On Wednesday, Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and Assemblyman Angelo Morinello recognized Capitol Cleaners as the “Small Business of the Month” for June.
Established by Joseph Petrozzi and Sam Viso in 1946, Capitol Cleaners continues to flourish today under the leadership of their son, Russell Petrozzi, with stores located in Niagara Falls, the Town of Niagara, Lewiston and Grand Island.
Early in the 1960s, Russell’s father, Joe Petrozzi, noticed a child walk by his business in the middle of winter without a coat. When the child passed the business the following day, he had a freshly cleaned coat waiting for him. This would be the first coat Joe gave away before starting “Coats for Kids,” a nationwide campaign. Each year, Capitol Cleaners give away close to 5,000 coats to children in need around the area.
“Capitol Cleaners and the Petrozzi family have been outstanding members of our community for decades, and their charitable contributions have had a positive impact on the lives of thousands of children across our region and hundreds of thousands across the country,” Ortt said. “We are fortunate to have the Petrozzi family in our community and thank them for caring about the well-being of our local youth.”
Morinello said, “Congratulations to Capitol Cleaners in Niagara Falls for being selected as the ‘Small Business of the Month.’ Capitol Cleaners have been doing fantastic work for over 73 years and show no signs of stopping soon. After the year we all have had, I encourage everyone to continue supporting your favorite local small business.”
Petrozzi’s service to his community doesn’t end with “Coats for Kids.” He is also involved with renewing and lending gently used prom gowns to local children so that they may attend their high school prom.
He is the recipient of the Paul Harris Award from the Rotary Club of Niagara; the Citizen of the Year Award (which he shared with his father, Joe Petrozzi) from the Niagara Falls Kiwanis Club; and the Good Neighbor Award. Petrozzi is also the recipient of several business achievement awards, including KeyBank’s Small Business of the Year, Main Street Business Association’s Business of the Year, Temple Beth Israel Special Recognition for “Coats for Kids,” and the Niagara Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year.