Small businesses across the country have been closing shop during the last decade. However, in South Buffalo, I believe there's been some light at the end of the tunnel. There have been pockets of hope on Seneca St., South Park Avenue, and over at the Clinton/Bailey Market. I know in 2001, Seneca St. looked terrible. The only businesses on it were run down bars. I believe things started to improve during the next year and have slowly continued.
The Tops on Seneca St. along with Francesca's, Dairy King, Wiseguys Pizza, and McCarthy's Funeral Home have that block looking very good. It is well lit and busy with shoppers. I know I sometimes go to the Tops over there due to it's proximity to Tim Hortons. On South Park, there is a new plaza on Okell St. with Leo's Pizza and the appliance store whose name I can't remember. That block, along with Mineo's Pizza and the South Buffalo Dance Academy looks good as well. The Wayside is not too far, either. There is also a nice car show in the Fall as well as a Taste of South Buffalo. Two events that I think are catching on in popularity.
Since 2001, Assemblyman Mark Schroeder has preached for residents to shop in their own neighborhoods. The Greater South Buffalo Chamber of Commerce, formed in the same year and led by Ann Enger, has been instrumental in helping newer businesses get off the ground and showcasing existing businesses. Ann's office is located inside Assemblyman Schroeder's office at Seneca and Cazenovia St.In fact, I don't consider this blog a business. However, Mark told me he reads it regularly and both Ann and Mark have opted to work with it, instead of against it. Both have also helped us with our efforts to promote indoor and travel soccer in South Buffalo.
I hope to speak to Ann about possibly getting some of the small businesses to donate gift certificates to raffle off to the readers. That way, the businesses get the advertising as well as potential new customers and the readers would get gift certificates for local businesses. I hope to showcase some of the good things happening in our area, while still reporting everything else.Much still needs to be done. Unfortunately, there are still small pockets of people living on some of these sidestreets causing disruptions to families trying to do the right thing. It would be nice to see the good, law abiding families of South Buffalo take back their neighborhoods. One small, but important step is to take back the commercial strips by shopping there.