Sept. 12, 2018 By Tara Law
The owner of an Astoria clothing boutique received national recognition last week for her work championing small businesses.
Nicole Panettieri, owner of the Brass Owl at 36-19 Ditmars Blvd., was one of five finalists for the “America’s Retail Champion” award.
Trade organization National Retail Foundation hands out the award each year to small business owners who are community leaders and act as advocates for the retail industry.
Panettieri has owned the Brass Owl boutique, which sells women’s clothing, accessories and gifts, for the past four years. She also uses her shop as a platform to raise money for charitable causes and to host supply drives.
Panetteri has dedicated herself to community projects such as Shop Small Astoria, the Ditmars Merchant Association and women’s empowerment project Ladies First Astoria. She has worked as a retail advocate for the last few years, and has met with lawmakers such as Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congressman Joseph Crowley.
Panettieri and the other finalists were honored for their work at the Federation’s Retail Advocates Summit this week. The Champion of the Year grand prize went to the owner of a spa in Florida.
The Federation’s President and CEO, Matthew Shay, praised Panettieri and the other finalists in a statement.
“Small business owners are the backbone of America’s economy,” Shay said. “NRF is proud to recognize these hardworking individuals in Washington this week as the industry’s most engaged retail advocates.”