CROWN HEIGHTS - The owner of the popular and longstanding shop Legacy Awards in Crown Heights says the store will be closing because of the economic downturn.

Pia Raymond says the Nostrand Avenue shop, which has been in business for almost 50 years, has been unable to pay the last few months' rent. Raymond believes the economy has impacted how much shoppers will spend on personalized trophies, plaques, gifts and business cards, which are staples at Legacy Awards.

"It brings tears to my eyes thinking about it not being here," Charles Howard, a neighbor, says.

In addition to the items sold by the store, residents say Legacy Awards will be remembered for its contributions to the community and local youth.

"We mentor them in entrepreneurship and some of them intern and have been hired here as a result of that," Elzora Williamson, one of the founders, says.

Though the rent on Nostrand Avenue was prohibitively expensive, Raymond hopes to reopen the shop in a new location.