|27 Stores for Small Business Saturday | Astoria, Queens|
Nicole Panettieri, the founder of the Shop Small Astoria Retail Crawl, comes from a long line of small business owners, dating back almost one hundred years. Growing up at the counter, she’d talk to customers and neighbors, learning what was important to them and helping to invest money into other businesses, PTA events, sports teams, and more.
This legacy led her to open her very own shop, The Brass Owl, in September 2014. Impressed by the fervor of support for small businesses in Astoria, where a customer had told her that they hit every small business and collected a pin from each, she launched the first Shop Small Astoria Retail Crawl the following year, with 11 participating shops.
This year, 27 shops are participating. Customers who spend $10+ at 10 or more stores, from Friday, 11/26 to Sunday, 11/28, will get a free tote filled with swag, including a grand prize for one customer who will win a free Apple Watch. We caught up with Nicole to learn more about the Shop Small Astoria Retail Crawl.
What is the Shop Small Astoria Retail Crawl?
The Shop Small Astoria Retail Crawl is a shopping event to support independently owned shops in our neighborhood (this year is a record 27 shops!).
Since Astoria is a thriving retail and business district, there were many stores to choose from. How did you settle upon these?
We have a few guidelines for shops to participate – they must be a brick & mortar business that relies mostly on non-food retail sales and they must have an Instagram presence. We are always open to adding new stores and have grown over the years.
Astoria is in a time of transition, with new residents coming and businesses opening almost every week. What do you want newcomers to know about Astoria?
Astoria may be transitioning, but the DNA of our neighborhood is supporting small business and uplifting the diverse community. Many of the owners of our Shop Small Astoria shops are women, immigrants, BIPOC, AAPI, Latinx, LGBTQ, and of course, Astoria residents. We care deeply about this community and love getting to meet all of our customers.
What makes Astoria special?
Astoria has a small town feeling in the middle of a big city. You know your neighbors and the shop owners who all care about and give back to the community. We are diverse and accepting, and rich in food, culture, and arts. And then you can hop on the train and be in Manhattan in 20 minutes.