Small business owner Christine Freglette Terzulli of Third Avenue’s Bookmark Shoppe has been helping to keep the literary haven afloat despite the incursion of big box stores like Barnes and Noble for years and, on Saturday, November 29, she’s hoping Small Business Saturday will bring the biggest crowd of the year.
“When you shop small, you make a big difference,” said the local entrepreneur from the Biography section of her bookstore at a press conference hosted by Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis to remind shoppers to shop small this coming Saturday. “It’s so important to shop locally because these small businesses live locally. Our kids go to school here, we shop here, we live, eat and have fun here. It’s our community and the more you spend at your local stores, the more money goes back into your community.”
“Small businesses play an important part in our community because, not only do they keep the vitality of the community but they also create jobs,” said Malliotakis, stressing that, in the days surrounding Thanksgiving, Black Friday and even Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is the last reigning holiday Ridgeites and New Yorkers alike should really be focusing in on. “They hire the neighborhood and that’s really the role of small businesses.”
Bob Howe, president of the Merchants of Third Avenue, agreed.
“Small business is the economic engine of our country,” said Howe, joined by merchants association member Brian Chin, adding that Third Avenue alone employs about 1,000 local residents. “[Those are people] who live, work, worship in and give back to our community.”
Howe joined Malliotakis in commending Terzulli for still maintaining her role as the reigning Bay Ridge bookshop, even in a business dominated “by giants.”
“I appreciate our assemblywoman taking this opportunity to remind people, number one, that it’s okay to do business with your friends,” lauded Pat Condren, executive director of both the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue and 86th Street Business Improvement Districts. “The most important thing is that we have people here who have been doing this for years.”
Malliotakis has already worked hard to help small businesses prosper by voting to lower both the manufacturing tax and the corporate income tax rate in the state as well as to eliminate the MTA payroll tax for small businesses. She is also working to phase out a hidden utility tax most small business owners overlook each month.
“We support everyone any time of day, all the time,” said Terzulli, “so it’s important to keep them coming back into the small stores so that we can give back to the community because we love it.”