A letter from the Troy BID, awards this week

November 26, 2014

The Downtown Troy BID is hosting our 3rd Annual Dinner and 1st Ever Sammy Awards!
The event is being held at Franklin Plaza (4 Fourth Street) on Wednesdsay, December 3rd from 5:30-8:00pm. We would LOVE to see you there! 
If you love the downtown community and the work the BID does, then this is the event for you! Our dinner is also a great way network with local business owners, politicians and other members of the business community. This event serves as a fundraiser to help support the BID's mission: 

The BID cultivates and advocates the economic growth of Downtown Troy by creating an inviting, dynamic, and sustainable community that celebrates the City's history while building towards its future.  The BID is dedicated to improving the quality of life within the District to further enhance and make our community a vibrant, attractive destination for visitors, businesses, residents, property owners, the daily workforce, and students.  

The Downtown Troy BID is a 501 C3 not-for-profit corporation, and all donations or contributions are deductible under IRS section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. 

This year we are honoring the following businesses and organizations for their dedication to Troy. 

New Business of the Year: Apprenda, Inc.
Established Business of the Year: Pioneer Bank
BID Community Spirit Award: Dan Frament, Muddaddy Flats
Revitalize Troy Award: Tom Rossi & John Blackburn, 172 River Street
Sammy Citizen Award: Peter Tarantelli
Friend of Downtown Award: Ross Valve
Sammy Vision Award: Bonacio Construction

The dinner will have buffet stations, cash bar, live entertainment, along with an immense sense of community. 

Tickets are available at www.sammyawards.eventbrite.com 
We hope to see you there! Happy Holidays!


Erin Pihlaja and Danielle Roberts


Local Entrepreneur to Help Capital Region Small Businesses Take Advantage of Social Media in 2015

Social Media Company SocialFrenz to Provide Free Insider Information to Capital Region Business Owners

ALBANY – 2015 has already been dubbed the year of social media. For small business owners, now is the time to tackle this trend and turn it into limitless opportunity. On December 2 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, local entrepreneur and SocialFrenz Founder and President Asif Ismail will conduct an interactive free webinar explaining all things social media and how to use it to your business’ advantage. As a Capital Region resident and fellow small business owner, Ismail is showing appreciation for local entrepreneurs by offering an exclusive 25% discount for all Capital Region business owners that purchase a SocialFrenz social media package.

“I started SocialFrenz because there are so many opportunities on social media that business owners just don’t know about or they may not have the resources to take full advantage of them,” said Asif Ismail, Founder and President of SocialFrenz. “With each year comes new platforms; and with new platforms, come countless ways to connect with target audiences. I would like to see Capital Region business owners kick the New Year off with an advantage.”

Small business owners will have the unique opportunity to hear straight from the expert about what the building blocks of a successful social media program are, how to engage audiences and move them to action, how to see immediate return on investment and many other topics.

Those interested in registering or learning more can click the following link: http://www.socialfrenz.com/cr-webinar/

Food Truck turned restaurant: Slidin' Dirty open for business in Troy

A former food truck has planted it's wheels in the Collar City. Slidin' Dirty, known locally for its unique sliders and avocado fries is now a downtown Troy business, at its new location at 9 First St.
The restaurant its open seven days a week. As for the food truck, it will still be roaming around the area, too.

Visit slidindirty.com for more information, or call 326.8492.

Photos by Danielle Sanzone:

Huge Sales Make Fuccillo the “National Dealer of the Year” for Seventh Year in a Row

Fuccillo Automotive Group honored at National Kia Dealer meeting

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Billy Fuccillo, president of Fuccillo Automotive Group, was honored for the seventh consecutive year with the National Dealer of the Year for Highest Sales Volume award by Kia Motors Corp. The award was presented at the National Kia Dealer meeting earlier this month in Las Vegas to Fuccillo for Fuccillo Kia of Cape Coral in Florida. It is the fourth year in a row that the honor has gone to Fuccillo Kia of Cape Coral. Previously the honor went to Fuccillo Kia of Schenectady in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Fuccillo also received two regional awards: Eastern Region Dealer of the Year for Highest Sales Volume in the Eastern Region for Fuccillo Kia of Schenectady and Certified Pre-Owned Dealer of the Year in the Eastern Region for Fuccillo Kia of Clay.

