New York City’s Open Storefronts program, which allows small businesses to use outdoor space in front of their stores to sell goods, has been extended through the fall of next year. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday signed an executive order extending the program, which was originally expected to end December 31, through September 30, 2021. The program will also expand the number of restaurants and retail stores that can use sidewalks to sell take-out. “We think that’s going to help them as they fight to survive in this environment,” de Blasio said Tuesday.
Department of Small Business Services
The New York City Council on Tuesday passed legislation that requires the city to establish a public database of commercial properties and vacancy rates across the five boroughs. Introduced by Council Member Helen Rosenthal, the “Storefront Tracker” bill aims to provide information on current vacancies and those small city businesses most at risk. The database, the first of its kind in the country, will list the occupancy status of retail spaces online.
Nearly half of New York City’s 220,000 small businesses are owned by immigrants. To celebrate this community, the Historic Districts Council is hosting an event this weekend that highlights immigrant-run businesses in New York City. Taking place at the Bohemian National Hall on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the symposium will discuss the ins and outs of running a business in a city that is constantly changing.
Via bitchcakes on Flickr
As neighborhoods in New York City continue to change, bodegas are having to update their inventory. While chips and cigarettes are still corner-store fixtures, owners are selling more fresh fruit and vegetables and organic products to keep up with the shift in consumer demographics. Coinciding with the updated interiors, the exteriors of some NYC bodegas are getting upgrades as well, thanks to a new pilot program from the city. The program, “Commercial Corridor Challenge,” aims to help fund public realm improvements for local businesses to keep them competitive amid gentrification, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Put your favorite local, non-franchise businesses “on the map” and help them apply for a share of a $1.8 million grant. Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Small Business Services have announced the launch of “NYC Love Your Local,” a new opportunity to celebrate and promote the city’s many independent small businesses. The program allows New Yorkers to add their favorite mom-and-pop shops to an interactive map so they can get funding and access to expert advice.