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New Law Requires Online Sellers in New York to Pay Sales Tax; Will Benefit Local Municipalities like Bronxville PDF Print Email

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By Leah Caro, President, Bronxville Chamber of Commerce

Sep. 4, 2019: Members of the Bronxville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors met with New York State Senator Shelley Mayer (37th Senate District) in August to discuss legislation at the State regarding small business.

The Board thanked Senator Mayer for the passage of a law that went into effect this past June requiring on-line sellers without a brick-and-mortar presence in New York State to pay sales tax equal to the sales tax for brick-and-mortar retail. This new law helps to eliminate the tax advantage that on-line sellers (and their buying public) have long enjoyed.  

Chamber President Leah Caro stated, “We appreciate that Senator Mayer and New York State is looking out for small business and requiring the on-line giants to pay their fair share.”

Additionally, Senator Mayer went on to explain that revenues collected from the online sales tax would have a portion remitted to local municipalities, much in the same way that Westchester County remits a percentage of its sales tax back to our communities.

Senator Mayer, as is her style, listened attentively as Board members discussed the impact of various payroll and other taxes on small business, and assured the Board that the impact of taxation on small business owners is always a consideration for her. She is looking at forming a task force of small business owners so she may learn first-hand what is important to them, and how to further their success.

The Bronxville Chamber of Commerce is committed to being an advocate for local businesses. We value the input of our current and future members. If you’d like to serve on the Board, and any of our committees, or to become a member,  please contact Executive Director Shannon Gangemi at CLOAKING


Pictured (L to R): Bronxville Chamber Board Members Leo Gjoni, Valon Nikci, Leah Caro, Senator Shelley Mayer, Board Members Michele MacMillan, Paul Ranieri, Lou Maggiotto

Photo courtesy Bronxville Chamber of Commerce


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.


 

 
Bronxville Chamber of Commerce Announces New Executive Director PDF Print Email

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By Leah Caro, President, Bronxville Chamber of Commerce

Aug. 7, 2019:  The Bronxville Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Shannon Hurley Gangemi has been hired as its new executive director. A Bronxville resident, Shannon brings to the position vast experience from the business world, as well as committed community involvement. Shannon has volunteered with the Junior League of Bronxville, St. Joseph School, and the Bronxville School.

Leah Caro of Park Sterling Realty, the president of the Bronxville Chamber of Commerce, is looking forward to working with Shannon. “Shannon is enthusiastic and smart, and you can really see how much she cares for Bronxville and its commercial district.”

Michelle MacMillan of Paws and Play, the chamber of commerce's vice president and former executive director, agrees. “The position of executive director is so important. Shannon will be the face of our chamber, as liaison to our members, local charitable organizations, the school, and, of course, village government. I know she’ll do a great job.”  

“Being executive director for the Bronxville Chamber of Commerce seems like an ideal position for me,” stated Shannon. “I’m able to stay local for my family but make a meaningful and visible contribution to the village – which I totally love.” 

In addition to advocating for its members, the executive director, along with the board and other volunteers, works to bring nearly a dozen events to the community annually, organizes important member meetings, and promotes Bronxville and its merchants every day.

Shannon can be reached at the chamber’s office at 51 Pondfield Road (suite 6), by phone at 914-337-6040, or by email at CLOAKING  

Pictured here: Shannon Hurley Gangemi.

Photo courtesy Bronxville Chamber of Commerce


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
Metro-North Railroad to Bring New Tenants and Improvements to Bronxville Station PDF Print Email

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By Carol Bartold, Senior Reporter     

Jul. 10, 2019: After more than two years of seeking proposals for commercial tenants to occupy Bronxville Station, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced in early June that two leases have been approved. Xarupa LLC has leased the entire 2,595-square-foot station interior space and The Coiffure Clique will occupy a 239-square-foot space, with its own dedicated entry, at the southwest corner of the building.

Xarupa LLC will reconfigure the station interior into an improved commuter waiting area as well as a café that will serve coffee on the go as well as morning meals. The plan also calls for a bar and lounge area to occupy 819 square feet in the building’s northern end that will be open during evening hours.

The Coiffure Clique will offer high-quality hair styling, blowouts, and hair coloring, as well as have products for sale.

Although the MTA has not finalized a construction schedule, both businesses are scheduled to open in early 2020.