“The Fuccillo Kia brand has created a ‘HUGE’ legacy for providing great, reliable and affordable automobiles for consumers,” said Billy Fuccillo, president of Fuccillo Automotive Group. “We’re extremely proud of being able to offer these cars at the lowest prices around and to continue to give the highest level of service to our customers.”

The National Dealer of the Year for Highest Sales Volume award is given annually to one dealership in the country. Fuccillo Kia of Cape Coral beat out more than 500 U.S. Kia dealerships for the honor. Since the dealership opened in December 2010 it has been named the National Dealer of the Year for Highest Sales Volume every year and also won Best New Dealer in 2011.

Fuccillo Automotive Group has four Kia dealerships: Fuccillo Kia of Clay; Fuccillo Kia of Rochester in Greece, New York; Fuccillo Kia of Schenectady; and Fuccillo Kia of Cape Coral in Florida. Fuccillo was welcomed into the 2009 Kia President’s Club for achieving the highest overall sales volume and outstanding customer satisfaction and has been accepted into the Kia President’s Club each year since.

About Fuccillo Automotive Group: Fuccillo Automotive Group is the largest automobile dealership in New York State. Owned by Billy Fuccillo, the Fuccillo Automotive Group comprises 24 dealerships and 31 franchises with locations across New York State and Florida. For more information, visit www.fuccillo.com.

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Albany Startup, Twill, Celebrates Launch & Kickstarter Success with Children’s Fashion show

ALBANY>> Twill, a local startup that donates a blanket to a child in need after one is purchased, hosts a company launch event with food, drinks and fashion

What:  Twill, a local startup, will host a celebratory company launch event on Saturday, November 29 at TASTE in Albany from 6 to 9 pm. The event will feature a children’s fashion show, authentic super heroes, delicious food and drink and a moving presentation from Felix Perez, a guest speaker from the American Red Cross.

Twill donates a warm and inspiring blanket to a child in need for every blanket that is purchased. The local startup will donate over 200 blankets by the end of the year, and their goal is to reach every child battling life threatening diseases, homelessness, or temporary hardships in the Capital Region.

Marissa Lanchak, from FLY92, will MC the fashion show as kids strut down the runway. The models, which are children volunteering from Twill’s partner organizations, will be wearing formal evening outfits donated by TuxEGO and Peek A Boo. Heroes4Hope, a charity that inspires kids to be their own heroes, are sending five authentic superheroes to mingle with Twill’s supporters.

Guests will enjoy drinks, and culinary treats from TASTE’s executive chef, Mark D. Graham, and Twill’s founders will present a video showing supporters of the company’s mission, as well as recipients of Twill’s blankets. A number of notable advocates will be in attendance, including County Executive Dan McCoy, Assemblyman John McDonald, and NYS Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk.

The Albany-based startup launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier this month to raise $10,000 by December 15. The funds raised through the campaign will be used to fulfill purchase requests, expand the product line and allow the co-founders to dedicate more time to the company. A number of local organizations, known as Blanket Buddies, have already partnered with the startup, including Albany Medical Center, American Red Cross, Maddie’s Mark, American Cancer Society and more. Proceeds raised at the company launch event will be contributed to the Kickstarter campaign.

When: Saturday, November 29, 2014
6 to 9 pm EST
Where: TASTE
45 Beaver Street.
Albany, NY 12207

