ASTORIA — A dry cleaner in the neighborhood is offering to clean interview outfits, free of charge, for unemployed job seekers who need it.
Jaime Jinete, the owner of Nicole's Cleaners on 34th Street just off 30th Avenue, said he started the deal earlier this year as a way to give back to the community — or, as he puts it, "just to give people hope."
"Sometimes someone probably has to make a decision whether you clean your suit or you get a MetroCard to go to that interview," the 41-year-old business owner said. "I can't get you a MetroCard, but I can help with the suit or an outfit."
Jinete advertises the service with a sign posted in the window of his tiny storefront at 28-52 34th St. He doesn't require proof of someone's unemployment, instead relying on the honor system.
"If you are unemployed and need an outfit clean for an interview we will clean it for free," his sign reads.
The shop owner says he actually put the sign up at the start of the year, but it just recently started gaining attention on social media after someone posted a photo of it on Instagram earlier this week.
Jinete, who opened Nicole's four years ago after working in the business for 15 years, says he got the idea from another dry cleaners that offered a similar deal.
"I saw it on the Upper East Side in one store, and since I opened the business I always wanted to do something similar," he said.
"It took me a little longer than what I was expecting to be able to offer the service, because you need to have a certain solvency to be able to do it."
So far, no one has taken Jinete up on his offer, but customers at his store — where he offers dry cleaning, wash-and-fold laundry and alterations — seem to appreciate it.
"People, they just kind of look at it and they like it. They're like, 'Okay, this is why we support this business instead of somewhere else,'" he said.
"It's good karma," he added. "And that comes back to you."