SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – As New York begins to open up, the Original Manny’s, a local Syracuse University gear store, is finding some normalcy after pushing back the threats of closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill Nester, co-owner of Manny’s, said that the pandemic really tested the resilience of his store and staff, but he was ready for it.
Nester has been able to keep his store open for more than 73 years on Marshal Street, a common spot for locals and colleges students to visit. And he wasn’t about to let the pandemic close him down.
“There were a few people at Christmas time that wanted to support local businesses which they really kept us in business,” he said. “That was fantastic!”
With the pandemic stretching on, Nester had to find a way to survive during COVID-19 without opening his store in person.
“It did, the online business did pick up,” he said. “It really hurt the small businesses, the local businesses,” said Nester when talking about how the online superstores like Walmart and Amazon were able to have steady sales, while small businesses were left to suffer.
Ryan DiDomenico, a Syracuse student, said that he thinks the best thing he can do to support the city around him is to give back to the community.
“I think it is you know always important to support local businesses,” DiDomenico said.
Nester is thankful that New York State is starting to go back to normal with mask mandates being lifted in the community.
“There was a lot of support in the community, and we want to thank the community for that.”