–By Kennedy Crenshaw (SYRACUSE, N.Y.) The City of Syracuse has a rich history dating back to the early 1800s. As the city aged, people moved away, but one organization is trying to bring the life and money back to the Syracuse area.
Syracuse First is an organization that started 8 years ago to promote shopping locally and it appears to be paying off. Many of the shops in Downtown Syracuse are one of a kind. They are one of the few places where stories and merchandise are unique. Accents, a store in Armory Square, is a family owned business has seen Syracuse grow and prosper over the years. Owner Bronce Bersani explained that his “father out in San Francisco selling antiques, mostly stained glass, then over the years he started selling jewelry in the mix.” Jewelry worked best for the family and over time, the Bersani’s were able to have two stores in Central New York that sell jewelry.
One of the contributing factors that helps businesses like Accents grow in recent years is Syracuse First. They have participated in their Small Business Saturdays which are hosted in Armory Square like a market for businesses in the area. Another initiative that Syracuse First organizes is the Buy Local Bash, which is also a market-like display of small Syracuse businesses. Syracuse First partners with 130 businesses around the city with the goal to feed $24 million dollars and bring 1,200 jobs to the community. Each dollar spent locally is more affective in the Syracuse community and Accents has noticed the change. Accents employee, Andy Bresnahan, said, “business has been picking up…we’ve had a lot of support locally, which has been great.”
To support local businesses watch out for Syracuse First’s Buy Local Bashes and their Small Business Saturdays. The first Buy Local Bash takes place at the CNY Regional Market on November 20th.