Buffalo’s downtown merchants group branches out to the ‘burbs

By Steve Cichon

Thirty-five years ago this week, The News began celebrating the 100th anniversary of the paper’s starting a daily edition.

In the special section called One Hundred Years of Finance and Commerce, The News recounted the history of a handful of Buffalo’s financial and commercial industries and provided ad space for many companies involved in those industries to tout their own contributions.

The Downtown Retail Merchants Association was a driving force in getting shoppers downtown, making sure they stayed there and making sure they shopped in multiple stores.

In 1978, the group’s name was changed to the Western New York Retail Merchants Association, with the focus changed from keeping shoppers downtown — which was looking more and more like a lost cause in the late ’70s — to making sure that people continued to shop throughout Western New York.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.