Many people are surprised to learn most retailers are small businesses. In fact, more than 98 percent of all retail companies employ fewer than 50 people. Small business owner Nicole Panettieri is more than a retailer. She’s also a strong advocate for the retail industry. Panettieri, whose boutique in the Astoria, Queens neighborhood in New York City opened four years ago was celebrated at NRF’s Retail Advocates Summit 2018 as a finalist in the America’s Retail Champions program. She joined the co-hosts of Retail Gets Real to talk about her store, The Brass Owl, and how she’s using the business to advocate for her community.
Stories like Panettieri’s show how retailers are making a difference in their own communities. Panettieri’s grandfather, a retailer himself, told her, “We're not just a business in the community, we're part of a community.” Panettieri lives that every day. “When I opened my store, I lived in the community that I owned the store in,” she says. “It was important for me to give back and not just take everyone’s money.”