Under the terms of the lease, the new tenants will add over $200,000 in improvements to the building. Xarupa LLC will create a new seating area in the station’s waiting room, upgrade restrooms, paint the building interior, and install new fixtures. The Coiffure Clique has agreed to upgrade a restroom and install laminate flooring and shelving in its space.

According to a Metro-North Railroad spokesperson, the manned ticket window will remain open during construction and after the tenant opens for business.

Sudhil Patel, owner of the coffee concession and newsstand that has been a fixture at the station since 1986, notified the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that he would close his business at the end of June. Although his lease on the space expired in 2016, he was granted a holdover month-to-month lease until Metro-North Railroad accepted a proposal for a new tenant.

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Waiting area of current Bronxville station. Photo by A. Warner.

Bronxville Station is owned and operated by Metro-North Railroad, a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. As such, modification to the building is not subject to local village laws and regulations. The railroad has been designated as the construction and permitting agency. All design and permitting will be approved by that agency rather than the Village of Bronxville’s planning board or building department. The agency has, however, offered to meet with Village Administrator Jim Palmer to review the reconfiguration concept.

“Every week, about 9,500 customers use the Bronxville Station,” said Catherine Rinaldi, president of Metro-North Railroad. “Bringing new tenants to the station will not only improve the commute for these customers but will also help enhance the community’s quality of life.”

Pictured at top:  Bronxville Metro-North Railroad station in late April.

Photo by A. Warner







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Bronxville Life & Style: Great Local Mother's Day Gifts PDF Print Email
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By Karen Talbot

May 8, 2019:  Mother's Day is around the corner.  Below is information about great local places where you can get a Mother's Day gift that will make mom smile!


 
 
 
Toney Toni and The Gang
Special Trunk Show 
With Great Gifts for Mother's Day

 
 
 
 
Many Ways To Celebrate Mom
This Mother's Day May 12th
 
What better way to say "Thanks for being you" than with a POSH Gift Card. They do not expire and can be redeemed for any service or retail product. Get yours here
 
POSH Mother's Day Packages
 
A Day To Relax:  Give Mom a day to rejuvenate and relax with a variety of services including facials, massages, body treatments, and more. Included in these special packages are treatments featuring our delicious new retail line, Farmhouse Fresh. All of their products come straight from U.S. farms, where the ingredients are harvested, washed, and extracted within hours to ensure vitamins are at their peak.

Hydrafacial Treatment:  For our Mom's looking to brighten up their skin this Spring, look no further than our ultra popular Hydrafacial treatment. This patented technology infuses the skin with antioxidants as it extracts and hydrates. 
 
Silky Smooth Skin:  Pair any Eminence facial with Dermaplaning to get silky smooth skin that soaks up serum and masks. 
 
SunFX Spray Tan Series:  For the most natural looking glow on the go, a SunFX Spray Tan Series will ensure Mom can pop in anytime for a quick pick me up. Series of 5 or 10 are available.
 
Stop by POSH today for everything you'll need to make Mom smile this Mother's Day. 
 
Hours are Tuesday through Thursday 9-6, Friday 9-8, Saturday 8-6, and Sunday 9-2. For more details on products and services visit www.poshbronxville.com
 
 
 
 
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Note:  This content is sponsored by the participating companies

Top photo:  Pexels.com

 
The Next Chapter for Womrath Bookshop PDF Print Email

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“Womrath Bookshops and Libraries, Inc.

Announce The Opening

of their

BRONXVILLE SHOP

at

73 Pondfield Road

JANUARY 6TH

Under the management of

Mrs. Harold Van Buskirk

and

Mrs. Weston B. Hillard

Womrath Bookshop & Libraries, Inc.

Shops in White Plains and Larchmont – 37 Shops in Greater New York


By Susan Miele     

Apr. 3, 2019:  So read the ad in the Bronxville Review-Press on January 6, 1938, at which time Willis Parkview Hairdressers, at 141 Parkway Road, advertised the “smartest permanent of the year” at a special rate of $5; Bellis Pharmacy, at 116 Pondfield Road, promoted itself as “the store of personality”; and Kensington Plaza Garages—with locations at 3 Kensington Road, 47 Palmer Road, and 7 Pondfield Road—offered “for modern convenience, let us install an automatic windshield wiper and defroster” for your vehicle. Local theaters showed photoplays, and articles recounted who hosted whom for a luncheon at the Hotel Gramatan.

