By Mary Marvin, Mayor of Bronxville
June 15, 2022: As summer fast approaches and many of you start packing up to head to holiday destinations, I ask you to pause and realize the next couple months will be pleasantly quiet personally, but they will also be economically quiet for our merchants.
Though finally seeing some light from the dark hole of Covid, our merchants are by no means even back to start so I ask you to shop local for all your summer purchases.
What merchants need right now is your patronage. They are a needed thread in the fabric of our Village. Many are generous to a fault to our charities, lookout for our children, know exactly what we like to purchase and genuinely care about our families.
School supplies can be purchased now to get ahead of the game; wonderful food treats can be packed and brought with you as you travel, and gifts needed throughout the summer can be purchased right here at home before you leave. To continue to have a vibrant downtown, our merchants need to get through these quiet summer months with your help.
Your thinking local and acting local is the best bargain there is as your major property asset in the Village has its value directly tied to the vibrancy of the business district. A shuttered or half-empty Pondfield Road would have disastrous effects on home sale prices.
In addition, the benefits of the sales tax generated and returned to the Village can also not be overestimated. On average, we receive a sales tax revenue infusion of approximately $1million annually. To put in perspective, any revenue loss or expenditure increase of $85,000 on the Village side of the budget results in a full 1% tax increase. Taking it a step further, if Villagers made all their purchases on Amazon last year, during budget season, the Trustees would have had to raise taxes by roughly 12% or severely curtail municipal services.
Sales tax revenue generated by local businesses is key to the success/stabilization of every municipal budget nationwide. Because of the increase in nontaxed internet purchasing, the State of Massachusetts estimates it “loses” $335 million yearly in sales tax revenue and California pegs its “loses” at well over $1 billion annually.
Beyond the clearly documented financial benefits, studies have also proven that local stores foster a human connection, even friendships among merchants and customers which fulfill a basic human need and actually contribute to longevity.
The environment is also positively affected as people walk more, less gas is consume and air quality is improved.
Even our personal health is enhanced as the more walking and exercise undertaken to make daily purchases has a positive correlation to a community’s lower incidences of diabetes and adult and childhood obesity.
In addition, children allowed to walk to make purchases are offered an appropriate degree of independence and decision making.
Small businesses also donate more than twice as much per sales dollars to local non-profits, charitable events and teams compared to large companies. Non-profits receive as much as 350% more money from local shops than non-locally owned businesses. By shopping locally, we are truly supporting our supporters.
Our merchants contribute to the vitality of the Village in many equally important indirect ways – they buy parking permits, pay taxes, buy goods and food from their fellow merchants and use the services of local professionals including lawyers, accountants, computer consultants and graphic designers. As Michael Bloomberg has said, “Small businesses are the real job creators. If you add a government job, you add one employment opportunity. If a small business opens, the ripple effect begins.”
Bottom line, if you shop online vs on Pondfield Road or Parkway Road, the “savings” you may reap will eventually come home to roost in the form of higher local property taxes and/or a decrease in municipal services.
In contrast, a purchase made in the Village sends money directly back to our school and our Village government and sends a powerful message that you are investing in the future of Bronxville. Buying local is the biggest bargain on every level.
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Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.
While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.
Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.
The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.
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