Holiday Shopping in the Collar City

By Record Staff, newsroom@troyrecord.com, @TroyRecord on Twitter

TROY>> Most Trojans have heard tales of Troy’s infamous Red Light District from a bygone era, but this season downtown merchants are creating a new Green Light District.
This Troy Night Out, Nov. 28, all retailers and restaurants that stay open until 7 p.m. will have on display a decorative green light bulb to signify that downtown Troy is open for business at night. Most venues will be offering discounts and sales and participating businesses will shine green lights in their windows to signify that downtown is open for holiday business.
Troy Night Out is a monthly arts and cultural event that takes place the last Friday of every month 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. throughout the city’s downtown. This month, it also coincides with Black Friday, America’s busiest holiday shopping day of the year.
Troy's Red Light District, an area with a high concentration of prostitution, was allegedly known coast to coast until it was shut down in the 1940s. Looking forward, "I think Troy's Green Light District could be even more famous," said Troy’s Downtown Business Improvement District executive director Erin Pihlaja. "But in order to be a shopping destination, people have to know we’ll be open for business when they arrive. Green means we're 'good to go.'"
The downtown businesses also recently launched a campaign branding themselves as the “Mall-ternative” and alternative and more versatile shopping experience, in comparison to local shopping malls.
The Troy Mall-ternative campaign will also be participating in the American Express Small Business Saturday on Nov. 29, a national effort to encourage Americans to shop local.
On Monday night, volunteer shop and restaurant owners along with other artists and friends, met at the Lucas Confectionery wine bar to screen print 200 re-usable canvas totes in preparation for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 29.
Those who purchase  the special reusable shopping tote bags, with the "enjoy troy." symbol, will receive discounts at participating downtown retailers Saturday. More than 20 businesses will carry the bags and customers can purchase them for three dollars. Inside the bag will be a list of participating venues where customers can use their tote as a passport to access discounts and savings all day.
“Every year you hear people complain about what a hassle holiday shopping can be,” Pihlaja said in a press release. “We don’t think it has to be that way. Shopping downtown in small stores is a social event. The pace is slower, the lighting is nicer, and the products are unique. Local business owners might be your neighbor or friend. It’s an enjoyable experience.”

For more information visit http://www.downtowntroy.org/special-events/troy-night-out.html.

Small Businesses Gear Up: Grassroots promotions invite customers to shop local

TROY>> Downtown Troy business owners are getting creative this holiday season in an attempt to keep shoppers from getting, as they say, “malled.”

On Monday (Nov. 24) night, volunteer shop and restaurant owners along with other artists and friends, met at the Lucas Confectionery wine bar to screen print 200 re-usable canvas totes in preparation for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 29.

“Each bag has an enjoy troy logo printed on it,” said Erin Pihlaja, executive director of the Downtown Troy Business Improvement District. “Over 20 businesses will carry the bags and customers can purchase them for three dollars. Inside the bag will be a list of participating venues where customers can use their tote as a passport to access discounts and savings all day.” The effort is part of the BID’s “Mall-ternative” campaign which promotes shopping in locally-owned businesses.

The Friday before Small Business Saturday is known as Black Friday, and in Troy it also happens to be Troy Night Out, the district’s monthly arts and culture event. Most venues will be offering discounts and sales and participating businesses will shine green lights in their windows to signify that downtown is open for holiday business.

“Every year you hear people complain about what a hassle holiday shopping can be,” said Pihlaja. “We don’t think it has to be that way. Shopping downtown in small stores is a social event. The pace is slower, the lighting is nicer, and the products are unique. Local business owners might be your neighbor or friend. It’s an enjoyable experience.”

Many believe that shopping local is good for the local economy. LocalFirst.com published a study showing that $68 of every $100 spent in a locally-owned business stayed in the local economy, versus $43 out of every $100 spent in non-locally owned locations.

To date, over 30 new businesses have opened in downtown Troy.

