Astoria businesses celebrate Small Business Saturday with shopping ‘crawl’

Local News

One of the busiest shopping periods of the year is here, but instead of heading out to retail giants, small businesses urge customers to give them a chance, especially coming out of the height of the pandemic.

On Small Business Saturday, 27 retailers in Astoria, Queens called on all shoppers to support them in a retail crawl.

Participants walked away with some great gifts for friends and family, but also a chance to support businesses bouncing back from the pandemic.

Nicole Panettieri is the owner of “The Brass Owl” and she’s the organizer of Astoria’s retailers group “Shop Small Astoria.”

Supporting local boutiques is the group’s goal, especially on Small Business Saturday.

“We all open small business so we can see customers and talk to our community — and seeing everybody is invigorating,” said Panettieri.

Once you rest your wallet, you’ll know you’ve helped out some of the struggling businesses come out of a difficult two years.

“I’d love to say I’m doing all my Christmas shopping today — unfortunately I’ve mostly been buying for myself. It’s just a great day to get out and there are extra deals as well,” said shopper Jacquelyn Simone.

During the height of the pandemic, many places couldn’t keep their doors open.

Shoppers like Yvette Lang recognize the challenges. She and her friend traveled to Astoria from Bellerose, Long Island, to lend a helping hand, while scoring some new merchandise.

“You really didn’t do it last year, did it all online, so it’s great to get out, walk and feel fresh air and say hello to everybody,” Lang.

The retail crawl throughout Astoria started in 2015 with only 12 stores.

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