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Small Business Saturday Boosts Mom and Pop Shops

By Tom Liddy on November 26, 2011 5:25pm 

By Patrick Wall and Tom Liddy

DNAinfo Reporters

MANHATTAN — Tribeca's wealth of mom and pop stores got a shot in the checkbook this weekend from deal-hungry New Yorkers shopping on Small Business Saturday.

Customers even came from around surrounding neighborhoods to check out the deals and steals at some of the borough's best small shops while kids frolicked at a nearby fair to celebrate the enterprising New Yorkers.

“I need to support the economy of the city and Macy’s isn't going anywhere," said Besty Mickel, who took the bus down from the West Village to shop at Add Accessories on West Broadway, which was offering 15 percent off on purchases of $100 or more.

“Shop small. No more Macy’s.”

Mickel perused the store — which introduces new accessory designers to the marketplace — for holiday gifts, but ultimately didn't buy anything.

“I’m doing holiday shopping but I keep seeing things for me," she said. "That ring over there is calling my name.”

In addition to the deals offered by stores in Tribeca — the focus of this year's event because of its high concentration of small businesses — and around the borough, American Express customers got a $25 credit when they bought $25 or more at a participating shop.

At pet store Canis Minor, Stephen Frias, the assistant manager on weekends, said the event gave business a boost — an extra handful of people who stopped by after visiting the fair at the Duane Park.

"It actually had a pretty big impact," he said. "I mean, who wouldn't be happy about a discount?"

Customer Jane Mancino, a 14-year resident of the neighborhood, said that she regularly visits the store, at 106 Reade St., which was offering a deal on treats and toys.

"It's convenient and, surprisingly, the prices are good," she said.

Still, some business owners said that the timing — after Black Friday and on a holiday weekend — may have affected their customer base, along with the fact that many shop locally to begin with.

"So far it’s a holiday weekend so it’s kind of slow," said Savannah Lewis, one of the managers at Boomerang Toys, at 119 West Broadway, which was raffling off a scooter. "I don’t know if it's bringing any more customers in. A lot of customers are local and go out of town."

Joel Sandler, who was at the shop with his 2 1/2-year-old daughter Juliet, said that he loves the neighborhood because of the concentration of small businesses.

"It’s almost all local businesses and that’s a great thing," said Sandler, who picked up a Peek-a-Boo Tunnel for his daughter as well as several other holiday gifts for relatives.

"I won’t go near Black Friday with a 10-foot pole."

Kids and their families were treated to a fair for the event at nearby Duane Park, where there was face-painting and raffles.

"It brings everyone together," said Pauline Gao, a local resident and mother of two.  "You see familiar faces."

Gao stopped by the park before buying cupcakes at Tribeca Treats, another participating business, for her son's fourth birthday party. She also shops at Boomerang Toys for kids' birthdays.

"I like the fact that we're promoting these neighborhood shops," she said. "Just as much as we need them, they need us."

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