Looking for unique local gifts? “Shop Staten Island” delivers Borough products directly to your doorstep.

STATEN ISLAND, NY – If you’re looking for an iconic orange and blue ‘Forgotten Borough’ t-shirt or want to send a miniature ‘Molinari Class’ Christmas ornament to all your loved ones, Staten Island Ferry holiday season , “Shop Staten Island” has you covered.

Want a two-pound platter of Cake Chef’s rainbow cookies or some of the little espresso beans brewed at Main Street Coffee? The online market has them too. And Amazon will be sending all of these “Made in Staten Island” products to your doorstep for free during the holiday season. Even Pete Davidson must be excited about it.

“Since the launch of Shop Staten Island last year, we have received excellent feedback from merchants who have benefited from the additional sales and visibility offered by the platform,” noted Linda Baran, President and CEO of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the e-commerce platform. “This new partnership with Amazon is another great way to help small businesses reach more customers this holiday season.”

Launched in 2020 at the height of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the online chamber marketplace is a platform that allows all small businesses in Staten Island – regardless of their chamber membership – to list and sell their products online at no cost.

A SINGLE WINDOW

As part of the national ‘Shop Where I Live’ initiative which creates marketplace websites in partnership with chambers of commerce and economic development organizations to help local small businesses sell online together, by creating a one-stop shop unique so that their community can buy local, the concept is categorized by the motto “where the main street meets the internet”. The program currently operates marketplace websites in 16 states with 38 different community site partners, Staten Island being one of them.

“There are over 60 vendors on the site – all mom-and-pop stores – who sell very specific Staten Island items,” Baran said. “Any business can sell here for free, and with the free shipping offered by Amazon until the end of the year, it really is a great tool for small businesses to use this holiday season.”

Dubbed the Small Business Holiday Express, the site’s Amazon partnership represents a very modern take on Small Business Saturday, putting Staten Island-centric products in the hands of borough consumers who don’t have to leave their living room to shop. local.

Started by American Express in the midst of the recession in 2010, Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to do some of their holiday shopping at local stores, not just big box retailers. The post-Thanksgiving event produced big results for small business owners, and a recent LendingTree survey shows that nearly half of Americans intend to make small purchases this year, with an expected average spend of 305. $. By enabling shoppers to shop locally online and providing fast, free local delivery for the “Shop Staten Island” service, the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce keeps pace with changing consumer habits.

“Today, small and medium-sized business products make up more than half of everything sold in the Amazon store,” said Carley Graham Garcia, Amazon’s head of external affairs in New York. “Their success is our success, and we’re proud of the role we’ve played in helping so many small businesses thrive. “Shop Staten Island” is another innovative channel for local entrepreneurs to reach more customers, expand their operations and create local jobs – and we are delighted to support this initiative. “

The owners of Élan Hair & Nails, a full-service salon at 1605 Forest Avenue that sells hair care items and gift cards on the site, said they have benefited greatly from the service, which has allowed them to extend their reach.

“We were in trouble last year after being shut down for three months,” said Stacie Koutras, co-owner of Élan Hair & Nails with her sister-in-law, Penny Koutros. “It really helped us get over that bump and keep going. “

Renee Sarno, owner of Etsy store, NYCrafts and the City, which produces unique clothing and accessories focused on Staten Island, said she agreed.

“’Shop Staten Island’ provides a platform for small businesses to connect with Staten Islanders and allows shoppers to find local small businesses they didn’t know existed,” said Sarno. “It’s also a great opportunity to shop at multiple stores in one location – you don’t have to travel around the borough to find all of these unique items.”

“’Shop Staten Island’ provides a platform for small businesses to connect with Staten Islanders and allows shoppers to find local small businesses they didn’t know existed,” said Sarno. (Courtesy of Renée Sarno)

Owner of Yaymaker Staten Island, a company that hosts live painting and craft events, Sarno launched his Etsy store during the pandemic as in-person gatherings were suspended.

“I was teaching virtually and delivering art kits all over Staten Island,” the artist said. “This company was born from these deliveries.”

Sarno’s bestseller? A Staten Island Ferry beanie with a pom pom on top.

“WE ALL LOVE THIS BOROUGH”

“I love that people want to show the pride of Staten Island with all of these items,” she added. “These are things that I have always wanted myself: shirts, mugs, hats. We all love this Borough, and now we have the loot to prove it.

Cultural institutions like the Staten Island Museum and Casa Belvedere also sell on site. Flagship Brewing Company offers beer and sartorial items, and Celebrate @ Snug Harbor sells gift boxes, gourmet fruit and cheese boxes and more. You can even buy collectibles at Hypno-Tronic Comics and homemade mozzarella at Novelli’s Pork Store in Oakwood.

“We are very grateful to the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce for making this opportunity available to local businesses,” said Janice Monger, President and CEO of the Staten Island Museum, which raised more than $ 1,000 in its sales on the store. “This came at a very difficult time for many business owners and made the transition to e-commerce easy, accessible, and most importantly, affordable for attendees. And the Holiday Express initiative with Amazon for free local delivery is a big plus. The museum store’s sales on the platform are stable, with orders being fulfilled not only locally, but in the boroughs and country, a testament to the chamber’s reach.

Barron concluded: “It’s not just about small business Saturdays and holidays. When we support our small businesses in this area and they are successful, the community benefits. They are the ones who donate to local little leagues, PTAs and other causes. It’s about putting money in the hands of those of us who live here on Staten Island.

All small businesses in Staten Island can list their products for free on Shop Staten Island. To start selling, visit Shop Staten Island at https://statenisland.shopwhereilive.com/ and click on the “Sell to Marketplace” tab to start building your own storefront. You can also follow Shop Staten Island’s Facebook and Instagram pages for more details.

Shop Staten Island sells a variety of borough-centric products

“It’s not just about small business Saturdays and holidays. When we support our small businesses in this area and they are successful, the community benefits, ”said Linda Baran, President and CEO of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. A Staten Island Ferry beanie with a pom pom on top is a best seller at Sarno’s Etsy shop (Courtesy Renee Sarno)


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Margarita B. Bittner