Javier’s closes, but maybe not for good

SARATOGA SPRINGS >> A downtown restaurant has closed its doors, but it could be open again soon, the owner said.
Javier’s, the fine dining “nuevo latino” restaurant at 17 Maple Ave. in Saratoga Springs, closed over the weekend.
But that may not be the end of the Javier’s story. “We’re still in negotiations to see if we’ll make a bistro in the first floor, or if we’ll relocate to another location,” owner Javier Rodriguez said Monday.
The possible bistro, which would still be called Javier’s, would serve “new American cuisine,” Rodriguez said. New American cuisine is a term referring to the wave of modernized cooking predominantly served at upscale fine dining restaurants.
If that happens, the second floor would still be used on Fridays and Saturdays for live entertainment, or as a more formal dining room for private parties. “But the bistro will be open everyday downstairs,” Rodriguez said.
But Javiers may not stay in Saratoga Springs. Rodriguez and his team are looking at other locations in Glens Falls, Latham and Albany. If he chose to do that, he would fully shut down the Saratoga Springs location.
As it was, the restaurant was on the building’s second floor, and the first level was a bar and lounge area.
Rodriguez said he made the decision to close the restaurant because Javier’s was not generating enough food traffic, because it was on the second floor. “We realized that the restaurant should be on the first floor.” He believes that if passersby could better see what the restaurant was, it would have done better business.
“People like it. People like the second floor, but we didn’t have enough walk-in business,” Rodriguez said. Most of the second floor guests heard about it through word of mouth, he added, but “It was not doing the business that we needed to do.”
Javier’s opened in April 2013, when the Costa Rican native moved upstate from New York City. “We’d like to thank the town of Saratoga for all the support they gave us,” noting that the building has had many turnovers in recent years. “We tried to revive the building, and we will do everything we can to make it work.”
The bar and lounge area of Javier’s will still be open this week only on Wednesday night and Thursday, Thanksgiving, during and after the Turkey Trot race. It will also be open Friday and Saturday. Live entertainment from The ideal Situation will be offered Wednesday and Saturday nights beginning at 8 p.m.
For updates, log on to www.javiersny.com.
Lauren Halligan may be reached at 290-1443.

Saratoga County restaurant week quickly approaching

Featuring Special Prix-fixe Price Points and Menus

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The Saratoga Convention & Tourism presents the tenth annual Saratoga County Winter Restaurant Week taking place Friday, December 5 through Thursday, December 11, 2014Nearly 50 participating restaurants this year!

A seven-day celebration of culinary creativity and craft presented by the Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau, in conjunction with restaurant owners and operators in Saratoga County, Saratoga County Winter Restaurant Week allows dining patrons an opportunity to enjoy an appetizer or salad, a dinner entrée, and a dessert from a pre-set menu priced at $10, $20 and $30 (plus tax and tip). 

There is also an opportunity to enjoy lunch specials for $5 or $10 (plus tax and tip).  The restaurants will be sure to impress you with the lunch specials they put together just for Restaurant Week!

But Restaurant Week is about more than a fine meal, which you are sure to get. Many lodging properties are offering special rates for hotel rooms so diners can create an overnight package and experience more than one great dining venue. Check our website at www.discoversaratoga.org/restaurantweek for a complete list of special promotions going on during the week!

Todd Garofano, Bureau president said, “The Saratoga County Winter Restaurant Week has grown tremendously in the last 5 years. In what used to be a local, downtown Saratoga Springs event now showcases restaurants throughout the entire county and draws overnight visitors from all over the Northeast. With such a wide and diverse dining experience available, visitors and locals alike can choose from over 50 participating restaurants this year”

Thank you to all of our 2014 sponsors: Clipper Magazine, DeCrescente Distributing Company, Inc., 101.3 The Jockey, Olde Saratoga Brewing Co., Saratoga.com, Saratoga Eagle Sales & Service, Saratoga TODAY Newspaper, Saratogian, News Channel 13, The Post Star, Prime at Saratoga National, The Scott Varley Team Real Estate, Adirondack Trust Company, Courtyard by Marriott, Metroland, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga’s Community Federal Credit Union, Saratoga Golf and Polo Club, Union Gables Bed and Breakfast

For details about Saratoga County Winter Restaurant Week, menus, and a list of all participating restaurants, please visit www.discoversaratoga.org/restaurantweek or call the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau at 518-584-1531.

Don’t forget about the Toys for Toga campaign! Donate a new and unwrapped toy at participating businesses to support those in need. See the website for more details!

For social media efforts, the Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau is promoting using these hashtags: #SaratogaRestaurantWeek and #ToysForToga. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/saratogarestaurantweek.


Troy Open for Business on Turkey Day

Rosamilia announces businesses open, last chance registration and security expectations for 67th Troy Turkey Trot

TROY, NY – Mayor Lou Rosamilia would like to relay a few reminders to individuals who will be in the City for the 67th Troy Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27. Current registration numbers project that this year’s race could potentially feature one of the largest fields of competitors in race history.

