NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – For many mom-and-pop retailers, ‘Small Business Saturday‘ was a big success.
“A huge bump. A lot of Staten Islanders came in to the store today,” Casale Jewelers co-owner Daniel Schifter told CBS 2′s Dave Carlin.
The third annual holiday shopping day focused on small businesses offered the Staten Island jewelry store a big boost, even as recovery from superstorm Sandy continues.
Schifter said Saturday was his single best day since the storm hit.
“At least 100 percent, so double from what we did last year,” Schifter told Carlin.
At Clark’s House Of Flowers on Staten Island, employees said the orders came pouring in all day.
The shop’s 11 phone lines had been out of commission for two weeks after Sandy, but were ringing off the hook on Saturday.
“It’s picked up, definitely,” sales associate Deanna Sperrazza told Carlin.
At the worst of the storm, the flower shop’s power went out causing the merchandise to wither. But business is blooming once again at the florist.
“If you help a local business, somehow it goes back into the community,” sales associate Emily Watford told CBS 2′s Carlin.
In advance on Small Business Saturday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the formation of a grant program designed to help small merchants who are critical to the local economies.
The city is offering $5.5 million in matching grants to Sandy-affected small businesses.
“They constitute nearly half of the jobs across america, private sector jobs. And they constitute half of US retail sales so it’s absolutely important that they succeed this holiday season,” said CEO Patricia Norins of Specialty Retail Report.
Shoppers said in addition to getting great sale prices and deals, they felt good about supporting local merchants.
“Trying to do the local, because that’s what’s keeping the American public energized,” a woman told Carlin.
Small Business Saturday is an annual nationwide effort to support small businesses. The first Small Business Saturday was held in 2010 and has grown in popularity in the years since.
The State of New York is offering emergency low-interest loans to help get small businesses back on their feet. For more information, go to NYC.gov or call 311.
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