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Pound Ridge Business Association is on a Mission

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – Born in 1953, the Pound Ridge Business Association has spent the last six decades helping to keep the town’s economy thriving by promoting its commerce using innovative strategies.

“We are like a Chamber of Commerce but we’re independent – not part of a franchise,” said Ruth Mendes, the group’s corresponding secretary. “Our mission is very clear – promote Pound Ridge businesses and give them a high profile.”

One of the ways they do that is with a website listing all its members and their contact numbers

“We have an excellent website,” Mendes said. “I think it’s very classy. Besides all the member listings, there is a complete map of the business districts. We list non-members as well. If a member has a website, then we provide a hot-link to it.”

The organization does not except businesses outside the town of Pound Ridge as members, but for businesses within the town, it charges annual dues of $85.

“We don’t make a profit, so we have been able to maintain low due structures,” Mendes said. “Compare that to the dues of a chamber of commerce, which can be around $200.”

To further promote its members, the group publishes an eight-page newsletter twice a year that goes out to all town residents.

“It has articles about our members, including the latest happenings in their businesses,” Mendes explained. “We try to put a face on the business.”

The group also publishes a brochure once a year called Celebrate Pound Ridge. It features a calendar of events along with a member list that provides information about their services. It also has a map of the town’s business districts.

“It’s something that the people keep year-round,” Mendes said. “The map is very useful. All our businesses get a supply of them and keep them on their counters to hand out.”

The organization also rallies behind projects that help beautify the business district. Recent examples include the fountain and the millennium clock that can be found along Westchester Avenue.

But it is the many events they help to sponsor that really bring attention to the town’s businesses, Mendes said. In May, there’s the Taste of Pound Ridge, in which area restaurants show off their culinary prowess. All the proceeds from the affair support the Pound Ridge Library.

“Last year we had over 200 people attend and we netted $12, 000,” Mendes said. “It’s a great event. People can graze to their heart’s content.”

The Antiques and Farmers Holiday Market has also become a popular happening. It’s held on every Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Antique dealers and farm stands line Westchester Avenue and help attract consumers to the business district. There is also the annual arts and crafts fair, which will be held Oct. 1 and 2 this year.

“It’s a selective show and we get a lot of great compliments on the quality of the items that are sold there,” Mendes said.

One of the year’s biggest sponsored events is the annual Halloween Walk in Scotts Corners. It was started 10 years ago as an alternative to children wandering the streets trick or treating.

“Police control the traffic along Westchester Avenue so the kids can safely roam around,” Mendes said. “The shop owners hand out the treats. Everyone gets involved. Even the parents and dogs get in costume.”

After the trick or treating is done, the Pound Ridge Firehouse hosts two haunted houses – one for kids and one for adults. After the scares, there's a party featuring donuts, cider and music.

“When it’s over, believe or not, the kids are given another bag of candy,” Mendes said. “But not to worry, Larry Bass, our dentist, is there and he hands out toothbrushes.”

To learn more about the Pound Ridge Business Association, visit its website, www.poundridgeny.org .

As a Pound Ridge resident, has the Business Association been helpful to you in discovering what’s going on with the town’s business community? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/TheDailyPoundRidge

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