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Thankful For Small Businesses

November 25, 2016

Hopefully you all had a great Thanksgiving. I hope your Thanksgiving involved food, friends, and family. Count me among the many who are appalled that Black Friday sales have crossed the midnight line of demarkation, and now begin on Thursday. It’s a travesty.

If we are going to make America great again, might I suggest rolling Black Friday back to Friday. And really, today should go by its other name: Buy Nothing Day.

It’s not as if I’m anti-capitalist. I’m not. For the most part, I am very thankful for international trade, industrial manufacturing, and big businesses. But these forces do need to be kept in check. One reason to limit the influence of big business, has to do with the importance of small business.

Saturday is Small Business Saturday, but I shop at small local businesses all the time. Just the other day I was in Troy at Collar City Sweets buying treats for my Thanksgiving hosts. These took the form of sponge candy from Buffalo, NY and turkey joints from Rome, NY.

Today, I’m going to share some more small business news with you. Mostly, because the businesses asked. But also because I think it’s a good thing to do.

Saratoga Apple’s New Tasting Room Serving Local Craft Beer and Cider

On Saturday, November 26, 9 Miles East Farm is doing a pop-up in the new tasting room at Saratoga Apple.

The pizza farm is bringing its mobile wood fired pizza ovens, imported from Finland, and serving pizza made with local organic flour in their three-day cold-fermented sourdough crust.

9 Miles East Farm will also be making a big batch of Pho, the Vietnamese beef stew, with local grass-fed beef and some of the farm’s own vegetables.

They will be serving from 5-8pm on Saturday, November 26, which seems like a time in the Thanksgiving weekend when people might want to go out and get a break from leftovers and shopping. The event is also a way to entertain visiting foodie relatives.

Partnership Announces Small Business Saturday in Schenectady
DSIC, Chamber and BID encourage consumers to support local businesses

Schenectady, NY (Nov. 22, 2016) – Three Schenectady business organizations are working together for the third straight year to drive community awareness of Small Business Saturday and to kick off the holiday shopping season for Schenectady’s local businesses. This year, the big day is Saturday, November 26. The Small Business Saturday Schenectady Partnership consists of the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation (DSIC), Capital Region Chamber and Upper Union Street Business Improvement District (BID). The Partnership held a press conference on Tuesday, November 22 at City Hall to announce participants and activities for Small Business Saturday in Schenectady and to encourage the community to shop small.

Said Jim Salengo, Executive Director of the DSIC, “Year after year, our local businesses are definitely seeing the positive influence of Small Business Saturday. We invite shoppers to come out on November 26 – and throughout the entire holiday season—to discover the many unique treasures and one-of-a-kind experiences offered by Schenectady’s fantastic independent businesses.”

Said Mark Eagan, CEO of the Capital Region Chamber, “Each of us in the Small Business Saturday Schenectady Partnership has signed up to be a Neighborhood Champion and receive special tools to promote the day. Participating businesses will have a mix of Small Business Saturday items on hand to celebrate with their customers. It will be a great day in Schenectady!”

Said Chris Mastroianni, Chair of the Upper Union Street BID and owner of Michael’s Shoe Service & The Last Gentleman Co., “We are excited to promote Small Business Saturday again this year in partnership with the DSIC and Chamber. While we each work to promote our individual member businesses throughout the year, this is a perfect way to showcase a large cross-section of hardworking entrepreneurs that make Schenectady a fantastic place to shop, dine, work, live and play.”

Said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, “This Saturday and throughout the holiday season, I encourage shoppers across the Capital Region to seek out small businesses before they head to the mall or get on a computer. Schenectady is home to so many locally-owned shops that offer quality customer service and products you just can’t find anywhere else. When you buy local, you’re getting a great experience, but you’re also helping the local economy and the small business owners who are committed to making our community thrive.”

In 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday to help independent businesses with their most pressing need – getting more customers. The single day has grown into a powerful movement, and more people are taking part than ever before. According to American Express, an estimated 95 million people went out to shop at small independent businesses on this day in 2015, marking an 8 percent increase from 2014. Additionally, total spending among U.S. consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday reached $16.2 billion, an increase of 14 percent from $14.3 billion in 2014.

Dozens of local businesses in Schenectady have created in-store specials, drawings, giveaways and more specifically for the Small Business Saturday Schenectady Partnership’s promotion. The Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority will be offering free parking in downtown’s public lots and the Broadway garage all day Friday and Saturday, November 25 and 26; details at

For more information on Small Business Saturday and local businesses in Schenectady, visit,, and

Saratoga Springs Restaurant and Bar Under New Ownership
Max London’s owners take over

Saratoga Springs, N.Y. – Gaffney’s Restaurant and Bar, “Saratoga’s Place to Be,” located at 16 Caroline Street, has sold to Saratoga Hospitality, LLC, the team behind Max London’s Restaurant, Mrs. London’s Bakery and Café, and the Saratoga Stadium. John Baker, who has owned Gaffney’s for nearly 35 years, sold the property this past Friday, November 18.

“We have great respect for what Gaffney’s has meant to the Saratoga community, staff and guests since 1978 and we look forward to continuing the traditions established here under John a long time ago,” said Ryan Venezia, partner, Saratoga Hospitality, LLC. “We wish John the very best as we know how much Gaffney’s has meant to him. We’re dedicated to improving the already fun, lively and friendly atmosphere and bringing first-class food to Gaffney’s.

Starting after the first of the year, Saratoga Hospitality, LLC will make improvements to the interior and eventually the exterior. Gaffney’s will continue to operate as a restaurant and bar offering American cuisine, cocktails, outdoor dining, light catering and live music.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. RogerK permalink
    November 25, 2016 12:49 pm

    Now that you’ve finally bought your first jar of Turkey Joints, I’ll let you in on an additional way of enjoying them. Yes, they are delicious all by themselves, and even with coffee or a glass of milk. But I also discovered that dipping a Turkey Joint into your favorite brand of peanut butter brings them to a whole nuther dimension. Enjoy!

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