With estimates saying that the legalization of same-sex marriage could bring hundreds of millions of dollars into New York’s economy, what are Forest Hills entrepreneurs doing to capitalize on those potential new revenue streams?
For now, not much. Business owners on Austin Street and Metropolitan Avenue said that while they by-and-large support the new legislation, business would still be “as usual” whether customers are shopping for gay or straight weddings.
George Guzman, the owner of on Austin Street, said gay weddings are already old news for him.
“It’s not a new phenomenon for us, it’s just that now it will be more accepted, and that’s a beautiful thing,” Guzman said. “We’ve already dressed some clients for gay weddings out of state, so this won’t be new.”
Guzman added that he hopes to see an uptick in business, but that he’s not planning to aim squarely for a gay clientele.
“We’re not trying to create a whole new niche market here,” he said. “We love every client we have, gay, lesbian, straight. I don’t see any difference.”
Several area jewelry stores said they don’t have plans to change the way they market to customers either.
Galik Ambarsom, owner of Restaurant and Catering Hall on Metropolitan Avenue, said he hosts about 12 weddings receptions per year, and that his wedding packages will remain the same, regardless of who is doing the purchasing.
“I would love to take in some more customers and more business,” he said. “I have no idea whether that’s going to happen or not.”
Ambarsom said he’s ready for the change when the law takes effect on July 24th, and as with Guzman, he’s already participated in a few same-sex marriage events.
“Anything people want to do—if people want to get married—God bless ‘em,” he said. “I’m a business man, I don’t care who wants to get married, I want to make some money.”