As the summer of 2020 slowly comes to an end, we turn to the fall in hope that we are able to come together as a country and beat back this dreadful pandemic that has caused so many disruptions in our lives.

As schools are seemingly getting ready to “open,” we are witnessing a different model for almost every district across Westchester County. At the Yorktown Chamber, we are continuing the fight and are in it for the long haul.

Although it’s not business as usual, I have personally taken it upon myself to do as much as possible for our business community. My Board of Directors have been very supportive of all our initiatives and as such I would like to introduce our new Chamber Visibility Page at yorktownchamber.org/more-visibility. Here you can sign up to have your business placed on our website’s main page slide show, get placed on the digital sign in town, receive a full page writeup in our monthly newsletter and even have me visit your place of business and shoot a promotional video. The videos get placed on Facebook and receive anywhere between 5,000 to 10,000 hyper-local views.

Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Through our partnership with Yorktown News, these videos will also be placed on their website, TAPintoYorktown.net, and on the Yorktown News Facebook page, adding thousands more views.

We also have recently joined in to fight NYSEG’s untimely and distasteful 22 percent rate increase. While the increase is over a three-year period, I still find it astonishing that this company has decided to raise rates amid a pandemic and record unemployment.

Next, it is with a heavy heart that I must announce the postponement of our Street Fair, originally scheduled for Oct. 11. We had developed a comprehensive plan with the help of Chereese Jarvis Hill of Events To Remember, including calculating the appropriate amount of people allowed in the street fair, given the 30,000 square feet of venue space. We also set up a plan to allow people to sign up free for hourly intervals in order to mitigate overcrowding. We had socially distanced the vendors by spacing them 10 feet apart, and we also put in place a protocol for sanitization as well as a mandatory mask policy. There were many other protocols in place too numerous to list here.

Unfortunately, given the enormity of the street fair and the tremendous and overwhelming response and enthusiasm we receive every year, we concluded that it would have been impossible to be able to successfully maintain a safe capacity level given the multiple entrances and exits along Commerce Street and Veterans Road.

In short, there are just too many ways in and out, and we did not believe that we would be able to successfully monitor and ensure the safety of the businesses and citizens. Despite our best efforts to have this event, the interests of public safety must prevail, and the Chamber will never put the citizens of Yorktown at risk. Postponing is the safe and practical thing to do. If you have already signed up, our office will be reaching out to you in order to facilitate your refund and I thank the many enthusiastic and supportive businesses!

Lastly, the Chamber is here for you and we will continue to fight the good fight on your behalf. If there is anything I can do, please reach out to my office at 914-245-4599 or send an email to info@yorktownchamber.org. If you are not a member, please consider joining today!

Sergio Esposito is the president of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce.