Why Main Street America is important in today’s economy
John Catsimatidis on WFAN with Bob Salter, discussed why he feels Main Street America remains important to the economy of this country, the importance of United States’ competition in the world economy, and his story living the American dream.
New York business titan and philanthropist John Catsimatidis, appeared on WFAN Sports Radio yesterday morning to discuss why he feels Main Street America remains important to the economy of New York and the entire United States. He also discussed the importance of United States’ competition in the world economy, and his own story of growing up in New York City and living the American dream “Use the American way to make your business a success,” Catsimatidis said Sunday.
John Catsimatidis was born in Nissirios, Greece in 1948. He and his parents immigrated to America when he was six months old. They settled in a rented apartment on 135th Street in Harlem. While his father Andres worked long hours as a busboy, his mother Despina raised their only son. Catsimatidis attended both public and parochial grade schools, he said about working hard in order to succeed “If you want to be a successful you need to be the best person you can be everyday, this is what today’s youth needs to learn.” While attending college at NYU, a part-time job in a family friend’s grocery store at 137th & Broadway gave him to impetus open a small grocery at Broadway and 99th Street in Manhattan the now New York neighborhood landmark grocery store Gristedes.
Catsimatidis branched out into a variety of other business enterprises, including; an oil-refinery, a firm that leases corporate jets, 400 convenience stores in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, the Hellenic Times newspaper, and real estate holdings in New York, New Jersey and Florida.
Over the past four decades, a small supermarket on Manhattan’s Upper Westside has grown into diversified holdings that generate annual sales of over $3 billion and employ over 8,000 individuals. Catsimatidis and his wife Margo are heavily involved in many New York City charities and through the years has generously donated time, money and leadership skills to groups such as the Boy Scouts of America, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and the Police Athletic League.
Catsimatidis’ unique experience in business and growing up as an immigrant in New York City has provided him with an astute understanding of how Main Street America is affected by the economy and how it continues to change to try to compete with big box stores taking over small business. Click here to listen to the interview