On the other side of the coin, Lenny's Shoe and Apparel at 285 Tom Miller Road in Plattsburgh received the chamber's 2019 Small Business of the Year Award.

Owner Todd McCarthy said that location, which opened in 2013, has under 20 employees.

The small company was started by McCarthy's dad, Leonard "Lenny," in 1990 when he opened the first shop in Vermont.

The chain now has five stores, four of which sit on other side of Lake Champlain.

McCarthy's brother Mark stayed in the family's home state to work the business there, but McCarthy was drawn to New York by his partner, Walker Funeral Home owner Trevor Rabideau.

And so, a Lenny's shop came to Plattsburgh, McCarthy said.

Lenny's Shoe and Apparel is not a retailer you'd find in a mall setting, he said.

"We consider ourselves a destination store," he explained. "I think people have habits, and they have shopping habits definitely.

"It was our goal and its our intention to change people's shopping habits and have them come here."

McCarthy doesn't think this choice has hindered the Lenny's business at all.

"Independent brick and mortars, under our model — I think they'll be the only ones that survive," he said.

Receiving the chamber's award was an honor to the small business, McCarthy said.

"I think we have a good reputation," he said. "I think we have a solid footing with the community and our community outreach."

He chaired United Way of the Adirondack Region's 2018 campaign and said his employees are out helping in the community as well.

"We try to get involved as much as we can," he said. “We're not philanthropists, but the better we do, the more we can give back."

Originally published by the Press Republican on February 23, 2019 - https://www.pressrepublican.com/news/taking-care-of-business/article_4fd20440-3713-11e9-bbb4-8b0e50097572.html