Dianne Romano, co-owner, Bellport Jewelers & Rarities
Previous community involvement:
Chamber president from 2001-06 and again 2010-12
How many members are in your chamber?
When was your chamber founded?
How would you describe the business community?
It is spread out among Bellport, East Patchogue and Brookhaven hamlet – it is our five-mile circle around the village of Bellport. No big box stores are in our chamber. It is almost 100 percent small businesses and 75 percent family-owned businesses.
Briefly, what are the main issues for the chamber?
Sustainability of our downtown with the constant effects of shopping center sprawl, big box, and the Internet. Trying to convey to every small business that they must embrace the Internet.
How has being involved in the chamber helped your business?
Chamber members do like to network and support each other, so our business has increased from being a member. I also believe the general public likes doing business with a business that supports the greater good of the community.
Ten years from now, how will things have changed?
Any small business that does not have an Internet and social media presence will probably not be around.
Tell us something no one knows about your community.
The ball bearing was invented in Bellport by Oliver Perry Robinson in his woodshop, and there is a stone marker on South Country Road to tell you about it.
Tell us something no one knows about yourself.
I am a classical pianist.