Small Business Week celebrates neighborhood shops


Riverdale Small Business Week is an opportunity to highlight some of Riverdale’s diverse establishments.

The Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corp. project has more than 70 businesses participating, free of charge, from May 13 to May 20, whether by offering discounts and specials or simply just showing support for the event.

All of those specials can be viewed in a catalog and magazine, featuring Riverdale eats, health and beauty, cleaning and laundry, professional services and hotspots in the area.

The project was partially funded as part of a $100,000 grant awarded by New York City Small Business Services in March. KRVC interim executive director and founder of the 4Bronx Project Laura Levine-Pinedo said her goal is to help keep small businesses local and family owned and operated.

“I think maybe someone who has never been to Mandy’s Hair and Spa (will be) like ‘oh, I need to get my hair done, let me try this out,’ and maybe they get a customer out of it and then it was worth it,” Levine-Pinedo told The Press.

Shari Hall, deputy director of KRVC, said the special week could boost business in the area and unite parts of Riverdale.

“We’d like for north Riverdale people to come to south and Johnson and vice versa,” Hall said. “Even though people who grew up here do, some other people don’t, (so) it’d be good for them to frequent all the local businesses.”

One business participating in the event, Cleaning Wand, is offering a free refrigerator or oven cleaning when a customer books a home cleaning appointment.

Cleaning Wand owner Christina Farrell said the event helps local businesses stand out among big corporations.

“It creates this platform where we are able to leverage off where people can think about us and find more information,” Farrell said. “When you’re looking for a cleaning company, the first thing you want to do is Google. But a lot of the time Google will give you those monopolies that are well funded instead of giving you those local businesses that really need your support.”

Farrell said her business received several calls about the small business week before it started. She compared running a small business to running a marathon, crediting Riverdale residents — who make about 65 percent of her clients — for helping the business get through the pandemic while making referrals for the company on Google.

Michael Filobos of Steven John Opticians also gave gratitude to the Riverdale community. His business is offering 20 percent off prescription glasses and sports goggles, and 25 percent off sunglasses.

“We help each other,” Filobos said of the community. “When people come in with a broken pair of glasses or something, I can always help them.”

A Touch of Sun Hair and Spa owner Yetta Lazri opened her business about 17 years ago and described the Riverdale community as one that’ll let a business know if they like it or not. Her business offers a free hair cut if a new client books any color service.

“The most important thing is to let people know we’re there,” Lazri said. “I love Riverdale because the community is really tight and very thoughtful for business and then for each other.”’

Small Business Week was celebrated with live music from the Mariachi Citlalli on Tuesday and the Seeing Red band at The Club of Riverdale on Wednesday. KRVC is also partnering with the Riverdale Main Streets Alliance, which is helping with the $100,000 grant, to hold a block party Sunday, May 19.

Their plan is to use a trolley to transport people from south to north Riverdale, creating an economic circuit of sorts.

For more information about Small Business Week, email

Riverdale Small Business Week Local businesses Community support Discounts and specials Catalog and magazine Economic development New York City Small Business Services KRVC (Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corp.) Laura Levine-Pinedo Small business promotion