Schenectady County

Merchants’ resurgence continues

Members of the Hamburg Street Merchants Association are taking the next step toward encouraging s

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Members of the Hamburg Street Merchants Association are taking the next step toward encouraging shoppers to visit their businesses.

Codirector Frank DePalma said the group is putting together an advertising campaign for July that will list participating Hamburg Street shops together under a newly designed merchants association logo. So far, 19 businesses have agreed to contribute $100 toward the promotion, aimed at drawing more traffic to the two-mile stretch of small shops.

“And I think we’re going to get more, once people see what we’re doing,” he said of the campaign Friday.

Bill Carney, a local artist and bartender at D’Angelo’s Play-by-Play, designed the logo, which features Rotterdam’s landmark windmill and the group’s slogan: “We’re here to serve you.”

DePalma said the aim is to create an identity for the association.

“We want to promote the businesses on Hamburg Street and introduce it as a shopping district for people to visit,” he said.

The merchants association is also in the process of planning its first street festival. DePalma said the group has received preliminary town approval to host the event at the parking lot of the Rotterdam Senior Citizens’ Center during the last weekend in September.

DePalma said discussions about the festival are still in the beginning stages. However, he said the event will likely feature vendors and games.

Business owners first organized the association in January 2007 in an effort to bring improvements to the once-bustling commercial strip. Since that time, the group has been active in lobbying town and county officials for improvements to the area, such as better street lighting and the formation of a sewer district.

Hamburg Street business owners also represented the majority of those who capitalized on $2,500 matching facade improvement grants offered last year by the Rotterdam Industrial Development Agency. The program was successful enough that the agency plans to offer another round of grants next month.

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