Small Brooklyn businesses thriving on plexiglass dividers

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BORO PARK, Brooklyn — What began as an idea to make some extra money during the pandemic and help other local businesses reopen has turned into a booming business.

NNK Design and Cabinetry is a small family company that had just hit its stride when the pandemic locked everything down.

“We had gotten to a point where things were just humming,” said owner Peter Comito. “Plenty of work in the cue.”

Comito said he was having some success staying open by doing “essential”construction-related working, but the real breakthrough came when his wife asked him a question: Had he ever worked with plexiglass or acrylic?

As a matter of fact he had, specifically because he was located in the Hasidic community of Boro Park.

“One of the things I’ve done that a niche business of mine is Passover countertops,” Comito explained. “I’ve been making out of a quarter-inch think acrylic for years… and you have to be very precise.”

So as his wife’s encouragement he designed a shield concept for a nail salon to potentially use.He shared the idea on Facebook and it went viral within Brooklyn business circles.

As reopening slowly ramps up, and plexiglass dividers are being added from everything to offices to restaurants to buses, Comito’s phone keeps ringing.He is making custom barriers in all shapes and sizes and brought in his daughter Nicole, who also has a design background, to help.

“He does everything along the lines of commercial to residential, all design-build, healthcare, school, any [business] segment,” she said.

Now, bigger government contracts are in the works. NNK also plans to increase their number of employees from three to nine and is seeking a new bigger manufacturing space.

Comito’s advise to other entrepreneurs during this difficult time:

“You got to be hungry, and make your own luck,” he said. “Think about what you do, and apply it to the conditions that we’re in now. We’re grateful that during this terrible time we were able to not only keep our people, but feed ourselves, not take assistance, be stronger coming out of this, and do a way that’s going to help the people around us.”

For more information about NNK see Comito’s instagram page.

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