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Spirit of Syracuse showcases local businesses

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Spirit of Syracuse showcases local businesses
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Local vendors showed off their goods to hundreds of downtown employees. This was part of the first ever Spirit of Syracuse. As Iris St. Meran explains, the goal was to highlight stores, restaurants and events that some may not realize is in their backyards.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The spotlight shined on local music, food and various products. These vendors participated in the Spirit of Syracuse. AXA Equitable and the downtown committee hosted the event for its employees and the tenants of the building.

AXA Equitable Human Resources Assistant Vice President Mike Francesconi said, "It was to acquaint our employees with what's in local downtown from a business standpoint and it was also to give the retailers and restaurants downtown an opportunity to meet our employees and kind of show their merchandise as well."

Employees say the event was an eye opening experience.

"You kind of stay stuck to your desk. And if you only know what's across the street, it's kind of nice to see what else is out there," said Melita Thomas.

Brian Bauer of Syracuse said, "I'm definitely going to check out the Crunch games and the Syracuse Stage and some of the restaurants. It's a good reminder of what is out there."

Although Sweet on Chocolate has been around the Armory Square area since 1993, Tina Orlando says this was a new way to get some new customers.

"A lot of people don't even know we exist and we're only a few blocks away, so it's good exposure," said Orlando.

This was the first time the Spirit of Syracuse was held here and planners say they're hoping to expand it to make it even bigger and better next year.

"We appreciate our retailers, our restaurants, our salons coming in and doing this for us because we think anything that brings the Syracuse community together is a good thing for AXA Equitable," said Francesconi.

And it's also a welcomed boost for the local economy.

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