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Larchmont Stores Anticipate Surge in Marriages

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- Same-sex couples waiting to get married may not be the only ones excited about the Marriage Equality Act , which went into law officially on Sunday. Businesses in New York may experience a boost to their revenue from same-sex couples planning out their weddings.

Mamaroneck tailors, jewelers, and other marriage-related industries said they expect an increase in customers with the legalization of gay marriage .

"We would be happy to see it," said Orly Bayev, owner of Tres Magnifique, a fine jewerly store on Chatsworth Avenue. "If even one or two couples come in here, hopefully they would spread the word and we could do some business. This is a small town, so word gets around."

Bayev said she knows some same-sex families with kids in Larchmont, but hasn't had anyone come in yet.

Tony Mancino, who has lived in Larchmont for 27 years and owned Tony Mancino's Custom Tailoring for 25 years, said he feels confident that local businesses, including his own, will see some effect.

"I'm sure that they're going to get licenses, get dressed up for occasions, rent a hall and have parties," he said. "I'm sure there are businesses who will benefit, some more than others. In that respect, it's beneficial."

Mancino recalled the effects of the recession, which he said cost most stores at least 30 percent of their business. "Every little bit helps," he said.

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.

"It would be nice if it would happen," said Ellen Grad, owner of E.B. Barrett, a clothing, accessories and gift store on Palmer Avenue. "I haven't heard anybody mention a connection between the two, but if there's an increase in weddings, we would absolutely sell more party dresses. That's where we would feel it most."

How do you think the same-sex marriage law will affect Westchester County? Comment below, on Facebook or Twitter .

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