“The Turkey Trot is more than just a foot race – it’s an opportunity for residents and visitors alike to come and enjoy Troy,” said Mayor Lou Rosamilia. “We are very pleased to see this race come together and anticipate another fun, family-filled event that brings thousands of people to our City.”

"We're currently on pace to have one of the largest fields ever," said Troy Turkey Trot Event Director George Regan, adding that the event includes a 5K, 10K, Grade School Mile and Turkey Walk. "We’re looking forward to race morning and anticipate another event that encourages people to have fun while burning some calories before the big family meal."
Open for Business

Despite the Thanksgiving holiday, the Downtown Troy Business Improvement District has announced that numerous businesses in Downtown Troy will be opening their doors to the public.

Beirut, Blue Bird Home Décor, Bootlegger's on Broadway, Café Deli-icious, Collar City Hard Pressed, Daily Grind, Finnbar's Pub, Flowers by Pesha, Franklin Square Inn, Heartspace Yoga, Market Block Books, Nine Steps Away to Africa, Nite Owl News, O'Brien's Public House, Ryan's Wake, Spill'n the Beans and Underground Athletics have all confirmed that they will be opening their doorson Thursday morning through early afternoon.


Although online registration for the 67th Troy Turkey Trot is closed as of Monday, November 24 at midnight, those still interested in registering in the 5K, 10K, Grade School Mile or Turkey Walk can sign up at last-chance registration from 11 am until 6 pm in Downtown Troy on Wednesday, November 26 at the Atrium, located at 4 Third Street on the Second Floor.

Also, individuals interested in participating in the Turkey Walk can sign up on the day of the event, Thanksgiving Day, between 6 a.m. and 9:15 am at the Atrium.

Weather Forecast

According to local weather reports, a wintry mix is expected to overspread the Capital Region beginning Wednesday afternoon bringing with it a likelihood of some accumulating snow. Thursday’s(Thanksgiving Day) forecast of 36 degrees is warmer than running conditions for the 2013 Turkey Trot. Organizers of the Troy Turkey Trot are prepared to hold the event regardless of inclement conditions. Staff members are currently working with the City of Troy Public Works Department to ensure that all roads leading into the city – and all of the courses – are cleared of snow and are safe for runners. The City of Troy will make every effort to ensure that these surface lots (http://troyny.gov/Departments/Parking.aspx) are cleared for the arrival of participant vehicles.

Raceday Security

The Troy Police Department in conjunction with the Troy Turkey Trot Race Committee have announced security efforts in connection with this year’s race on Thanksgiving Day.

The objective is to ensure the safety of all participants and spectators. Toward that end, please note:

1) Back packs will not be permitted.
2) Costumes covering the face will not be permitted. Also discouraged are bulky costumes that may interfere with others.
3) Runners' bags should be safely secured in vehicles or checked at the Trot’s “baggage check” located in The Atrium (Four 3rd Street). Before a bag will be accepted in "baggage check," the contents of the bag must be opened for inspection. We encourage placing items into a clear plastic bag.  Plastic bags will be available at packet pick up on Sunday the 23rd and Wednesday the 26th.
4) Spectators will not be allowed on the sidewalks adjacent to the start on Fourth Street between Fulton Street and Broadway.
5) Spectators will not be allowed beyond the finish line. Please meet your runners in Monument Square after they are out of the Finish Chute

Cooperation from participants and visitors is essential. Please help to provide a safe and pleasant environment at this wonderful event.

And remember, if you see something, say something!


About the Troy Turkey Trot
Now in its 67th year, the Troy Turkey Trot is the nation’s 12th and world’s 64th oldest road race, as well as the 11th largest Turkey Trot in the nation. The event, which draws as many as 8,000 participants from 37 states and features a 5K, 10K, Grade School Mile and Turkey Walk, is designed to celebrate fitness, families and tradition against a backdrop of some of Troy’s most historic neighborhoods. For more information, visit www.TroyTurkeyTrot.com.

Saratoga Juice Bar Contest ..and the winner is...

