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Shop ‘til you drop season here

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‘Tis the season of profit for neighborhood business strips.

From Fordham to Throggs Neck, commercial corridors are gearing up for the official start of the holiday shopping season, Black Friday, hoping consumers stock up on hot-ticket items.

And the name of the game is luring folks into the borough’s nine business improvement districts, home to clusters of small businesses and big chains.

Daniel Bernstein, deputy director of the Fordham Road Business Improvement District, pegs the holidays as “the busiest time for us.”

The borough’s biggest BID is set to roll out the annual Sparkling the Heart of Fordham Holiday Event on Friday Dec. 6, kicking off a 10% discount program for 68 of the BID’s 300 or more businesses, running through December 22.

White Plains and

Throggs Neck

A mile and a half east of Fordham, the profit margin for the White Plains Road Business Improvement District looks a lot brighter these days thanks to the yearly Christmas lights that attracts consumers, said executive director Joe Thompson.

He’s also convinced Santa Claus to swing into town early to “take pictures with the kids and give out candy.”

A Menorah and Christmas tree lighting was held Nov. 27 at Pelham Parkway and White Plains Road, hoping to draw more folks to the BID’s 88 stores, such as BX Sports, Good & Natural and Verizon.

With lights, discounts and other holiday events serving as a magnet for potential business, Steve Kaufman, president of the Throggs Neck Merchants Association, sees the greater good behind neighbors shopping locally.

“By invigorating our stores, they invigorate the neighborho­od,” said Kaufman, who frequents Throggs Neck’s mom and pop shops. “If they abandon them and go outside they’ll see shutters.”

Crime’s Not Taking

A Holiday

But with the holidays approaching, hordes of pickpockets and other thieves are hitting the area, with the 52nd and 49th Precincts covering Fordham and White Plains Road respectively are mobilizing troops to the bustling shopping strips that fall within their borders.

“Officers on Fordham Road, officers on Jerome Avenue,” said newly-appointed Five-Two Inspector Nilda Hofmann at a recent Community Board 7 meeting. “You’ll see extra cops there.”

Along with the Five-Two, extra troops from the 46th and 48th Precincts will begin canvassing the Fordham BID area, along with a uniformed private security team hired by the BID to serve as an extra set of eyes and ears.

“They just observe and report,” said Bernstein, adding the patrols began on Black Friday.

“This gives everyone a better feeling, they’re secure and safe,” said Thompson of the Four-Nine patrols.

Statistically, roberries, grand larcernies and deception scams tick up with thieves especially “Apple-pickin,” grabbing smartphones such as the Apple iPhone.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has urged smartphone carriers to download phone tracking apps for cops to nail any thieves.

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383
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