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WLCA encourages people to buy American-made products

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Yes, many products are still made in the U.S.A. BuyAmerican SellAmerican -- a true grassroots startup -- wants more.

Two members of the Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association have decided to partner with local businesses promoting products that are made in the Untied States in an attempt to create jobs at home, locally and across the country, said Mary Jane Musano, a board member of the Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association.

“I think that we all realize that when we trade with different nations, it is important for the economic health of all countries,” Musano said. “But I think that our economy is in such dire straits right now and we are being inundated with items that are not made in America, and we need to create jobs here at home. It is a spiral downward that we want to reverse.”

The new program is the brainchild of two relatively new members of the WLCA, Annie Boller and Michelle Torrioni, who have visited about 20 merchants in Pelham Bay, Waterbury-LaSalle and Throggs Neck to ask them to fill out questionnaires listing products they sell that are made in the USA, Boller said.

“The initial reaction from everyone, except a couple of stores, is that this is awesome and that they are interested in participat­ing,” Boller stated. “I think it is both about patriotism and jobs. I am hugely patriotic, but it is also about jobs, and I think there is a trickle down effect when you buy American-made products.”

The group has created a Facebook page where you can become its friend and then message for information as to which stores are participating and what items in their stores are made in the United States, Boller said.

So far, three stores have signed up: Pelham Bay Home Center at 3073 Westchester Avenue, Catania Shoes at 3015 Westchester Avenue, and Vito’s Mens Shop at 1825 Hobart Avenue, Boller said. A fourth is in the works.

Pelham Bay Home Supply’s owner, John Scanlon, said, “These two people, on their own spare time, on a Saturday, were trying to help their country. “I gave them a hug.”

Pelham Bay Home Center sells many American-made products, including faucets and piping, but they often cost more than imports, Scanlon said.

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