HARRISON, N.Y. - With the same-sex marriage law going into effect on Sunday, gay couples from across the county will be able to wed in the State of New York for the first time.
But couples waiting to get married may not be the only ones excited about the new law. Businesses in New York may experience a boost to their revenue from same-sex couples planning out their weddings.
Harrison florists, caterers and other marriage-related industries said they expect an increase in customers with the legalization of gay marriage.
"There's definitely a chance that we can benefit from this," Joe Lodovico of the Harrison Flower Mart said. "I hope so."
With so many industries directly tied into large celebratory events such as weddings, the potential could be substantial for local businesses.
"In this economy, I'll grab for anything I can get my hands on," Lodovico said. "Maybe this could have a more viable opportunity for change."
David Juhren is the Executive Director at the LOFT , a White Plains-based community services center for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals in the lower Hudson valley.
Juhren said there are many same-sex couples waiting to get married and it could generate close to $400 million in revenue. Such a potentially large impact on local businesses has been one of the driving incentives for passing the law, Juhren said.
Citing a 2007 report from former New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson, an article in The New York Daily News said approximately 56,000 couples would wed in New York if the same-sex marriage bill were to be passed, which translates into revenue.
Some businesses haven't seen a physical return on that expectation yet, but there are signs of an increase on the way.
Others are still waiting for the anticipated increase in revenue, though. Chef Rolando Rosales of Harrison Caterers said though he has received calls, he hasn't yet seen an increase in business.
"People know me and they're calling," Rosales said. "I'm not complaining."
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