two thousand twenty
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Thursday evening, February 24th at Studebaker's Grille, Robert Stopper and Jack McCranels presented an excellent overview of all of the work that has been done at our Erie Canal waterfront in downtown Lyons through grants and volunteer work. Photos of volunteers preparing and planting the new canal front perennial beds, the participation of the elementary school band and teachers during significant events at the waterfront as well as those of the visiting boaters (some from as far away as Alaska and California!) were presented as a slide show testament of the renewed interest and activity on the Erie Canal. Facts and figures directly relating to last years visiting boaters show that once the upgrades were made at our docks, our boater population increased over the same period of previous years. As our Lyons volunteer dock masters, Bob and Jack greeted boaters and provided them with information and encouraged our visitors to explore the downtown business district. Informational maps of local businesses and heritage sites were printed at their own expense and at no cost to the village or town. Both of them are updating every printed publication that caters to the canal boaters to provide current information and to correct those publications that state we offer no services. Their continual hard volunteer work will pay off this boating season, and in those to come, as Lyons becomes an historical and popular destination on the canal.
I was, however, disappointed that more of our local business owners did not take advantage of this presentation. Bob and Jack paid visits to as many of our businesses as they possibly could to promote this presentation - a presentation that was aimed directly at our local businesses and organizations. The Volunteer Dock Master's work, in conjunction with that of the Lyons Main Street Program, promotes our Lyons businesses and organizations. We are working hard on brochures, maps, post cards and positive press coverage to assist in building business and bolster our tourism. Over the past two years, downtown businesses and local organizations have participated in promotions such as Paint the Village Peppermint, PumpkinPalooza and Peppermint Winter Wonderland; unfortunately there were many that did not. Festivals and special events are planned to bring our neighbors and visitors to our village and all any business owner has to do is figure out a way to tie into those promotions. A simple "open" flag, pot of flowers, informational table or merchandise in front of your business, even an inexpensive bowl of peppermints on your service counter and friendly demeanor along with hours that coincide with the event will bring in new visitors while delighting your regular customers. Next to volunteers like Bob and Jack, Lyons' biggest asset is our small village friendliness, a smile and a "hello". 
The LMSP website (lyonsmainstreetprogram.org) found on all of our promotional materials, has a "Boaters" section that lists all of our boating amenities and another that provides a listing of local businesses (including home-based businesses). Both the business listing and business card sized ads are absolutely free. We even have a section for announcement of upcoming local events, another for restaurant menus that may be downloaded and still another for coupons that will drive business to your doorstep. These are tools for your use with no expense involved, just the time it takes to contact us. The Lyons Main Street Program stands at the ready to help you discover ways that you can be a part of future promotions and festivals. Bob and Jack will be making their canal presentation to various organizations including the Lyons Heritage Society in the near future at a time and date to be announced. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about the Erie Canal boaters and how we can draw them into our community.

Jerry M. Ashley
Lyons Main Street Program Manager
70 William Street
Lyons, New York 14489
"The future is not a gift - it is an achievement."


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4 Comments to "Letter to the Editor"

  1. Anonymous Said,

    Maybe more business owners didn't show because they don't see the canal as the answer to their problems, which I would agree with. The Canal didn't help Trombino's, Bridge Tavern, McGory's, Diner next to Pete's garage (forgot the name), Dada's and others. Maybe instead of them listening to the canal experts we need to be listening to the business owners(or ex-owners)

    Posted on Sun Feb 27, 11:06:00 AM EST

  2. Anonymous Said,

    Schools are the only way to build business and communities. I say this as we sell our house and move to Webster for better schools as education is the future for high paying jobs.

    Posted on Sun Feb 27, 12:33:00 PM EST

  3. Jerry Ashley, Lyons Main Street Program Manager Said,

    There is no one single answer to our local economy and no one is intimating that the Canal is the only answer - it is one tool that we have at our disposal. Support and promotion of our local businesses by our own residents would go a long way in assisting businesses. I would ask you to remember that we have other businesses in Lyons besides our restaurants and all of them need your continued support. The LMSP is more than willing to speak with any business owner to assist them in whatever way we can as well as to list them absolutely free on our website to help drive new business to them. There are many reasons a business fails but it is a shame that any of them fail because their own neighbors didn't support or frequent them.

    Posted on Sun Feb 27, 01:23:00 PM EST

  4. Anonymous Said,

    It should begin with the village cutting their budget to lessen the tax burden on their citizen which frees up more money to spend. Remember the Village of Lyons has one of the highest tax rates in the country. So village board lets step up start cutting.

    Posted on Mon Feb 28, 10:40:00 AM EST


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