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Small Business Saturday Brings Deals to TriBeCa

By Julie Shapiro | November 25, 2011 9:35am

TRIBECA — Deals, giveaways, music and face painting are on the way to TriBeCa this weekend for Small Business Saturday.

Dozens of businesses in the neighborhood are offering discounts and freebies, and a carnival in Duane Park will feature raffles and a booth where children can write letters to Santa.

Small Business Saturday — a national, annual event that encourages people to do their holiday shopping at locally owned stores — is concentrating on TriBeCa this year because the neighborhood has a large variety of small businesses, organizers said.

"The TriBeCa community is very supportive of their small businesses and passionate about their local businesses," said Scott Krugman, spokesman for American Express, which sponsors Small Business Saturday. "We feel it is a win all the way around."

Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa, 222 West Broadway, will offer discounted manicures; Boomerang Toys, 119 W. Broadway, will host a competition for kids to win a scooter; ARC Athletics, 5 Harrison St., will offer complimentary injury screening; and Weather Up, 159 Duane St., will sell all its cocktails for $11.

Also, all American Express cardholders who shop at a small business registered with the event will get a $25 credit.

At Tribeca Treats, 94 Reade St., customers who spend more than $40 on Saturday will get a free hot chocolate.

"Every dollar you give to a small business goes a long way toward keeping them going," said Rachel Thebault, who opened Tribeca Treats nearly five years ago after leaving a career in investment banking.

While sales at Tribeca Treats have swelled over the past five years, Thebault, a 36-year-old mother of two, said no small business owner can escape the impact of the economic downturn, which forced several businesses on her block to close for good.

"Everybody's getting squeezed," she said. "It's scary facing an environment where costs are rising a lot faster than you can pass them on to the customer."

Some of TriBeCa's newer small businesses opened around the time the recession began and have never known a better economic climate, which can be an advantage.

"A good place to start is at the bottom," said Christy Frank, owner of Frankly Wines at 66 W. Broadway, which opened almost four years ago.

"Things are always going to go up." 

Frank, 41, a TriBeCa resident and mother of three, launched the tiny, 320-square-foot shop with the idea of creating a well-edited collection of just 250 to 300 wines in a a friendly atmosphere that encouraged customers to ask questions.

Several small business owners in TriBeCa said the most difficult — and interesting — part of running their own business is that they have to learn how do everything themselves, from construction to bookkeeping.

"I find the challenge of running my own business intoxicating," said Carol Adams, 43, owner of the Torly Kid boutique at 51 Hudson St., which is offering a $20 credit to customers who spend $100 or more on Saturday.

"I had my drill out last week drilling into a brick wall," Adams continued. "I had my plunger out the week before. You have to know how to do everything. I love the high energy of it."

Small Business Saturday events in Duane Park run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 26.