“This will be my last dream"- Business owner says her dreams are shattered due to stay-at-home order

An antique lover's dying wish is to open a business on City Island, however, the coronavirus pandemic unexpectedly shattered those dreams for the time being.

News 12 Staff

May 7, 2020, 1:55 AM

Updated 1,474 days ago

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An antique lover's dying wish is to open a business on City Island, however, the coronavirus pandemic unexpectedly shattered those dreams for the time being. 
“Doctors have not given me too much longer. So, this was like my last dream. This will be my last dream,” said Diane Santaromita. 
Santaromita says her antique store, Lollipop Antiques,  was forced to close before getting the opportunity to open because of the pandemic. 
As a cancer patient who suffers from emphysema and COPD, she says time is ticking. 
"They've given me a little bit more than four years. I'm fine with it, I've accepted it and I want to be happy with what I'm doing for the last years that I have left, this is what I want to do,” said Santaromita. 
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She says that instead of selling the collectibles, jewelry, and paintings she loves-- she’s watching the bills pile up. 
"It is my livelihood because I'll be honest with you, social security does not cover everything, it just doesn't, and I am 65 and I just opened this in hopes that -- you know -- maybe it's a dream --- but it will be a dream for my son,” said Santaromita. 
Santaromita says she worked in government securities many years ago, but decided to live out her passion by starting this business. 
She says she’d be happy to abide by any restrictions, such as only letting a limited amount of customers in her store at a time. She says she just wants to be open. 
"I understand it's a health risk, but it's money in my pocket I'm losing that I need to live,” said Santaromita. 
Santaromita says she plans on pursuing federal loan assistance, hoping her business is eligible.


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