Business community year in review 2011

| 15 Feb 2012 | 11:10

    Growth brings chamber membership to 550 members WARWICK — This year the downtown Warwick business district managed to survive a record pre-Halloween snowstorm, heavy rains and flooding, a total blackout and an earthquake. Then there was the economy. Despite the continued economic uncertainty in 2011, however, there were far more entrepreneurs throughout the Town of Warwick who decided to take a risk and expand or open new businesses than those who closed their doors. Michael Johndrow, executive director of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce reported attending approximately 40 grand openings or ribbon cuttings this past year (please see the list that accompanies this article). Not all ribbon cutting ceremonies involved new businesses. For example, official ribbon cuttings with local officials and chamber members were in order when Ronnie Havens became the new owner of Sweetbriars, when the Iron Forge Inn opened its new outdoor patio and when Pennings Farm Market opened its beer garden. Other notable events Other events didn’t warrant a ribbon cutting but were significant nevertheless: Jubilee Multi-cultural Arts hosted its 6th annual celebration of the Epiphany. Mitchel Corners held its third “Block Party.” Track 7 marked its fifth year in business with year-long fund raiser for the Food Pantry. WTBQ increased power with a new FM frequency at 93.5 on the dial. Mt. Peter celebrated its 75th anniversary. Warwick installed its first two electric car charging stations. WVT Communications acquired Philadelphia based Alteva LLC. Chamber adds 120 members The Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce and its Merchant Guild were especially active in 2011. In addition to signing up 120 new members, which brought its total membership to a record 550 members, the Chamber continued sponsoring business mixers, networking and educational events, Winter Dining, the annual Tourist Guide, EXPO, a Taste of Warwick and the presentation of awards to businesses and business leaders at its 72nd annual membership dinner. The Warwick business community continued the celebration of two new events introduced in 2010: Winter Blues Weekend and Warwick Bridal Trail along with its traditional celebrations of Springfest, Sidewalk Sale, Ladies Night Out, Queen for a Day, Applefest, Home for the Holidays and Free Music in the Courtyard. - Roger Gavan Grand openings Here’s a list of many of the businesses that opened in the Warwick area during 2011: Etcetera II Sugar Shack Café KidStrings ID Fitness Organize 4 U Havens and Lichtenberg law firm Glamour Girl Consignment shop Grappa Market Taco Hombre ABC Kids Occupational Therapy Clearview Vineyard Inn at Long Pond The Windermere Agency Warwick Valley Financial Advisors Sick Sitters Warwick Pediatrics and Women’s Health Foot Spa and Tea Bar The Sell All-Luzsbrain Warwick Dance Studio Associated Health Providers Paris Flea Market of Warwick Apple Valley Pharmacy All Island Realty Warwick Counseling Group Encore Décor