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

Deggans Picks 'Gotham,' 'Black-ish,' 'The Flash' Among Fall TV's Best

As the fall TV season begins this week, NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans gives his picks on new shows to watch and a few to avoid (or hate watch, if you like).
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Hillary Exhilaration Helps Energize Generation Z

Many young people are excited about the 2016 presidential election — and the chance to make history.
WAMU 88.5

Cellphones In Class Are No Problem In One Maryland School District

An Eastern Shore school district is allowing teachers to treat students' cellphones, tables and laptops as a resource rather than a nuisance.

Leave a Comment

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