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Jefferson Avenue ready for Small Business Saturday

Mike Desmond

While the retail neighborhoods in the Elmwood Village, in South Buffalo and along Hertel Avenue have been well-established for years, the merchants on Jefferson Avenue are looking to gain similar traction. Many of the merchants are hoping the spirit of Small Business Saturday will kick start a happy holiday business season.

Merchants say things are getting better and see real progress. A bank is returning to the shopping strip and new housing near the Johnnie B. Wiley sports facility is expected to be a boost.

"What a community has to do is to learn how to support the businesses that's in its community," said  Larry Stitts, president of Golden Cup Coffee. The shop has a new location in the community center near Jefferson and Utica.

"I don't think you go to the burbs for the quality. I think you just go for the hoopla and we want to produce quality."

At Buffalo's Golden Corner at Jefferson and Delavan, Rocky is hoping for a holiday surge.
"With the neighborhood around here, with the Canisius College area, we love Small Business Saturday,' he said.

"We've been here for over 15-plus years. We've been established in this neighborhood and we love it here."

Doris Records has been on Jefferson and Ferry since 1962 and it remains a center for recorded music.

"Every day is important so Small Business (Saturday) definitely helps," said Pete. His feelings reflect many of the Jefferson Avenue merchants that the neighborhood is improving, but faster growth would be helpful for the small businesses which can struggle from month-to-month.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.