be available for socially distanced pictures from noon to 4 p.m.
For the senior drive-by parade, seniors and family members are encouraged to decorate their car with things like Christmas lights and balloons.