THE BRONX - Throgs Neck stores opened their doors Saturday for a day of giveaways, free samples and discounts.

According to the participating merchants, the event was to reward loyal customers who frequent the local shops.

?We just want to let the residents know that we appreciate the times they come to our stores,? John Cerini, of the Merchant?s Association, says. ?And we want to give back to the community.?

Mike Menna, the owner of Menna?s Meats, says customers are controlling their spending and only purchasing what they need, which has affected nearly all of the businesses in the area.

Despite the economic turmoil, the head of the Merchant?s Association told News 12 The Bronx that these events will be held every six months to show the shop owners? appreciation for their customers and breathe a little life back into local businesses.