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Carnegie small businesses prepare for big shopping days

| Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, 11:30 p.m.

David Cerminara grew up in and around Carnegie and enjoys the classic feel of the borough.

In 2014, he opened Apis Mead & Winery on Main Street to help give his hometown economy a boost. Other small shop owners followed suit and, now, business is booming in Carnegie.

“If you go to shops like Modern Mercantile or Flying Squirrel, for example, you are usually greeted by the proprietor of that shop or someone who is close to them that really cares and wants you to be happy with your purchase,” Cerminara says. “That kind of service is in almost every shop in the area, and is what is becoming harder to find in a big-box store or at your local mall.”

As it does throughout the year with events, the business district will seek to draw people in on Small Business Saturday, which is set for Nov. 25.

The borough and business district regularly host activities to encourage activity.

Carnegie recently was recognized by the Allegheny County Health Department as a Live Well Allegheny Community thanks to a resurgence in healthy activities, events and amenities provided to residents and visitors alike.

The borough held its second Open Streets Carnegie this year, giving pedestrians the ability to play hockey and practice yoga right in the middle of West Main and East Main streets. Local businesses offered specials during the event.

Carnegie Crawls, held on the second Friday of each month from May to October, also attract crowds to Main Street. Shops with the Crawl's snail mascot in their window offer discounts or live entertainment.

The event was created by the Carnegie Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit that seeks to restore vibrancy to the borough.

“We are working on upgrading our infrastructure, exploring ways to provide better housing options for millennials, striving to make our community more sustainable and continuing to upgrade our parks,” Mayor Jack Kobistek says.

Kobistek often visited Carnegie when he ran little league baseball tournaments in the area. He liked the old-fashioned, walkable downtown, beautiful churches, historic library and friendly people so much that he decided to start his family here.

He's been mayor for almost eight years.

Kobistek says there are more improvements ahead for Carnegie.

“Next year, we will have a couple of new businesses that millennials will find attractive: Quantum Spirits distillery, and a new expanded Apis with a brewery,” he said. “Disc golf will be added to Carnegie Park in spring 2018. Down the road, an expansion of our Port Authority park-and-ride is scheduled. We also are exploring ways to provide access to the Panhandle Trail from Carnegie.”

Kristy Locklin is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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