PELHAM, N.Y. Some local business managers in Pelham have noticed emptier streets and fewer customers both in the past few days and in recent months. Three of them offered long-term and short-term explanations for the lack of people.John Ruffolo, manager at Pelham Pizzeria and Ristorante, pointed to the economy as a long-term factor for the decline."I don't think anything's like it used to be," Ruffolo said. "Business is good but it's not what it used to be. Too much overhead. Too much cost. Everything's expensive nowadays."Ruffolo's partner at the pizzeria, Pino Mancini, pointed to the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah and the four-day weekend it created as a reason for short-term lack of customers."Wednesday usually is busy for us, but the numbers this week were quiet," Mancini said.David Katz, vice president of Pelham's Chamber of Commerce and executive chef at the Depot Market, said that the economy has had an impact on business in the long term and that people are holding onto their money.He also agreed with Mancini about the long weekend's role."The fact that it's a four day weekend, people definitely go away," Katz said. "(Some) kids go to look at colleges."Katz said that a lack of support for Pelham also contributes to the lack of people in the stores and on the streets. He gave an example of Pelham residents shopping at Home Depot in New Rochelle instead of Wise Hardware on Fifth Avenue.He called Pelham a "tough town in a tough time."Katz gave an optimistic view of the near future, though, and said more people will return to the streets of Pelham as the weather gets cooler.
Contact Pelham reporter Andrew Meola at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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