Can Small, Independent Businesses Survive in an Increasingly Corporate World?

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Too many of our favorite Lower East Side establishments have closed recently, and at an alarming pace. The Lo-Down wants to investigate how to save small businesses.

It’s an issue gaining momentum throughout New York City. On the Lower East Side, one of the city’s last authentic neighborhoods, the question is particularly resonant.

All kinds of businesses, from historic “mom and pops” to cutting-edge startups, are under siege. Spiraling commercial rents, burdensome city regulations and a vanishing customer base have all imperiled local operators.

From the looming closure of the historic Streit’s Matzo Factory and the small affordable retailers that once lined Clinton Street to the demise of local favorites such as the Pink Pony, Motor City, Guss’ Pickles and Jeffrey’s Meat Market, the casualties continue to mount.

One of New York City’s greatest strengths is its uncanny ability to change with the times. But what happens if the latest wave of change wipes out the new and old businesses that give the Lower East Side its distinctive flavor, leaving generic national retailers in their place?

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We want to spend a year investigating our neighborhood’s unique challenges.

We have devoted the past six years to covering New York’s Lower East Side because we love our community. Through our extensive coverage of large-scale development projects, community-driven efforts to revitalize local parks and New York’s affordable housing crisis, we have given voice to your concerns.

We believe there’s never been a more crucial time for a robust reporting initiative focused on small business in our community. We’re convinced that sustained coverage of this important issue can make a real difference in our community.

You can join our crowdfunding campaign on Beacon here. It will not only bolster our reporting but it will also ensure that an issue critical to the future of the Lower East Side receives the attention it deserves. Thank you in advance for your continued support of The Lo-Down!

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