Mount Vernon, NY — A few dozen of Mount Vernon business owners & leaders gathered at Galitos (29 Elm Ave) for lunch to discuss how to move the city forward to a better Mount Vernon, Thursday afternoon.
This luncheon was put together by Mount Vernon City Council candidate, André Wallace of Creative Direction Construction & Design.
“I’ve assembled this group of business leaders together because I find more and more of us in this community that are business leaders, we have the business part covered, now its time for leaders to lead,” André Wallace tell BW after the lunch. “I assembled this group together to make sure everyone can voice their concerns, on what’s going on, because we know one thing collectively, that Mt. Vernon has been going in the wrong direction for a very long time and its time for us to change the direction, into a new direction.”
Business leaders in attendance included Rose Press Inc. (8 N 14th Ave), Persico Landscaping (86 Hartford Ave), Westchester Glass, Magna Dry Carpet Cleaning, Inc. (26 Mt Vernon Ave), Westchester Stucco Inc. (137 S Mac Questen Pkwy), Trac Regulator Co. Inc. (160 S Terrace Ave), Structural Contracting Services Inc. (100 Pearl St), Unitex (401 S Mac Questen Pkwy), Dunlea Glass & Mirror (147 S Mac Questen Pkwy), Trusco Building Supply & Garden Center (47 Grove St), Solar City (who are bring solar energy and jobs to Mt. Vernon and may be opening an office in Mt. Vernon soon), Phillips Lighting, The Westchester Sun, Harmony Designs Furniture & Interiors (115 South 4th Ave), Mount Vernon WestCop (28 E. 1st St.), Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce (66 Mount Vernon Avenue), National Gear & Piston (225 South 4th Ave), Goad Real Estate Company (10 Fiske Pl #421), Creative Direction Construction & Design (The Embassy on First – 28 East First Street) and Black Westchester Magazine just to name a few. Other business leaders included Architect Errol McIntosh.
Each business owner took a stand, introduced themselves and their business and said a few words about the state of the city. Speaking on the biggest obstacles they face, running a business in Mt. Vernon. One main theme seem to be echoed by everyone, Mount Vernon needed to move in a better direction.
“I felt what it accomplished was bringing a lot of the big businesses together so we could form a group and then strengthen our Chamber of Commerce, which is important to the sustainability of our community and business community,” Wallace adds. “Also when new businesses are coming into our community they will have a foundation, a place to go, with the Chamber of Commerce, to get themselves grounded in our community and have access to the right information to open up their businesses and make sure it’s successful.”
Dwayne Brown, the president of the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce agrees with Wallace
“The Chamber is only as strong as the businesses that are part of it. Alone businesses in Mt. Vernon can be successful, but united we can make the changes necessary for a better Mount Vernon,” Brown shares. “The city of Mount Vernon can ignore the needs of us individually but they can’t ignore the needs of the business community if we are united together as one. We are here for you and will go to bat for you, but we need the support of all of you as well.”
“With all the businesses working together,” Wallace informs, “we can all come under the Chamber of Commerce, together to strengthen that as well, because when you have everybody working together, that’s when you can make some real positive change.”
Wallace goes on to echo Dwayne Brown. “Individually, we’re all pretty much at the mercy of the city, but when we come together we’re a louder voice, and people will hear that.”
“I felt that the businesses were on the same page and it was very constructive. It’s time for a new direction,” Frank Trolio of Trusco Building Supply & Garden Center told BW when asked what he thought of the gathering.
In closing Wallace shares, “Change comes from within, the ability for us to all really take control of our lives and become the cause in the matter. If we don’t do anything, the only thing I can promise you, is we will have more of the same and nothing will change. Action creates reaction, and in order for us to have change, we must change our action which will change our reaction, giving us something different than what we currently have … A change for the better.”
In all it was a powerful discussion. In the end, business cards were exchanged and all in attendance pledge their support of André Wallace for Council, one of their own, a business leader who like them, wants to see a better Mount Vernon.