Small businesses are the economic heart of New York City, especially the street-level retail stores and restaurants that keep things running 24/7 and provide the everyday necessities and comforts New Yorkers rely on. But with high rents, corporate competition, and real estate development, these businesses—what we call “storefronters”—are facing serious challenges over and above the ones small businesses typically grapple with.
To help more small businesses succeed and thrive, the Manhattan Borough President’s Office today released a report—Small Business, Big Impact: Expanding Opportunity for Manhattan’s Storefronters—at the Upper West Side storefront of The Halal Guys, small business entrepreneurs who’ve worked hard to become a stunning success story.
Our report makes recommendations that would help storefronters by taking the pressure off lease renewals, modernizing policies governing street vending, helping established small businesses threatened by rent increases by encouraging “condo-ization” of storefront space, and creating “low-intensity” commercial districts.
I was joined by Council Member Robert Cornegy, our ally in developing small-business-friendly legislation, and Noel Hidalgo, co-founder the NYC Transparency Working Group. We also heard from Halal Guys co-founder Mohamed Abouelenein, who spoke of New York City’s essential role in the expansion of his successful food cart chain into storefronts in Manhattan and around the nation and the world. He and his partners could not have done it anywhere else. Read more.