Gazette Ceases Publication: Donates Archives to LHS

In 2010, the Larchmont Gazette ceased publication. In 2011 the publishers donated all contents to the Larchmont Historical Society, which will continue to make the Gazette archives available online.

All inquiries should be addressed to the Larchmont Historical Society.

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Congresswoman, We Retailers Need Help

A version of the following  letter was mailed to Congresswoman Nita Lowey on March 23.  Mr. Newland is awaiting a response. 

I have owned and operated Designer One, a woman’s clothing boutique,  in Larchmont Village  for 35 years. I’m the only small retailer to be nominated by Dee Del Bello and selected for the Westchester County Business Hall of Fame.

Today I’m in the fight of my life to keep my door open. I have laid off my 7 employees in the past 22 months. My wife and I now work 7 days per week.

This “repression” began in May 2007. There was a sudden, sharp drop in sales unlike any  I’ve ever experienced. I’ve always maintained that  ”Main Street knows before Wall Stree,t” as we are the backbone and driver of the consumer economy.

I’ve been a passionate and engaged leader in the Sound Shore, supporting numerous charities, organizations,  schools and art programs.  I love what I do for a living and am as passionate and optimistic now as I’ve ever been.

Our current economic climate has been dictated by malfeasance,  both on Wall Street and in the banking industry. They have gambled with my money and future and have lost them.

My store sales have fallen more than 45%, my excellent credit with  vendors  has eroded. I’ve maximized my credit line and filled  my credit cards to purchase new merchandise.  Optimistically, I have six months before I am forced to close.

This snapshot  is indicative of thousands of retailers across Westchester.

Since we work for ourselves,  we pay our own medical insurance – $27,000 annually.  Our  daughter’s college is $40,000 per year.  For her education, I saved $400 per month for 18 years and invested in government strips, municipal bonds, stocks and mutual funds. Half of those investments have been lost, forcing me to apply for help from her university. My mortgage payments are $3,200 per month.

These obligations are typical of thousands of small business owners.

My landlord has not abated my store rent, even after I poured $100,000 into improvements.  I’ve managed to “re-merchandise” my  inventory so 90% is under $200 per item – and  received very positive responses from my loyal customers.

In Larchmont-Mamaroneck  there is increasing unemployment in the financial and banking industries that employ many of my customers.

We on Main Street have not seen  TARP and other stimulus funds trickle down.  Retailers have yet to see a lifeline.

I suggest   a town hall meeting with you and your constituents in the “ma and pa ” businesses so we can share our immediate needs.  It might also serve Timothy Geithner to return to his backyard and listen to us.

 I understand a deal is being planned for small businesses co-ordinated with the banks and SBA  -  but I’ve also read where banks are hesitant to extend themselves to  local businesses.

I would love to meet with you –  in Westchester or Washington. I would love to help  you create an economic summit on Main Street to help revive our American Dream.  

I can see the light, and we need our government’s help and financial support to make it through.

Eric Newland
Larchmont, NY

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2 comments to Congresswoman, We Retailers Need Help

  • I would like to offer some suggestions for Mr. Newland and his business.

    To help offset health insurance costs I recommend researching the Ithaca Health Fund which provides affordable health insurance options for New York State residents

    Newland might also want establish a web presence to help sell his clothing outside of Westchester. There is no need to set up a whole site. Newland can sell his wares via sites like eBay and Amazon for a small commission price. There is a large market for fine clothes on these sites that cater not just to the local area but the entire planet.

  • Ralph Petrillo

    Well we all hope that your business picks up, but it would be very hard for the state government to subsidize local commercial businesses. In NYC, there are so many empty stores popping up for the landlords are not lowering their rents. Some landlords own over 100 buildings and they do not lower their rents. It is a market where consumers are choosing WalMart and Target, and shopping online. Have you set up a website? Consumers are cutting back for the banks are technically bankrupt. Just today Bank of America requested another $35 Billion dollar handout to stay open. Besides the internet, the train station is busy during rush hour, make up a flier with promotions that you can hand out. Many people may respond after meeting a small business owner. I wish you luck, but business is only going to get more competitive due to the recession.