The streets of New York today look a lot like what they were decades ago – or even, in some cases, just a few years ago.
This is due, at least in part, to what Jeremiah Moss calls “the fate of Mom and Pop”. Moss is the author of Vanishing New York and one of the leading voices behind the #SaveNYC crowdsourcing movement.
In the Vanishing New York book and blog, Moss details some of the unique landmarks, independent shops, family restaurants, and other unique small businesses that once inhabited the streets of New York but have since closed. Just in the early days of February, the blog detailed the report closures of an independent office supplies store, a gay bar and a neighborhood restaurant – among others.
However, the fact that some small businesses have closed in recent years does not mean that all are fighting. In fact, Biz2Credit has ranked New York City as the best city for small businesses in America. The rating was based on the financial health of companies requesting funding in each city during the previous year. According to Biz2Credit, New York small businesses reported average revenues of nearly $ 980,000, suggesting that many of the city’s businesses are currently in good financial health.
The impact of the disappearance of small businesses in New York
But Vanishing New York’s record of business closures around the city can not be denied. Although this does not have a major impact on the city’s economy, some claim that it leads to a loss of interest and culture and, in some cases, to the erasure from the history of the city.
The blog of these closures dates back to 2001. Between 2001 and 2013, the blog compiled a list of companies that existed since 6 926 years before closing shop. And of course, there are probably other closures not included.
While Vanishing New York is a kind of documentation of what was, #SaveNYC is a movement to bring back the once vibrant and unique community of small businesses to the city – or at least preserve what’s left.
The website reads: “Today, more than ever, the soul of New York is being murdered by rising rents, suburbanization, unbridled development and the tide of 39 chain enterprises. Hyper-gentrification destroys the cultural fabric of the city. “
To achieve this goal, the movement offers some potential solutions and different ways of involving them. The first is to support the Small Business Survival Act, which would improve the ability of small businesses to negotiate fair rents with homeowners. The site also suggests launching a program of cultural landmarks, restricting the spread of companies in the chain, granting tax breaks to small businesses rather than to large corporations and homeowners who impose fines on homeowners which leave vacant commercial spaces. For now, people looking to get involved can add a video or photo or message on social media to support the campaign.
Photo via Shutterstock