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CORNWALL – For Annie Mooradian, Small Business Saturday is an exciting time.

It’s a moment to showcase her two businesses, Puppy Paws dog boutique and Cornwall Sweets, and to bring together other local shops as part of the Cornwall and Cornwall-on-Hudson Small Business Saturday Shop Hop.

Now in its tenth year, the shop hop is an event that encourages people to visit local shops in Cornwall on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 27. Customers can pick up a card at local businesses and when they visit a store on the card, it will be signed by the shop. Completed cards are then entered into a raffle drawing where the grand prize is a gift basket full of local goodies.

Dog treats and food on display at Puppy Paws in Cornwall, NY on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

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“The reason is not to bring the customer to shop just that day,” Mooradian said. “It’s really for the customer to see and explore and come back, not just for the holiday season, but during a regular business day, too.”

This year, Mooradian is hoping for a good turnout. With the COVID-19 pandemic, both of her businesses saw a drop in the past year, but recently, she’s seen more people coming out to shop in-person.

The introduction of Door Dash has helped her sweets shop significantly, in which people can order treats like pies, chocolate covered strawberries and cheesecake and have them delivered right to their door.

“We’ve had a tremendous influx of people coming in from New York City,” Mooradian added. “My businesses are doing much better than they were last year. People are getting out more now, they’re exploring.”

At her dog boutique, Mooradian has especially seen an increase in customers. It’s a welcomed sign compared to last year, when many people turned to online shopping at places like Chewy.com for their pet supply needs.

Puppy Paws in Cornwall, NY on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

“My shops suffered,” Mooradian said of the pandemic. “I think people have become so dependent on online shopping, but there are also people who really want to support local businesses and will shop local. They’ll make that conscious effort to help keep money in the community, too. That’s very important.”

At Brid’s Closet in Cornwall-on-Hudson, owner Bernadette Montana sells a selection of metaphysical items such as crystals, sage, oils, candles and teas. She’s participating in the shop hop this year, as she has for eight years now.

The extra business boost is welcomed for Montana, who had to move to a smaller shop space during the COVID-19 pandemic due to rent costs. She’s also had to switch to local merchants to supply jewelry sold at her shop due to supply chain issues.

“I’ve actually had to turn more to local artists to bring in handmade jewelry as opposed to wholesalers,” Montana said.

This year, Montana is looking forward to seeing some excitement among shoppers as things are starting to look up during the pandemic.

“On my end, it’s always been a wonderful thing,” Montana said of the shop hop. “It’s a great way for people that didn’t even know you were here to introduce them to the business.”

Kristen Warfield is the food and business reporter for the Times Herald-Record. Find my stories here. Reach me at kwarfield@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Times Herald-Record: Cornwall ‘shop hop’ encourages Small Business Saturday promotion