Perhaps the saddest casualty of recent gentrification has been the mom and pop stores which, once definitive of New York and this great city’s quirks, have been replaced by corporate chains that can afford sky-high rents in formerly destitute, crime-ridden neighborhoods. But wait, there’s hope!
The NYC Department of Small Business Services this week launched its NYC Love Your Local program, literally putting small businesses on the map to bring them love, attention and potential grant money.
— NYCSmallBusiness (@NYC_SBS) February 14, 2017
It works like this: Anyone can add their favorite local spot to a map of NYC hosted on the program’s website by filling out a quick form about the business. Once approved, the business will appear on the map.
Mapped businesses are eligible to apply for up to $90,000 of $1.8 million in grant funding and “expert advice” that the city has put aside to help its local shops.
So far, there’s 23 businesses listed, a number that obviously represents an itty bitty portion of this city’s mom and pop shops. Brooklyn businesses repped by the map so far include Fort Greene’s Academy Restaurant, PLG’s 24-year-old Expressions in Ceramics pottery shop, Bed Stuy’s floral arrangement spot Flowerworks, and Ditmas Park’s classic Greek diner George’s Restaurant. People: there are more businesses on the map in STATEN ISLAND than Brooklyn right now. This is unacceptable. Add your favorite neighborhood spot immediately, please, for all that is good and holy.
Especially since City Council threw in the towel late last year on a law that would’ve helped small businesses save themselves in the face of record-breaking rents, go ahead pour one out for the indy vendors that have been closed or displaced, and do your part to keep the ones we have left in business, cause God knows they could sell their property for much more money then they’ll ever making hustling to make you those delicious, lovingly made cannoli, or knit caps, or baby toys, or whatever it is they sell.