Displaying Avenue Of The Pines.jpgThe moment we have been waiting for! To quickly recap – the first round of competition had semifinalist Adam Kissick and “The Lawnmower” (Kale, Spinach, Wheatgrass, Cucumber and Mint) up against "The Apostrophe" by Scott Forrest (Beet, Sweet Potato, Orange, Celery and Lemon). The winner of that week was Adam Kissick and “The Lawnmower”!

This past week had semifinalist Charlene Baron’s "Pineapple Gingery Mojito" ( Pineapple, Ginger, Apple, Cucumber, Mint) up against "Avenue of the Pines" created by Sarah Kaplan, which featured a blend of Mango, Pineapple, Spinach and Lemon. The winner of this semifinalist round was Sarah Kaplan and her “Avenue of the Pines”!

Our job last night was to compare the sales of “The Lawnmower” and “Avenue of the Pines” to see which juice sold the most…and the winner is…
”Avenue of the Pines”!!  As winner of the inaugural Saratoga Juice Bar “Create your own Juice Contest” Sarah Kaplan and her juice will have a custom designed label and be featured and sold in the store for the entire month of December!

Congratulations to Sarah and each of our semifinalists! The juices were creative, unique and above all, tasty. Thanks to everyone who participated either by submitting juice recipes or by coming in to taste the juices created.


Free, full Thanksgiving meal and beverages to be provided to residents in need

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 24, 2014) — Tierra Coffee Roasters will provide a full, free Thanksgiving meal for those in need on Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its Madison Avenue location (1038 Madison Avenue, Albany).

“We are thankful this time of year to be fortunate enough to provide for those in need of a warm place to celebrate and a warm meal,” said Darren Grout, CEO of Tierra Farm.

This is the third year that the café has provided free meals for the homeless on Thanksgiving. Employees of the Tierra Farm family of businesses, which includes Tierra Coffee Roasters, Tierra Farm, and the Madison Theater, will be volunteering to prepare and serve the meals.

“Tierra Coffee Roasters has made efforts like this for the past few years and each year, it gets better. It’s another great way for us to connect with our neighbors,” said Dan Laiosa, general manager and partner of Tierra Coffee Roasters.

“We hope we can bring happiness on a day when many people are unable to connect with family and friends. Tierra Farm is committed to helping others and supporting our local community,” said Gunther Fishgold, president of Tierra Farm.

For more about Tierra Coffee Roasters, please visit tierracoffeeroasters.net.

Real Estate Market Cools with Temps

Based on statitstics released today by the Greater Capital Association of REALTORS®

(GCAR), it is reported that the region’s housing market continues to remain active.

Nationally, both housing starts and future building permits are on the rise. Here in the

Capital Region, year to date new construction sales in the region have remained about

the same over 2013, but selling prices have increased by 4% to an average of $377,667.

Despite a dip in the number of active listings on the market show that inventory levels

market-wide were down 6.3 percent to 7,841 units. Pending sales decreased by 1

percent from October 2013 to 790 for the month. Prices softened causing a decrease of

3% over 2013 to $187,000. GCAR President, Al Picchi, Vice President & General

Manager, RealtyUSA.com, commented that, “Even though home prices are a popular

measure, it's worthwhile to take note of what other metrics are trying to tell us. For

example, months’ supply of inventory was down 6.5 percent to 10.0 months. Overall,

sellers are accepting a slightly lower share of their asking price, which could be reflective

of fewer multiple offer situations”. Percent of Original List Price Received at Sale fell to

92.5 percent since last year.

Though foreclosures in the region have decreased, homeowners and real estate markets

across New York State remain afflicted by them. “Homeowners are faced with the awful

choice between a tax bill they are unable to pay and losing their home,” says NAR

President Chris Polychron, “Realtors® urge the U.S. House to schedule a vote on “The

Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act,” as soon as possible. This bipartisan legislation

would extend an expired provision that has helped millions of distressed American

families by allowing tax relief when lenders forgive a portion of the mortgage debt they

Interest rates remain attractive, even as Federal Reserve banter is finally hinting that

quantitative easing is reaching its fateful conclusion. GCAR CEO, Laura Burns stated,

“Capital markets have exhibited some volatility, but ultimately it's all about earnings and

growth, and corporate earnings have been encouragingly strong, while private job gains

have recently exceeded expectations”.

