Sandy's Shadow, In Three Small Businesses | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Sandy's Shadow, In Three Small Businesses

Play associated audio

Retail sales fell in October, for the first time in several months. Analysts largely blamed the hurricane. If they're right, sales will bounce back this month and the economic recovery will continue (slowly, slowly).

That's the big picture. To get a sense of the small picture — messier, more ambiguous — I visited three small businesses on Cross Bay Boulevard, in Howard Beach, Queens. The storm swept in here and flooded the neighborhood.

1. The Party Store

The storm hit on Oct. 29 — the worst possible time for Cedarhurst Party Store. "We are a tremendously big Halloween store," Mary Galady, the manager, told me. "And that's just gone."

Bad to worse: The Christmas decorations and greeting cards were storied in the basement, which flooded.

2. The Salon

Nail Pro, a salon up the block from the party store, has been closed for three weeks now. They have to buy new pedicure chairs.

But getting your nails done is a classic deferred purchase. The store is likely to see a rush of business when it re-opens, from all those people who put off getting their nails done during and right after the storm.

3. The Bodega

A bodega here closed for just a few hours during the worst of the storm. When the power was out, the worked by candlelight. They used battery powered calculators.

"Our coffee business skyrocketed," Jimmy Wilson said. "People would come in and buy 10, 15 cups at a time."

Sales are still up, Wilson said.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Simmering Online Debate Shows Emoji Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

A report from a local Philadelphia TV station is re-igniting a debate and getting people all up in arms. (Or should we say, up in hands?)
WAMU 88.5

Laotian Chef Helps Diners Feel the Burn of Her Native Cuisine

Virginia Chef Seng Luangrath says the food of her native Laos is like Thai food... just 10 times hotter.
NPR

Cantor To Step Down This Month To Make Room For Successor

After relinquishing his majority leader post, Cantor, who was defeated in a stunning June primary upset, says he wants to make room for his successor to take over his Virginia seat in November.
NPR

Simmering Online Debate Shows Emoji Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

A report from a local Philadelphia TV station is re-igniting a debate and getting people all up in arms. (Or should we say, up in hands?)

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.