Adams will announce a proposal during her State of the City speech Wednesday to support and expand NYCHA tenant-owned businesses, the number of which has jumped significantly in recent years as residents turn to home-based ventures such as catering, child care services and carpentry.
“When I noticed very few places in my own neighborhood in Brooklyn where the community could come together to connect, despite the conventional image of an entrepreneur looking nothing like us, my husband and I decided to start our own business.”
“The recovery of New York City as a whole is only possible when it is inclusive of all neighborhoods, including ones like mine in The Bronx that suffered some of the worst effects of the pandemic.”
‘Restaurants are a critical part of the economy, employing 10 percent of New Yorkers. We saw during the pandemic how important they are to communities. Outdoor spaces, heated and cooled, were gathering spaces through the year for weary New Yorkers.’
An estimated 5,000 restaurants across the city were predicted to shutter by February 2021 due to the pandemic. While there’s no officially tally, the loss of Latino-led businesses in New York was already a worrisome trend prior to the crisis.
‘Street vendors and brick-and-mortars are struggling for many of the same reasons… Lifting the cap on permits for street vendors and ending the exploitative underground market is a key part of a larger toolkit to protect all vulnerable small businesses.’
‘To be clear, we support the food vendor community and their place in our neighborhoods. The food is as delicious and diverse as the city itself. But reform on what’s historically been an underground market cannot come at the expense of our brick-and-mortars.’
The City Council allowed the charge to help struggling businesses cover costs. But owners fear steeper charges might drive away customers.
As much as the reopening is testing whether or not New Yorkers can avoid a second wave of illnesses, it will also reveal whether the steps taken so far are all the help that’s needed.
‘I made a big sacrifice when I got into debt two years ago to start this business,’ one bodega owner whose shop was ransacked told El Diario. ‘I did it for my family’s well-being, but also for the community.’