The Greater Capital Association of REALTORS® is a professional trade association officially

representing more than 2,800 real estate professionals in the Capital Region. GCAR is the “Voice

for Real EstateTM in the Capital Region.


More Fun Coming to Troy

Downtown Troy will welcomed Funcycled to the district on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 11:30 AM in the owner’s first brick-and-mortar store at 272 River St. with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. FunCycled repurposes high-quality furniture in a unique way, creating stylish pieces that have garnered a loyal customer based both locally and statewide.

“We've lived in Troy for over 9 years and have always enjoyed shopping downtown,” said owner Sarah Trop of her decision to open in Troy. “We love everything from Saturday morning's farmers markets, to farm-to-market dining options all day, and shopping for gifts that can't just be found in the mall.  We are beyond ecstatic to be a part of the shopping venues downtown.” Trop’s background is in arts with a focus on painting and interior design. Her husband has an extensive carpentry history. The business allows them to merge their interests. The husband and wife team have repurposed furniture for sale, offer custom built dining room tables, upcycled home decor, or they can repurpose the furniture you already own. “We have fun upcycling and want you to have furniture in your home with history that is custom designed to fit your personality --  all while upcycling and breathing life into older high quality items,” Trop said. “Thank you for being such a fun creative place to play, downtown Troy,”

Thanks to Trop’s blog, FunCycled.com, the business has already attracted a large following with clientele reaching all over the state. Local customers are excited for the shop to open as well. “We’ve already had people knocking on the door,” Trop said. 

Displaying IMG_3311.jpg
Photo credit: Chelsea Bos Photography,


Community Encouraged to Shop Small in Downtown Albany

Downtown Albany Businesses Embracing Small Business Saturday, November 29, 2014, with Exclusive Deals and FREE Parking

ALBANY>> Business owners located in the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) will be offering exclusive deals on Saturday, November 29, 2014, the day branded as Small Business Saturday, immediately following BlackFriday. Free parking will be available all day in the Albany Parking Authority’s Riverfront Parking Garage and on the streets, and those who are in Downtown to Shop Local will also have the opportunity to enter to win two tickets to the Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival Honorary Gala, a 6 course dinner and reception, being heldJanuary 17, 2015 at the Albany Hilton.

Now in its fourth year, the national initiative was started by American Express to help small businesses garner more attention and customers. It is estimated that in 2012 $5.5 billion was spent across the country at small independent businesses on Small Business Saturday.

“As incubators of innovation and employment, small businesses play a vital role in our Capital City and across the country,” says Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan. “Supporting locally-owned businesses is important every day of the year, but Small Business Saturday helps shine the light on the variety of options for those who want to Shop Small and have a direct impact on the local economy.”

Across the country, small businesses continue to have a big impact. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses have provided 55 percent of all jobs and 66 percent of all net new jobs since the 1970s, and the number of small businesses in the United States has increased 49 percent since 1982. A report shared by the National Retail Federation (NRF) in September 2014 shows that the majority of retail businesses (99 percent) employ less than 50 people, providing 40 percent of the 29 million jobs in retail. The report also details that in New York State alone over 1.7 million jobs are in the retail and restaurant trade contributing well over $85 million in GDP.

“Each year, billions of dollars are spent nationally at small businesses, and the holiday season provides the perfect backdrop to introduce, or re-engage, visitors and residents with Downtown retailers and restaurants,” says Georgette Steffens, executive director of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District. “National initiatives like Small Business Saturday allow our District to join a larger conversation, and ensure people understand the multitude of options available in Downtown and the impact supporting local businesses can have on our community.”

To date, 18 Downtown businesses are participating with Small Business Saturdaydeals.  Those included in the Saturday initiative are: Albany Visitors Center Gift Shop, blue 82, Broadway Plaza Liquor, The Capital: American Eatery & Lounge, Capital Repertory Theatre, The Enchanted Florist, Fifth Tier Baking Studio, Fresh & Fly Clothing, Irish American Heritage Museum, Jack’s Oyster House, La Serre Restaurant, Lombardo’s Restaurant, Olde English Pub & Pantry, Pearl Street Pub, Public House 42, Salon 109 and Truman Jewelers.

