Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is kicking off a series of visits to local small businesses to commemorate National Women's Small Business Month, starting with a visit to Gilliana's Diner in Batavia. In the weeks to come, Hawley will be visiting other women-owned small businesses in the district throughout October.
Gilliana's Diner is a business opened by local resident Jill Antinore during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hawley will be visiting the restaurant on Oct. 2 at 12:30 p.m. to honor Jill Antinore for her community-minded actions and perseverance in opening her business during a challenging period, all while looking out for her neighbors. They will also discuss her experience opening and operating her business, along with the challenges she and her staff have faced along the way.
“The dedication and generosity displayed by Jill Antinore in opening her business amid a pandemic is truly commendable, and her restaurant is the perfect place to start our celebration of National Women's Small Business Month,” said Hawley. “What she has done for the community, even while working to get her restaurant up and running, is truly astounding. I look forward to hearing from her firsthand about how she managed to do so much for so many people.”
Even as they opened their doors during tumultuous times, Jill and her husband worked through nights and early mornings to prepare meals to donate to the United Memorial Medical Center. Not stopping there, the business has continued their generous acts by donating 30 percent of all take-out dinner sales to benefit the Batavia Business & Professional Women's Club, as well as providing scholarships to local youth, and monetary awards to non-profit organizations engaged in bettering the community.
As Hawley continues with his series of visits to other businesses throughout National Women's Small Business Month, he will continue to highlight women-owned businesses that have overcome adversity, gone above-and-beyond to benefit their community, or have otherwise become famed fixtures within local areas. He will be announcing more of these visits to businesses in the near future.
“In a year that has been challenging for small businesses throughout the state, I am excited to use this opportunity to highlight the hard work and managerial prowess of women who own small businesses in our district,” said Hawley. “They have worked through a pandemic to continue serving their communities, all while adapting to rapidly-changing laws and regulations, and that is something truly admirable.”