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Photo courtesy of Nicole Panettieri
Photo courtesy of Nicole Panettieri
Astoria retailers will host a Retail Crawl for Small Business Saturday.

BY DEWAYNE GOFORTH

Black Friday has long been a staple in the holiday shopping season, but as the public’s interest in supporting small, indie retailers grew in recent years, Small Business Saturday emerged as an incentive to support local shops. Thanks to some western Queens business owners, the Shop Small Astoria Retail Crawl has become the signature event for Astorians looking to not only save at the register, but also give back to their local community on this national shopping holiday.

Nicole Panettieri, owner of The Brass Owl Boutique on Ditmars Boulevard, spearheads a group of local, independently owned shops in a group called Shop Small Astoria. She was inspired to create a retail crawl after her first year of business, when she had a great turnout on Small Business Saturday.

“I was overwhelmed with the love and support from the neighborhood,” she said.

Since the first Shop Small Astoria Retail Crawl on Small Business Saturday in 2015, which was a one-day event with 11 participating shops, the event has grown. There are now 17 shops, and this year, the retail crawl will be all weekend long, from Friday, Nov. 24, till Sunday, Nov. 26.

Photo via Instagram/ lockwoodstyle

Photo via Instagram/@lockwoodstyle

“It’s exciting to see the indie retail world of Astoria grow, so naturally we have grown as new stores have come on to the scene,” she explained.

Customers who want to join in on the fun should pick up a passport at one of the 16 participating businesses so they can record their purchases or print one from the Facebook event page. Those who shop at any four of the stores on the crawl will be given a goodie bag: a custom Shop Small Astoria tote with gifts from each store.

Dedicated shoppers will be rewarded for patronizing even more businesses: customers who shop at eight or more of the stores will be entered in for a grand prize of gift cards from all stores, valued at $450. Customers must return their passports to any participating business on Nov. 27. 

Photo via Instagram/ lovedayqueen

Photo via Instagram/@lovedayqueen

For Panettieri, creating Shop Small Astoria was a way to invest in her community, and she said that shoppers will be directly helping their neighborhood.

“Many of the owners and staff of independently owned retailers are Queens residents,” she said. “When you shop at these stores, you are investing money back into your community. According to a Civic Economic Study, when you spend $100 at a small business, roughly $68 stays in your community. So [we’re] putting the money back into other businesses, local charities, events that support the community, schools, etc.”

Photo via Instagram/ lavender_label

Photo via Instagram/@lavender_label

She added that the retail crawl is the shops’ way of thanking their customers:

“As a community, Astoria supports small business all year round and all of us business owners are incredibly grateful. This day is also our way of saying thank you for your support, which is why we do the Shop Small Astoria Retail Crawl.”

Stores participating in Shop Small Astoria:

  1. The Astoria Bookshop
  2. Belief
  3. The Brass Owl: Free gift for $10 purchase, bigger gift for $100 purchase, 15 percent off entire store/30 percent off shoes, mimosas and cookies, and extended shopping hours 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  4. Broadway Silk: 10 percent off all purchases over $25
  5. Château le Woof: Free drip with any dog food purchase
  6. The Geekery: Grab bag and roll a d20 dice for a discount
  7. HiFi Records: 10 percent off new release vinyl, buy three new records get fourth 50 percent off, buy three used records get fourth 50 percent off, 10 percent off loudspeakers, turntables, vinyl record care, headphones and electronics
  8. Inside Astoria: 20 percent off your most expensive item
  9. Jumping Bulldog
  10. Lavender Label
  11. Lockwood: Free gift with $100 purchase, 20 percent of total purchase and extended shopping hours 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  12. Lockwood Paper: Free gift with $100 purchase, 20 percent of total purchase and extended shopping hours 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  13. Lockwood Style: Free gift with $100 purchase, 20 percent of total purchase and extended shopping hours 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  14. Loveday 31: 20 percent off entire store
  15. Petals & Roots: 15 percent off for crawl participants
  16. Q.E.D.: $5 Brooklyn Lagers and $2 popcorns while you shop. Anyone who spends over $50 at the Craft Bazaar will get an admit 2 pass to Q.E.D.
  17. The Stonework: 15 percent off entire store, live chainstitch embroidery, and first 15 customers get a free customized bandana. Embroidery service will be available on site from noon – 3 p.m.

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