This year-long reporting initiative explores the challenges faced by small businesses in our neighborhood and investigates the best solutions for long-term survival.

The project includes a series of 8 in-depth stories, profiles of the LES’s most loved businesses, a “Buy Local” Guide and comprehensive interviews with local leaders.

Our readers helped to make this project possible by backing our campaign here. We want to thank each and every one of them and especially our community partners:





Photo from Sneaky Tavern's Facebook.

New Premium Sneaker Shop Sneaky Tavern Teams Up With 10Below Ice Cream

Here’s something new: sneakers and ice cream together in one storefront. …

Photo by Karlin Chan.

“Fong On” Name Disappears From Mott Street Awning, Dispute Isn’t Over Yet

Here’s a followup from a story we reported last week. The Eng family, which has owned the Fong On brand for decades, has been pursuing a trademark infringement case against a Chinatown businessman. …

367 Grand St.

Changes In-the-Works For A Few Grand Street Businesses

Changes are ahead for several commercial spaces on Grand Street controlled by the Seward Park Cooperative. …

Photo via Street Vendor Project's Facebook.

Rent Hike Will Force El Magey y La Tuna to Close in March

Another local business is being forced to close due to a big rent hike. …

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Lower East Side Is Not Seeing More Chain Stores, Even as Mom-and-Pops Fold

It was another brutal year for mom-and-pop shops on the Lower East Side and in New York City as a whole. But in this neighborhood at least, a new report shows that chain stores aren’t moving in to replace shuttered independent businesses. …

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Seward Park Liquors Prepares to Relocate in Early January

Back in April, the Seward Park Cooperative decided against renewing the lease for Seward Park Liquors, a business that had operated from a storefront at 393 Grand St. for more than 40 years. The move-out is finally happening early in the new year. …

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Iconic Cup & Saucer Sign Removed From Canal Street Storefront

Jonathan Flaum submitted this photo, taken yesterday at the corner of Canal and Eldridge streets. The “Cup & Saucer” signage was being removed from …

Cup & Saucer, 89 Canal St.

Cup & Saucer, Classic Lower East Side Diner, is Closing Next Week

We just learned a short time ago that Cup & Saucer, the classic diner at 89 Canal St., is closing next week after 30 years at the same location. …

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Economy Candy Installs Retro-Style Signage to Celebrate 80th Anniversary

Have you seen the new look Economy Candy?

In celebration of the Lower East Side institution’s 80th anniversary, the third generation independent shop has …

Alex Shoe Repair on Secons Avenue closed up shop in 2015. Photo by ilyse Kazar.

CB3 Hosts Forum on Special Retail Zoning District

Coming up next week, Community Board 3 will be hosting a public forum on a proposal to bring a special zoning district to the East Village as a way of protecting independent small businesses. …