Womrath has changed hands (and locations) only a few times in the past 81 years, with Gene and Wanda Sgarlata at the helm since 1984 and their predecessor, Dan Gross, in charge for 36 years. Now it’s time to pass the Womrath torch to fresh bibliophilic blood, as the Sgarlatas are seeking a buyer to lead the next era in Bronxville bookselling. In retirement, they plan to spend time with the grandchild who will soon be born in London.

Even at its inception, Womrath offered more than just book sales; it also promoted “used books, novelties, bridge prizes, and gifts.” The Womrath chain offered books not only for sale but also for rent at a daily rate calculated by pagination. Book rentals stopped only about 20 years ago, Gene estimates, particularly owing to the proliferation of lengthier books, whose heftier page counts made completion of a book take longer than a per-diem price would justify.

Eight decades after the opening of Womrath, retailing books still requires finesse, but the Sgarlatas’ nimbleness has kept Womrath current, including adoption of the sale of downloadable books for e-readers.

It was on December 1, 1984, that the Sgarlatas took ownership, during peak holiday-shopping season. They were dismayed to find how bare the shelves were and set to work ordering. Dan Gross was dubious about their extravagance.

“We had a great Christmas,” Wanda remembered.

“And we learned a lot about what our customers wanted,” Gene added.

Previously, they worked at a bookstore at the Cross County Shopping Center, where Gene was manager. There, customers typically made their purchases and left, not stopping for chit-chat with the staff or establishing a relationship. Not so in Bronxville.

Bronxville proved to be, then as now, the perfect place for a bookstore, Gene remarked. “People here are smart, well-educated, well-read.” Wanda added, “and very polite, good customers. The kids, too. Everyone. We’ve loved our time here.”

Customers and staff enjoy a symbiotic relationship, both benefiting from the other’s input about books. Those who frequent the shop have probably heard Gene and Wanda discussing books at length with their customers. Strangers exchange opinions and recommendations, even making purchases based on a conversation that was merely overheard. People linger and connect.

About 20 years ago, the Sgarlatas took over the vacant space next to the original store to create what is now the children’s room. This department is particularly strong, they report, as local parents invest in their children’s enrichment and education. “Parents often don’t buy just one thing but four or five things.”

“Kids are reading more these days,” Wanda observed, referring particularly to “middle readers.” “There’s a lot more available to them--so many choices of subject, style, genre. They’re interested in a lot more now, including nonfiction and newer literature. We love when they go into that kids’ room. You can hear the chatter. And in the summer or the spring, when the door is open, we hear, ‘Let’s go to the bookstore,’ and we’re so happy.”

Especially on weekends, the kids’ room is hopping, she added. “We need to straighten up the area at least twice a day.”

“I love picking out books for kids and finding the right book,” Wanda said.

“Our job is to get the right book into the person’s hand,” Gene added.

The Sgarlatas agree that Womrath fulfills the needs of the village and plays an important role in the community. In addition to general sales, Womrath now sells to local schools in Bronxville and Mount Vernon, offering an institutional discount. This is a relatively recent development in recognition of the importance of supporting a local bookstore.

According to Ray Geselbracht, Bronxville Village historian, there were as many as three bookshops in Bronxville in 1942 and five in 1965.

“Where we live in Armonk, there are no toy stores, there are no bookstores. It’s all restaurants and banks. I need to drive 15 minutes to White Plains to buy anything,” Wanda lamented. Gene scoffed at that time estimate. “By the time you park, it’s more like half an hour,” he added.

The Sgarlatas characterize their business as successful, noting that they’ve never been in the red. “We can return what we don’t sell,” Gene explained. “We’ve had publishers say, ‘You must know what you’re doing because your returns aren’t ridiculous.’” Indeed, the Sgarlatas make selections based on their knowledge of their customers’ interests and will order books at a customer’s request.

Plans are already under way for Womrath’s annual “Where’s Waldo?” event in July, when a cardboard image of the Where’s Waldo book character is hidden in some twenty participating stores for children to find on a scavenger hunt. The month-long event culminates in an in-store party, with games, refreshments, and plenty of prizes. Beyond the fun time for children, participating stores stand to benefit from increased foot traffic.

“More events and social media are needed,” Wanda advised. Both she and Gene acknowledged that those are hats better worn by someone other than themselves. “And you need to have a love of books and reading,” Gene added. “It’s an avocation.”

Almost every week, someone calls Womrath Bookshop to ask, “Where are you located?” People who aren’t familiar with Bronxville make the shop a destination to get the book they want.

Photo by A. Warner

 
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