With the holiday season approaching, County Executive Edward Mangano along with many Nassau County Chambers of Commerce urged residents to shop locally.
During a press conference in Merrick on Tuesday afternoon, Mangano launched the "Spend It, Buy It, Keep It Local" campaign and expressed why he believes it's crucial for residents to support local businesses.
"We are here to remind our residents to keep it local because it is so important" he said. "This year it is even more important to shop locally, as many small businesses throughout Nassau County are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy."
Chambers of Commerce members from Merrick, Bellmore, East Meadow, Farmingdale, Wantagh, Seaford, Freeport, New Hyde Park and Plainview came out and showed their support.
Julie Marchesella, president of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce and owner of Queen of Hearts in Merrick, said that when residents support their local merchants they keep their communities alive.
"When you have a vibrant downtown, it says a lot about the community and that it supports its own merchants," she said. "Business owners are the ones who support non-profits like the little leagues and create jobs."
According to Mangano, small businesses make up 60 percent of jobs on Long Island and two out of every three new jobs over the past 15 years have been generated by small businesses.
"With local employers contributing to the economic base and connectivity of our local communities, we must raise awareness about the role they play," Mangano said.
Toward the end of the press conference, County Clerk Maureen O'Connell announced the launch of the Veterans Recognition Program.
Through the initiative, veterans can record their papers in the clerk's office and are then provided with a photo identification card which allows them to get numerous discounts on goods and services offered by local businesses. More than 100 Nassau County businesses are participating in the program.
"I am honored to provide services to our veterans that at the same time support our local businesses and economy," she said.
"Now more than ever, our local businesses need our support," he said.