By Madison Kane
As 2022 winds down, the Syosset Jericho Tribune would like to reflect on some of the most memorable business highlights within the Syosset-Woodbury Community.
Below is a list of six notable events from the past 12 months of what has been a very busy time for the Syosset-Woodbury Chamber of Commerce.
This past April, a fire in the Hidden Ridge complex in Syosset destroyed seven homes, leaving those families in need of assistance. After some discussion, the Board of the Syosset-Woodbury Chamber of Commerce decided to start a fundraising page where 100 percent of the proceeds would go to the seven families. Over the next 1o days, over 200 local residents and businesses partook in the effort, raising $14,525. Chamber President, Russell Green, presented the checks to the seven families who lost their homes; along with other board members. The chamber assumed all the costs of the fund raising so 100 percent of the donations went to the families in need. President Green said, “As president of the chamber of commerce, I believe it is important to continue the tradition started almost 25 years ago by our founding President, Frank Urso, to give back to the community, and this was another example of doing just that.”
Since the pandemic started in 2020, PSEG has been very helpful to local businesses by providing grants to chambers’ of commerce through its Outdoor Commerce and Beautification Grant Program. Local chambers are able to provide $5,000 in outdoor items to help local businesses via the program. The Syosset/Woodbury Chamber of Commerce has participated all three years that this generous effort by PSEG has made available. Chamber members Hurricane Grill, George White Restaurant, Butera’s Restaurant, The Maidstone 1845 and others have participated in our efforts to help our members.
#CD3Forum2022 was another effort by the Syosset/Woodbury Chamber of Commerce to give back to the community. The five democrats competing in the Aug. 23 primary appeared on stage at Syosset High School for a spirited 90 minute forum. Those candidates were County Legislator Joshua Lafazan, Suffolk County Deputy County Executive Jon Kaiman, businessman Robert Zimmerman, community activist Melanie D’Arrigo and lifelong Oyster Bay resident Reema Rasool. The forum was moderated by award winning journalist and anchor Karina Mitchell with NY1, Bloomberg and ABC News. Each candidate was given an equal opportunity to discuss issues that were submitted by the audience. There was also a 10 minute “lightning round,” where non-political questions were posed allowing the public to see the candidates in a more personal light. Chamber members RPG Wealth Management Inc, Bell Law Group, PLLC and local business LMG Calligraphy generously sponsored the evening. Over 400 local residents RSVPed for the Forum, and the evening was a great opportunity for them to hear from the candidates to make an educated decision in the primary.
The Syosset/Woodbury Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Street Fair on Sept. 18. The Syosset Street Fair has been a staple of the downtown area north of the Syosset train station for over 20 years. After having to postpone 2020’s event due to the pandemic, the fair has been a focal point of the community the past two Septembers. Upwards of 10,000 local residents were able to interact with over 140 sponsors and vendors to learn more about the many great local businesses that make up the community. There are activities for the children, raffles for prizes donated by local businesses with funds this year going to two food banks, and numerous food trucks to make the day a family experience, in addition to the 140 sponsors and vendors that line Jackson Avenue north to Cold Spring Road. The Chamber raised funds for two local food pantries at St. Edwards Church in Syosset and the Rudman Family Food Pantry at the Mid Island Y JCC. Alan Goldberg of Cardworks Merchant Services and Water Solutions of Long Island has been the membership chairperson the past five years. “He has done an excellent job of organizing the Street Fair, and having many Chamber members and other local religious, political and business leaders participating in making the day a success for the community,” said President Green.
The Syosset-Woodbury Chamber of Commerce welcomes local new businesses by hosting ribbon cuttings/grand openings when possible for them. This past October, Madison’s Niche opened their seventh upscale lifestyle boutique location in Woodbury. County Legislator’s Joshua Lafazan and Arnold Drucker, along with newly elected Assemblyman, Jake Blumencranz, on behalf of the Town of Oyster Bay were on hand to celebrate the opening with chamber members and longtime customers of Madison’s Niche. In March of this year, the chamber helped celebrate the opening of Race Hub, a STEAM Activity Center and Racing Facility on Jericho Turnpike in Syosset. Ivy Rehab in Syosset was also a new local business that the Chamber worked with to celebrate the opening of their new location in our community. Overall, chamber membership grew by almost 30 percent this year as business vibrancy has returned to Syosset/Woodbury following the two years of the pandemic. Green said, “Bringing attention to new businesses to the local residents is one of the ways the Syosset/Woodbury Chamber of Commerce works on behalf of our members.”
On Dec. 4, the chamber hosted the 24th annual Holiday Lighting Spectacular. In conjunction with the Biondo Family and Plaza Reality, the chamber traditionally hosts the event the first Sunday of December at 50 Jackson Avenue. The chamber works with Syosset High School and local music schools like iSchool of Music and the Children’s Orchestra Society to showcase our community’s youth to the hundreds of residents who come to watch. Over 300 local residents got to witness the dance and musical talents of some of the most gifted youth in the community. The performances were then followed by a visit from Santa, who lights the tree just after sunset each year. There was also a Community Menorah Lighting on Dec. 18.
The 2022 year had much in store for the Syosset/Woodbury community. Time will only tell what is on the deck for 2023.
—Madison Kane is a sophomore at Jericho High School.