Patch readers have shared comments regarding the influx of cash-for-gold stores popping up throughout the town, largely that they are negative and could bring potential crime into the town – but not everyone shares that same opinion.
"People can't afford to pay their bills. If these stores weren't here, what would they be doing?" said an LI Gold Mine employee who asked to remain anonymous. "People that come here are people that keep coming back because we treat them with respect ... we're here to stay, we want to stay, and we're here to help the people."
Some say they arrived in town from a need.
"They're businesses and they're legitimate businesses, and some would say they're a sign of the economy," said Mark Mancini, president of the Greater Smithtown Chamber of Commerce.
Barbara Franco, executive director of the Greater Smithtown Chamber of Commerce, confirmed that both LI Gold Mine on Smithtown's Main Street and A&D Gold & Silver Exchange in St. James are chamber members.
While many of these businesses have a negative image surrounding them, the negative image for those cash-for-gold stores in the town might not be valid.
"I walk the street late at night and I've never seen shady characters or anything around these businesses, I don't think they're attracting anybody negative to town," Mancini said.
The chamber president also said these stores must be bringing in a lot of local clientele with the amount of them open in the area, referring specifically to having three open on Smithtown's Main Street.
"Yes, you're taking grandma's ring and pawning it for cash because you're in an economic need," he said. "But they offer a need, which obviously they must be successful if there's three of them."