Full details on promotions can be found at http://bit.ly/SBSDowntown2014. A list of all businesses that will be open can be viewed in the interactive Google map athttp://bit.ly/SBSDowntownMap.

While free street parking is available each Saturday in downtown Albany, the BID has teamed with the Albany Parking Authority to offer additional free parking all day in their Riverfront Parking Garage exclusively on Small Business Saturday. The garage entrance is located on Columbia Street between Broadway and Water Street behind Kiernan Plaza, and has 850 spaces.

"Small businesses are the cornerstone of the City of Albany's Downtown, and Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to support them," says Michael Klein, executive director of the Albany Parking Authority. "To help make it a success, the Riverfront Garage will offer free parking so shoppers can rely on easily accessible parking that is well-lit and properly maintained when they come to Downtown."

More than a day to shop and dine, visitors are invited to stay in Downtown and enjoy the events going on at the three larger entertainment venues. The Secret Garden will be on stage at Capital Repertory Theatre at 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM, the Albany Devils have a game at the Times Union Center at 5:00 PM and the Moscow Ballet will perform the Great Russian Nutcracker at the Palace Theatre at 3:00 PM.

Those who visit a Downtown Albany BID business on Small Business Saturday will also have the chance to win two tickets to the Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival Honorary Gala on January 17, 2015. Valued at $300, participants can enter to win by sharing a picture of themselves inside a Downtown Albany BID business by posting it to the BID’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/albanyBID), using #SBS518 on Twitter or Instagram, or by emailing the photo to Rebecca Haizmann atrhaizmann@downtownalbany.org. Photos must be taken on November 29, 2014 (Small Business Saturday) and submitted by 5:00 PM Monday, December 1, 2014. One winner will be chosen at random and contacted by BID staff.

Online Holiday Shopping Tool Stretches Dollars

TROY>> With "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" fast approaching, a software company is helping shoppers stretch their holiday dollars through its RebateHero.com website that aggregates hard-to-find deep discount rebates and streamlines the process of claiming discounts.

"Before you make a big purchase this holiday, visit RebateHero.com to see what rebates are available," said Annmarie Lanesey, founder of Rebate Hero. "You can even claim rebates through our site after you make a purchase. You really can save a lot of money and our website makes it easy."

Every year $500 million rebate dollars go unredeemed because people either don't know about those discounts or they just don't go through the extra steps required to claim discounts through postal mail.

Rebate Hero, the first website of its kind, helps consumers take full advantage of the $ billions in rebates offered by retailers and manufacturers. The site allows visitors to search the largest collection of rebate forms on the web in seconds and can even help shoppers save money after they've already made a purchase. There are currently 45,000 rebates in the Rebate Hero system.

"Rebates usually offer much bigger savings than coupons, but it's more difficult to redeem those savings because they require more steps. A lot of people forget to send in the paperwork," said Lanesey. "We're making rebates almost as easy as coupons."

The online rebate clearinghouse features a powerful search function that allows shoppers to search for everyday and big-ticket, brand name items from a broad range of retailers and manufacturers. It includes convenient tracking tools that send email reminders for rebate deadlines, to make sure consumers never forget to submit their rebate and remember to include all the required documentation.

Where possible, Rebate Hero consolidates the necessary paperwork or points the user to an online submission process (when available) to minimize the effort needed to redeem the rebate. RebateHero.com can be accessed from desktop, tablet, or mobile devices, and will be releasing a native iOS and Android app very soon.

"People are already used to searching online for coupons," said Lanesey. "But until Rebate Hero, rebates hadn't caught up with the Internet age. We're doing for rebates what the web did for coupons."

The company also uses Twitter, Facebook and email to alert users of special rebate deals, sometimes "free-with-rebate" items.

Retailers and manufacturers can sign on as partners with RebateHero.com to feed their rebates to users.